Jaamal Lascelles headed a stoppage-time equaliser as struggling Newcastle came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against European hopefuls Aston Villa at St James’ Park.
A dire encounter devoid of any real quality burst into life four minutes from time when Ollie Watkins’ header hit Ciaran Clark and flew in via the crossbar.
Watkins should have sealed the points when sent clear deep into time added on, but his failure to beat Martin Dubravka was punished soon after when Lascelles powered home a left-wing delivery.
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The result leaves Newcastle in 16th place, two points clear of the drop zone and looking anxiously over their shoulder ahead of the rest of the weekend’s action. Villa stay ninth and are seven points adrift of fifth-placed West Ham.

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Next up, Villa host Spurs a week on Sunday. Newcastle visit Brighton for what could be a critical clash in the battle to stay up a week on Saturday.

TALKING POINT

A point that doesn't suit either side. Newcastle may have made it three matches unbeaten but right now they need victories. The fact they had to rely on a centre back to dig them out of the mire shows just how much they miss Callum Wilson. It was rather poor for long spells and they have now won just two of their last 17 Premier League matches. Given the recent revival of Fulham, it looks like being a very nervy run-in for the Toon and there’s no doubt the pressure continues to mount on Bruce as fans once again vented their frustration on social media channels. In contrast, Villa remain a solid outfit, but without Grealish they are sorely missing their X-factor. The suggestion is he will be back for next week’s clash with Spurs and that will be a big boost given they have now not won in three outings. The Villans will need to keep Grealish fit and hope he doesn’t take too long to hit top form if they are to cap a fine season by landing a European place.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Jaamal Lascelles (Newcastle United). The Magpies defender kept Watkins and Co quiet for large periods of the match and then produced a real captain’s intervention to rescue a draw from the jaws of defeat.

PLAYER RATINGS

NEWCASTLE: Dubravka 7, Krafth 6, Lascelles 8, Clark 6, Dummett 7, Hayden 6, Shelvey 6, Willock 7, Fraser 7, Gayle 6, Joelinton 7. Subs: Murphy 6, Manquillo n/a, Carroll n/a.
ASTON VILLA: Martínez 7, Elmohamady 6, Konsa 7, Mings 7, Targett 7, McGinn 6, Douglas Luiz 6, Ramsey 6, Traore 5, Watkins 7, Trezeguet 6. Subs: El Ghazi 7, Sanson 6, Barkley 6.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

14’ – NEWCASTLE CHANCE! Joelinton powers on to a long ball into the right channel and drives into the box. It's a narrow angle and he attempts to cut back before letting fly, but Konsa gets back to make a superb block.
27’ – ASTON VILLA CHANCE! Lovely foot work from Trezeguet sees him shuffle his way in from the right. He takes aim from a narrow angle but can't blast his way beyond Dubravka. Good save by the keeper.
54’ – ASTON VILLA CHANCE! Targett curls a devilish free-kick into the box for Konsa but his header flies just wide of the far post.
82’ – NEWCASTLE CHANCE! Murphy turns two inside the area but slams his 12-yard shot against the crossbar.
86’ - GOAL! – Newcastle 0-1 Aston Villa. Watkins sees his header from Targett's cross hit Ciaran Clark and fly in off the bar.
90+3’ – ASTON VILLA CHANCE! It should be two. Barkley feeds Watkins but the forward can't beat Dubravka. Great save!
90+4’ – GOAL! – Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa. Lascelles powers a header in from a left-wing cross and snatches a point for the Magpies!

KEY STATS

This is only the third instance in Premier League history of a team scoring first in a game as late as the 86th minute in an away game and not going on to win, after Birmingham vs West Brom in October 2002 and Leicester vs Watford in June 2020.
Ciaran Clark is the first player to score an own goal against a team they've previously played for in the Premier League since Pablo Zabaleta against Manchester City in April 2018 for West Ham.
Only Crystal Palace (13) have conceded more Premier League goals in the last 15 minutes of games this season than Newcastle (12).
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