BUY YOU WINS
Champions League winning bosses
How the defender wanted his evening to end. Dithering after 35 minutes, Gayle smelt blood. The striker let Elphick off the hook, his goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini needs credit, a strong leg preventing the £10m forward registering.
Remarkable as the overall cost of both teams were, Villa were missing their big-money signing. Lacking the creativity and goalscoring instinct of Ross McCormack
As much as they weren’t being over-run, Villa weren’t taking control either. When Diame did manage to keep his shot down when unmarked, it went wide. Jonjo Shelvey’s cutting pass across the box deserved a better finish. When the hosts did have their moment, the assistant wanted his. A controversial call came to rule out Mile Jedinak’s fine header after a deep free-kick. Was it the Australian or substitute Rudy Gestede? Either way, there was inches in it, a big 68th minute call.
Jordan Ayew, much like Villa, hasn’t hit the heights so far. He almost made up for that, racing in from the byline with his threatening right foot before unleashing a vicious drive which smashed Matz Sels’ post.
The officials were at the centre of a storm. All inside Villa Park thought Cheick Tiote had upended Tshibola but referee Chris Kavanagh said dive. The midfielder would have his moment.
From Ayew’s deep corner, Gouffran wilted. Tshibola got a run on him, Sels didn’t cover himself in glory and somehow between them the Toon pair contrived to gift Di Matteo the lift he craved. The 21-year-old turned the game, his near post header securing a point.
POINTER: Aaron Tshibola celebrates scoring Villa’s equaliser
ON THE RUN: Dwight Gayle gets away from Ashley Westwood