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Instant Reaction: Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa

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Aston Villa show the slightest progress during a nervy battle in wet Newcastle

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Aston Villa needed to come out of today's clash with Newcastle with a win.

They didn't, but that's ok. After barely appearing in the first-half drenching, Aston Villa decided not just to show up for the second-half, but actually score! Jordan Ayew's goal is surely Villa's best of the season. Credit must be given to a Newcastle team who piled on so much pressure onto Aston Villa, when the pressure was really all on the Magpies to deliver at home up in Newcastle.

Played in front of the nation and more; you'd have thought someone would be in for a sacking at Sky Sports and NBC, but Newcastle and Villa managed to show the world what football was about - not wins, but clutching something from the gaping jaws of defeat. That's for the neutral fan anyway, the Toon Army will be incensed that they couldn't put away Villa at home and Villa fans will be annoyed at the lack of tactical changes in the second half. There was plenty to be upset about, but a lot more to be positive about.

Think about it, Aston Villa walked into the cauldron of St James' Park to a hostile crowd baying for revenge and walked away with something. Not the three points we desire, but not the loss we expected. Jordan Ayew played his heart out and lead the line for a huge improvement for a Villa team playing with a new style and formation. The much criticised Rudy Gestede certainly played his part, but he will need to put away the chances that are being presented to him on a plate or he will find himself replaced, and quick as Villa look to move forward with a duo up front.

Villa will go to a Boxing Day clash with West Ham feeling a lot more confident and fingers crossed, might just get the win that will bring more. Hopefully Adama gets the chance he needs and Jack Grealish replaces Veretout as the head of the midfield diamond, meaning that Villa can utilise a diamond of Sanchez, Gana/Westwood, Veretout and Grealish/Gil.

I should be more disappointed that we couldn't nab three points in this match and call it delusion, but I'm done with being disappointed or angry with this team. We're propping up the table and I'll take what I can get, as Villa did today.