Newcastle 3-1 Burnley: Much improved Mags up to 6th as ASM shines & Wilson bags brace

A stunning display from Allan Saint-Maximin and a few more goals from Callum Wilson propelled Newcastle to a well deserved 3-1 win over Burnley tonight.

In a performance almost incomparable to the ones against Newport, Tottenham and Brighton – we showed real attacking quality, scoring two superb goals before Wilson converted from the spot late on to make it four goals in four league starts for our new £20m man.

The win takes us to 6th in the league and arrives as a welcome boost for Steve Bruce – and hats off to him for getting us further up the pitch in a display that was much more positive and easy on the eye from a NUFC perspective!

There were four changes in the line-up from last week’s draw at Spurs; including a first start of the season for Fabian Schar – who replaced skipper Jamal Lascelles as a result of his hamstring injury. Elsewhere, Emil Krafth came in for Javier Manquillo, Lewis returned in place of Ritchie and a fit Allan Saint-Maximin took the place of Miguel Almiron in the starting 11. I’d imagine the Paraguayan will feel hard done by to miss out, considering the fine form he’s been in so far this season!

Steve Bruce’s side have been under intense pressure recently to play attacking football and we tried to control the action from the off tonight – with Burnley being content with allowing us to dominate possession off the ball and doing little but pump it long or look to win free kicks or force set pieces on it.

After a few half chances fell to Callum Wilson via some wild moments of Nick Pope and electric movement from our £20m man, the first real piece of quality of the game came via our marvellous Frenchman.

Wilson won an excellent flick-on from a Darlow’s punt up the pitch and the ball fell to Allan Saint-Maximin – who immediately drove at the Burnley defence.

He had plenty to do as he approached the 18-yard box and created space for himself through two chops that completely bamboozled three Burnley defenders. He sent them one way, and then the other and having created a clear sight at the goal he possessed the composure to fizz a fantastic effort past the helpless Nick Pope! 1-0.

There was an alarming moment in the latter stages of the half where a shot from the edge of the box was deflected and eventually fell into the path of Ashley Barnes, who poked the ball into our net. Just as he reeled away in celebration, it was thankfully ruled out for offside. It was, however, a warning sign that Burnley – despite looking pretty desperate at both ends – were only ever a long ball or 18-yard box scrap away from an underserved equaliser.

We had another great chance in first-half injury time. An inventive Jonjo Shelvey cross found Jeff Hendrick in acres of space at the back post. The Irishman had time to take a touch before shooting, but that touch was poor and his effort was extremely tame, rattling the side netting after getting the ball caught under his feet. As the half-time whistle went, the only negative I can draw from that was our wasted chances of that ilk.

Nevertheless, we went in at 1-0. A solid start.

We were much better than we’d seen in recent weeks, but Burnley were woeful throughout the first period. Their passing at all distances was atrocious and they tried to make it nothing other than a scrappy and physical affair throughout. Luckily, our men didn’t stoop to their level and tried to keep the ball on the deck – even if Ashley Barnes left a few sore ones on us and Saint-Maximin got kicked from pillar to post!

From a Newcastle standpoint, the football was a lot prettier than anything we’ve had the displeasure in viewing this season. Passes were played with zip and intent, Joelinton looked far more comfortable when picking the ball up in a natural, deeper role and both Krafth and Lewis were able to push up and join attacks as a result of our pressing.

Saint-Maximin was, in moments, back to his electric, unplayable best and Callum Wilson played like a ‘proper number nine’ – showing constant movement in between the lines and giving the Burnley defence a physical presence to think about too.

The only missing piece was our tendency to waste a few key chances – but it was 1-0 at the break and a win felt likely if we kept that up.

It was frustrating to see us sit deep at the start of the second half and allow the away side to take the initiative. We played right into their hands as they created the first chance of the half, with Karl Darlow having to deny Chris Wood with strong hands from a powerful header. Moments later, Krafth then stopped the Kiwi getting in on goal with a last ditch challenge after a smart turn from the big man saw him steal a march on Fernandez.

The Swede then had to slot into the centre-half role as Fabian Schar was replaced by Javier Manquillo – Schar had just recovered from a shoulder injury, but aggravated it once again after an awkward landing in the first half. Hardly what we wanted to see – a right-back up against two of the league’s most physical forwards, but there’s little else we could’ve done with no centre-halves on the bench!

Soon after, we’d finally pay the price for all of those missed chances. A Phil Bardsley cross wasn’t cleared effectively and eventually fell to Ashley Westwood – who leathered the ball on the half volley into the bottom corner, giving Karl Darlow absolutely chance. 1-1.

So frustrating after our clear dominance in the first period, but this is what can happen when you back off, sit deep and allow a physical Burnley side to pin you in!

Despite being on the back foot at the start of the second half – with Burnley having 67% of the ball in the 2nd half after enjoying just 36% in the first – we had a brilliant response up our sleeves.

Just four minutes on from that equaliser, Emil Krafth found Saint-Maximin on the right hand side – the Frenchman burst past Charlie Taylor and then drilled the perfect ball across the box – putting it on a plate to Callum Wilson who just had to tap the ball into the net to restore our lead! He did so and that makes it three goals in four Premier League games for our new talisman – but he wasn’t done there.

A stellar assist to cap off a phenomenal performance by Saint-Maximin; which made it even more heart-wrenching to see him hobble off just after the goal. He was targeted by Burnley the entire match and received no protection from the referee.

Hopefully, his injury is just a knock and not a re-occurrence of anything serious! My heart can’t take it!

Our spirits were lifted once again just moments later, as we were awarded a penalty kick and a big chance to put this one to bed. Nick Pope made yet another mistake and then wiped out an energetic Ryan Fraser – leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty.

Callum Wilson stepped up and chipped the ball down middle! Cool as ice! He kissed the camera and took his tally for the season up four.

We had been punished for our poor start to the second-half, but our response to their equaliser was EXACTLY what we wanted to see. We could’ve had two more goals late on – with Fraser nearly dinking Pope from long range and Hendrick just failing to make contact from a superb Shelvey cross – but it didn’t matter in the end as we cruised to victory.

The final whistle blew and with it a massive sigh of relief from Steve Bruce! Putting the missed chances as well as the lacklustre start to the second half aside, it was an all around great performance.

It wasn’t pretty at times as Burnley constantly hit it long and kicked us to pieces, but the first two goals were excellently worked and our third meant for a relaxed end to a game we thoroughly deserved to win .

Saint-Maximin was Burnley’s nightmare and undeniably the man of the match, Wilson was lively and continued his dream start to his Newcastle career and the defence was resolute against Burnley’s physical onslaught; it was a much better showing than that of our last few games.

A honourable mention also goes out to Joelinton – who won’t steal the headlines for his performance, but it was again a great performance from the Brazilian. He worked hard, linked the play from midfield to attack, held the ball up well and overall looks much more comfortable in a deeper role. His confidence is growing and I’m very happy with his progression.

Three goals and a comfortable win – making it seven points from four game for Bruce’s boys. We’re sitting pretty in 6th place and have a cup quarter final to play, not bad at all.

A pat on the back to Steve Bruce. He’s been under pressure all week and hasn’t always responded well enough to fair criticism in press conferences, but he deserves a break after responding well to his haters in this one.

Credit to Bruce and the players after a much more enjoyable night for us Newcastle United fans!

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86 thoughts on “Newcastle 3-1 Burnley: Much improved Mags up to 6th as ASM shines & Wilson bags brace

  1. So, Rafa is 2nd bottom of his Division in the Chinese League. I must admit that is a shock as I thought he would win it easily. Maybe he did go there JUST for the money.

    There is so much talk about Rafa v Bruce on other NUFC blogs that I am thankful it doesnt come up that often here. But, just a few words…

    I have always thought that Rafa was hired to keep us up and that the surrender to Sunderland was pitiful. He did a good job to get us immediate promotion and identified the players to do it. We have seen how hard it is to rebound and 14 miles down the road it got even worse.

    Upon return, I believe he was underfunded but we finished about where we should have. I never bought into the theory that we had the worst squad in the division and was annoyed when Rafa himself said it would take a miracle to stay up. That was him praising himself – his Donald Trump moment.

    I think the football was terrible apart from perhaps his last 10 games in charge. We would also go on Pardew-esque death spirals but he got away with it with the fans because he was Rafa. I never got the total adoration he received from NUFC fans because he basically did an average job and did not do the main thing he was hired for which was to keep us up. If we weren’t relegated perhaps the Fatman would have given Rafa a transfer kitty but the money simply wasnt there after relegation. We have seen it took about 2 years to replenish the cash account after relegation and Ashley was never going to go into more debt.

    I would also say Rafa’s transfer business was a bit above average. He signed some decent players but also some duds who we are finding hard to shift, even now.

    I just do not understand the adoration and undying love for Rafa as the facts (as Rafa would say) show he is not the Manager he was. He will need to get a new club a trophy in Europe if he is to recover from his China Crisis.

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  2. I think we have to push St Max into the 10 role to save him. When he picks up the ball on the half way line he will run at the opposition and they systematically foul him. Being subjected to this 8-10 times a game will inevitably lead to injuries. If he is on the edge of their box, or better still, in their box they wont foul him because the consequences are much greater. We have to save St Max and even if he is not the most effective Number 10 ever at least he is on the field.

    I once saw Beardsley live for Liverpool when I lived in London. He was in one of the great liverpool teams but was the best player on the pitch by a mile and he was pushed up as a number 10. Sir Bobby also played him there for England as a foil for Lineker. I would give St Max a go at that role. I think Beardsley played a bit deeper when he came back to NUFC, but when he had the legs he was a number 10.

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  3. The day after Boris was voted in he hot footed it to the North East to thank a Labour voting region for switching their vote – I won’t let you down he promised – you won’t regret it.

    With every mistake he and his party have made he has broken that promise.

    We’ll have test, track and trace – world class they said. Absolute shower of sh!t.

    They blame the British public for not sticking to the rules, rules that all too often are as clear as mud – Boris himself gets them wrong. Then they regularly break the rules they set.

    They are about to increase the restrictions in the North, and i am not being dramatic when I say it will cripple the North East. Our high streets were already on their knees, and our pubs and restaurants will be going the same way.

    There isn’t a competent one amongst them. They are destroying this Country now, not just for us, but our children, because this mess will take decades to fix.

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  4. Glad that MIggy seems to be OK. That will give us good options at number 10/winger. We have Miggy, St Max, Fraser, Joelinton and Murphy. Maybe even Sean Longstaff as a number 10 option. I, for one, am glad we have options as we will inevitably get injuries – I think St max and MIggy are particularly targeted.

    I always find it strange when people pick a favourite and think we are overstocked when their favourite doesnt play. I think you play the form player and anybody else waits their turn. I even think Murphy will get his turn. Plus, Bruce should be subbing at 70 minutes more.

    Problem is we only have one fit striker (Carroll doesnt score anymore, he is now a defensive corner specialist).

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  5. Having said what I just said, I still dont get why there hasnt been a place for Almiron. As a winger/number 10 the 1st names on the teamsheet would be St Max and then Miggy. Fraser’s fitness was a question and we had not seen him in B&W. I am done with trying to boost Joelinton’s confidence as the reason to start him. Miggy has proved more effective so Joe should have to EARN his place. There is probably something to the (conspiracy?) theory that there is some sort of agreement that he must play if fit.

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  6. I know Man U have a better squad than us, but for the money they have spent what do they really have? This includes wages:

    De Gea – is it confidence or has he been sussed? Mistake prone now, especially from long range bouncing shots. He always saved with his feet and all you have to do is hit it higher if you are near him. On 350k a week.

    McGuire – getting a lot of stick. in retrospect his level was probably Leicester and 80 million was probably twice what he was worth. A Joelinton type overpayment.

    Wan Bassaka – they thought they could turn him into an attacking fullback. Joelinton syndrome again where they bought somebody for what they thought they could be rather than what they are. Cost 50 million.

    Other CBs – about the standard of NUFC CBs and all cost 30 mil plus.

    Shaw – he’s neither nowt nor summat now. Bought as an attacking fullback but I think Mourinho was right to question his fitness and heart.

    Pogba – inconsistent. Has the skills but disappears. Still plays like a show pony after 4 years in the PL and is a luxury when he doesnt have the Juve defense to bail him out.

    Fred, McTommaney, Matic – wouldnt look out of place at Burnley or Southampton. For a team that says they are top 5 in the world, are these really the type of players you want?

    Bruno Fernandez – started with a bang but looks tired and now has the expectations of a massive fan base on his shoulders, and it seems like his alone since they have given up on Pogba again. Fans and press alike were acting like he was a hybrid of Van Persie and Gianfranco Zola so I think they crowned him king a bit too early.

    Mata, too slow now. Lingard, c’mon. Is he a footballer anymore?

    Martial – one good season during his 4 years. Inconsistent.

    Rashford – still waiting for his breakout

    Greenwood – a superstar in the making but only 19.

    There you have it. My breakdown of Man U. They are good on their day when everything clicks but they just dont have the talent of top 4 teams. We can get at them if Pogba is in a sulk and Fernandez has one of his off days.

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  7. To put this Man U team into perspective, they luckily finished 3rd last year on 66 points. In the Moyes/Giggs season that was generally considered a disaster they finished 7th on 64 points.

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  8. Getting depressed now about CV-19. I see they are shutting down big cities in the UK but also Paris and Marseilles. It is not getting any better here either. Hopefully, they can continue the isolation with the football to keep my spirits up and still have games. We have got 6 more months of this BS with the mixed messages and U-turns because nobody really knows what is going on. I dont even blame Trump, he is just a moron and will tell you pink is blue if it suits him.

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  9. Going to Washington and Oregon on Wednesday for a week. They have very little infection there, my only worry is the plane. BUT if I dont do this now I will be stuck for another 6 fckn months. I planned this 5 months ago thinking that if it wasnt over by now I would have been driven crazy. The jury is out on that now!!!

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