Roberto di Matteo post-Newcastle reaction “We had plenty of chances to win it”
Like all managers, Roberto di Matteo was concentrating on the positives after watching his team draw 1-1 against Newcastle United.
Newcastle had completely dominated the first half and should have been three goals up and the game gone, only for wasteful finishing to leave them with a slender one goal advantage.
The Villa fans booed Roberto di Matteo and his team off at the break and Newcastle started the second half in similar vein.
Throwing on an extra striker (Gestede) in the 63rd minute, Villa had nothing to lose as they attempted to get some hold in the game.
As Newcastle sat back and attempted to see the game out as they had successfully done against the likes of Derby and Bristol City, it invited Villa to have a go.
Little surprise that it was from a cross that Newcastle conceded, as this is where United have looked most vulnerable in the matches so far.
Roberto di Matteo claimed that Aston Villa had ‘plenty of chances to win it’ but I can’t really remember Matz Sels making a difficult save.
Ayew hit the post with a stunning shot and Sels failed to keep out Tshibola’s header from a corner, Yoan Gouffran making a poor attempt at trying to challenge the Villa player.
If there was anybody ruing the fact his team had plenty of chances to win the game however, it would have certainly been Rafa Benitez, as he contemplated just how Newcastle had somehow failed to win this match.
Roberto di Matteo:
“I think certainly the second half was very good. We really put them under pressure, especially the last half an hour.
“We created a lot of good opportunities and got ourselves into very good positions but just missed that man at the end of a cross or pass or pull-back.
“We controlled the second half much, much better. We had plenty of chances to win it.
“We were more positive with the ball. We showed that we can turn a game around, even though we didn’t win it.
“Our challenge is to turn the draws into wins. We have drawn games and that’s what the table reflects.
“It was great to see the spirit from the team today – coming back from one-down to earn a draw against a very good Newcastle team that is defensively very solid.
“We managed to create some good chances, equalised and tried to go on and win the game as well.
“Today we were 1-0 down and got it back. We pushed on to really get the second goal too. There’s a degree of belief that if we concede a goal the game is not over.”
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