LONDON, Oct 19 — Aston Villa enjoyed their first victory under manager Steve Bruce — and their first since August — as a late Jordan Ayew penalty saw them to a 2-1 win away to Reading in the English Championship yesterday.
Former Manchester United defender Bruce's first game in charge, after he replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo as manager of the 1982 European champions, saw his side scrape a 1-1 home draw with Wolves on Saturday.
Yesterday's match saw Birmingham club Villa, relegated from the Premier League last season, take the lead near the end of the first half through Jonathan Kodjia.
But Reading equalised early in the second half when Yann Kermogant headed in the rebound after Danny Williams's penalty had been saved by Pierluigi Gollini.
It looked as the match would end in a draw but substitute Ayew was fouled by Liam Moore inside the penalty area in the 90th minute. He then got up to score the ensuing penalty, his goal ending Villa's run of 10 Championship matches without a win.
Meanwhile Newcastle, also relegated last season, went to the top of the table as Dwight Gayle scored twice in a 2-0 win at Barnsley.
Gayle's double took his tally for the season to 11 goals and Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said: “When you have players as clinical as Dwight, you will score goals.
“The team played well and created chances. His job is to be there, fighting with the centreback and try to score if he gets a chance. He is on fire now, he is happy and we're all happy.”
Reflecting on the match as a whole, the Spanish boss added: “It was a very professional performance. We needed to work hard, be strong physically against a good team who were pressing and pushing us.
“We did that in the first half, while scoring in the second half where we had more time, more space and possession and we could play in a different way.
“I am really pleased as we did what we had to do.” — AFP