Another big win at St James’ Park tonight, with a stunner from Fabian Schar and Sean Longstaff’s first Premier League goal handing us a well earned win over Burnley.
It’s our fourth consecutive league victory at St James’ Park and one that not only moves us up to 13th, but 7 points clear of the bottom three.
Once again we looked far more fluid with the three amigos (Rondon, Perez and Almiron) up top, with us playing some lovely stuff in the first half before putting in an resolute second 45 to preserve our clean sheet and deny Burnley any route back into it.
I said before the game that we may need something special to beat an in-form Tom Heaton – who’d helped Burnley to 3 draws and 5 wins in his last 8 games following his return from injury – and Fabian Schar delivered exactly that!
The fact Rafa picked him up for £3m is another exceptional piece of business, with him showing once again tonight that he is not only a goal threat and an impressive creator from deep, but also a fierce competitor at the back.
He wasn’t the only one who was brilliant tonight either. Longstaff put in another classy display and deserved his goal, Almiron, Perez and Rondon all put in a shift but also linked up nicely once again, Hayden played the spoiler role perfectly, Lejeune put in another Rolls Royce display at the back, Lacelles stood up to the physical test of Wood, Barnes and Crouch brilliantly and Dubravak looked anything but short on confidence, with him claiming several high balls into the box expertly.
Here’s how the table looks after tonight’s results, with us just 5 points from 9th all of a sudden:
Elsewhere, Cardiff were hammered at home against Everton, capping off an awful 4 days for them, while Brighton’s slumped continued with a 2-1 defeat at Leicester.
Next up we have a potential tricky trip to West Ham this weekend, although that isn’t a game I fear given our resilience on the road of late.
Here’s our next 5 fixtures:
- West Ham (A)
- Everton (H)
- Bournemouth (A)
- Arsenal (A)
- Palace (H)
We’re not safe just yet, but this just does not feel like a team that’s going down. If anything, we have every right to start looking up.
After all, a win at West Ham on Saturday and we’ll be just 2 points behind them and closing in on the top 10.
Either way, what a 4 days it’s been. Two huge wins over relegation candidates, two clean sheets, two impressive outings for Almiron and so many quality performances all over the pitch.