Match ends, Newcastle United 1, Aston Villa 1.
Ahmed Elmohamady's late header rescued a point for Aston Villa at Newcastle, but it was not enough to lift Dean Smith's relegation-threatened side out of the Premier League's bottom three.
The Egyptian stooped low to divert his effort into the net from a corner just six minutes after coming on as a substitute, shortly after Dwight Gayle's goal for Newcastle had looked like giving United the points.
Gayle's impact was even more immediate than that of El Mohamady, with his neatly-taken finish coming just 94 seconds after he was introduced for the injured Matt Ritchie.
Villa's point is reward for a first half in which they were the more positive of the two sides, and also their determination not to allow themselves to sink to another damaging defeat.
It may not take them out of the relegation zone but it will be a boost after they were denied by Sheffield United in their first game after the restart and allowed Chelsea to come back to beat them on Sunday.
Newcastle are now just a point shy of the 40-point mark - often cited as the tally required to ward off the threat of relegation.
Villa refuse to give up
It has been a frustrating return for Villa.
The repeated failure of their relegation rivals to pick up points has presented the opportunity for them to claw their way out of the bottom three, but although they have come close, they have not been able to find that elusive win.
Granted, they benefited from a failure of technology in their home draw against Sheffield United but having done so could easily have taken three points as opposed to one.
They then almost burgled a win against Chelsea on Sunday, taking the lead despite having precious little of the ball, before the Blues rallied to turn the game their way.
This may only be the second point they have taken from the last 21 avaialable to them but it is a timely boost, reminding them that they can mix it with some of the top-flight's most stubborn sides and may yet well edge themselves ahead of a faltering pack of sides above them.
They should have led in the first half, but Trezeguet and Mbwana Samatta both spurned chances on their return to the side.
The best fell to the former, who hit his back-post effort into the ground and over after being found by a superb cross from Ezri Konsa.
Newcastle's goal could have been a hammer blow, but in the end it was the home side hanging on.
Newcastle take the positives
Newcastle produced arguably one the finest displays of the first initial round of games back, winning 3-0 at home against an admittedly under-par Sheffield United, who played for 40 minutes with 10 men.
Everything that could have gone right for the Magpies did in that game and it looked like that form was going to continue on Wednesday, as misfortune in the shape of Ritchie's injury immediately turned into a positive courtesy of Gayle's tidy finish - his first Premier League goal in 773 days.
The assist for that goal also came from a man making a quick impact, with Andy Carroll's pass coming just four minutes and 51 seconds after he had been sent on by Steve Bruce.
Before then, the home side had battled hard but were too reliant on the creative pair of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, who threatened in flashes but failed to produce anything decisive.
After breaking his 27 game and 10 month drought on Sunday, Joelinton could have added another league strike to his meagre tally of two, but Tyrone Mings denied him with a superb challenge in the box.
Elmohamady's goal is a setback, ending a run of three successive clean sheets, but only a minor one for a side that have already exceeded many critics' expectations this season.
Bruce was asked after the game if would have taken 39 points at this stage of the campaign if offered it at the beginning. His positive answer will be a surprise to nobody.
Man of the match - Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa)
'We threw the kitchen sink at them'
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith speaking to Match of the Day: "It's an annoying point. The majority of the game I thought we were the better team. Our defensive display was good but we have to be more clinical.
"There are lots of positives to take. The commitment from the players was great, I thought we threw the kitchen sink at them.
"We were throwing everything at their box trying to get back in to the game and then we almost won it. We had a bit of stick at the weekend about not having much of the ball against Chelsea but they're a well established Premier League team."
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: "We would have all accepted [the points total] but we can't forget that we have a great opportunity to push on a bit now.
"Can we push on and catch the teams above us and finish the season looking upwards, rather than just looking over our shoulders?"
Newcastle extend home run - the stats you need to know
- Newcastle are now unbeaten in five Premier League games at St James' Park (W2 D3), with Aston Villa's goal the first they have conceded on home soil since New Years' Day against Leicester (0-3).
- Aston Villa have picked up just two points from the last 21 available in the Premier League (P7 W0 D2 L5), although they have avoided defeat on the road for the first time in four games.
- Since beating Dean Smith's Brentford with Hull back in April 2016, Steve Bruce remains winless in seven games against his fellow Englishman (D3 L4) including both Premier League matches with Newcastle this season (D1 L1).
- Andy Carroll's assist for Newcastle's opening goal was his fourth in the Premier League in his last eight appearances, as many as he managed to register across his previous 100 in the competition.
- Ahmed Elmohamady's equaliser for Aston Villa was his second Premier League goal at St James' Park, also scoring for Hull City there in September 2013 under Steve Bruce. Newcastle are the only side he has netted more than once against in the top flight.
Aston Villa host in-form Wolves at Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime, while Newcastle could do today's opponents a favour if they beat struggling Bournemouth in their next fixture at the Vitality Stadium at 18:00 BST on Wednesday, 1 July.
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- 6LascellesBooked at 59mins
- 18FernándezBooked at 74mins
- 11RitchieSubstituted forGayleat 67'minutes
- 14HaydenSubstituted forBentalebat 86'minutes
- 24AlmirónSubstituted forLazaroat 86'minutes
- 9JoelintonSubstituted forCarrollat 64'minutes
- 15KonsaSubstituted forEl Mohamadyat 77'minutes
- 30HauseBooked at 90mins
- 7McGinnSubstituted forNakambaat 77'minutes
- 6Douglas LuizBooked at 45mins
- 21El GhaziSubstituted forHourihaneat 70'minutes
- 17TrézéguetSubstituted forDavisat 70'minutes
- 27El Mohamady
- Chris Kavanagh
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 1, Aston Villa 1.
Foul by Nabil Bentaleb (Newcastle United).
Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.
Attempt blocked. Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Javier Manquillo.
Attempt blocked. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Attempt missed. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Andy Carroll following a set piece situation.
Nabil Bentaleb (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa).
Attempt missed. Mbwana Samatta (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Attempt missed. Federico Fernández (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey following a set piece situation.
Kortney Hause (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Andy Carroll (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kortney Hause (Aston Villa).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Danny Rose.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Javier Manquillo.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Valentino Lazaro replaces Miguel Almirón.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Nabil Bentaleb replaces Isaac Hayden because of an injury.