Villa looked set for yet another defeat at St. James’ Park when Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini put his side ahead via a scruffy finish during the first-half of yesterday’s encounter.
The visitors looked devoid of confidence, unsure of their system and largely discontent as the rain poured at a soaked St. James’ Park in a game where the conditions naturally made it difficult.
But a rejuvenated Villa appeared in the second period and they secured a deserved draw, Ayew swivelling on the edge of the box and arrowing a drive into the top corner on the hour mark.
There was a vast improvement from Garde’s men in the last 30 minutes or so, and their goal scorer Ayew put that down to the introduction of teammate Rudy Gestede.
"In the first half we changed our formation so it was complicated, but it got better when Rudy Gestede came on. One point is better than nothing. If we play like we did in the second half then we will win games,” the forward explained.
Gestede entered the fray on 59 minutes, replacing the disappointing Scott Sinclair.
The former Blackburn Rovers striker has an abundance of ability in the air and can be a real weapon for his team when played to his strengths – and that’s exactly what Villa did.
In a more direct approach, they got the ball wide and allowed Gestede to put Newcastle’s vulnerable back four under pressure as he posted a highly impressive seven aerial duels won.
Gestede has the attributes to wreak havoc in the final third, yet when used correctly arguably his biggest strength is bringing others into play and creating space for his fellow attacking teammates.