Newcastle 1-0 Atalanta: Star is born at SJP as Toon trio shine in impressive win

The perfect start to a double-header of home games at St James’ Park, as a far from full strength Newcastle United saw off a dangerous Atalanta side on Friday night.

Over 40,000 attended the game, which was won by a penalty converted by Chris Wood and created by the brilliant Elliot Anderson.

After the odd nervy moment in the opening stages, the 19-year-old went from strength to strength, showing composure on the ball, impressive fitness levels – his pressing was relentless – and a real hunger to unsettle Atalanta, both on and off the ball.

It may still be early days, but it felt like we witnessed the birth of a star at St James’ Park, as Anderson carries the ball like a young Ross Barkley and offers that fearless tenacity we used to see from Wayne Rooney during his early days in senior football.

Once again, he did not look out of place – in fact, he was one of the best players on the pitch – and almost scored with a curling effort that Sportiello did well to tip wide.

Miguel Almrion didn’t get on the scoresheet this time, but he too was one of the standout performers. The in-form Paraguayan looked electric at times, using his pace to good effect and seeming far more decisive in the final third – two welcome traits to go alongside the non-stop energy and running he never fails to offer.

Dan Burn was a man mountain at the back, regularly dealing with Toon target Duvan Zapata – who had one good effort well saved by Nick Pope – and helped us to a well deserved clean sheet alongside the quietly impressive and often unflappable Fabian Schar.

Trippier and Targett were typically reliable in everything they did and Sean Longstaff put in a slick second half display, learning from a couple of early lapses as he played in a deeper role behind the all action Anderson and Almiron.

Considering there was no Guimaraes, Botman, Wilson, Shelvey (injured), Joelinton (suspended), Willock or Saint-Maximin in the squad – most of which are being saved for Bilbao on Saturday – it was hugely impressive to see us keep a usually free-scoring Atalanta side at bay.

Starting XI: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Burn, Targett, S Longstaff, Anderson, Almiron, Murphy, Wood, Fraser.

Subs: Gillespie, A Murphy, Bondswell (90), M Longstaff (82), De Bolle, L Miley, Turner-Cooke, Munoz, Stephenson (90).

Along with no injuries, it was also nice to see a host of U21 talents make up the substitutes bench at St James’ Park, giving many a night they’ll never forget.

Matty Bondswell and Dylan Stephenson only came on for the final minute of the match, however the likes of Santiago Munoz and new recruit Alex Murphy made the squad alongside Lucas De Bolle, Jay Turner-Cooke and 16-year-old local lad Lewis Miley.

As for the negatives, it was noticeable how many attacks broke down with Jacob Murphy. He has plenty of pace, but his poor decision making or lacklustre final ball often let him down.

Chris Wood took his penalty emphatically and held up the ball well after a really sloppy start, however he doesn’t look mobile enough and rarely looks like scoring.

The Kiwi can still be a good squad player and is clearly a valued voice in the dressing room, but it’s easy to see why we want another striker who can offer the sort of threat we miss whenever Wilson isn’t leading the line.

Next up, Athletic Bilbao in less than 24 hours time, with an even bigger crowd expected as the likes of Bruno, Botman, Saint-Maximin and Wilson look set to start against the Spaniards in our final pre-season game of the summer at St James’ Park.

Last but not least, a hat tip to the East Stand roller who was up there with Anderson, Almiron and Burn for man of the match thanks to this moment of brilliance midway through the second half!…

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan, he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC!

23 thoughts on “Newcastle 1-0 Atalanta: Star is born at SJP as Toon trio shine in impressive win

  1. Good read Olly. Glad Elliot is doing so well.

    BUT… do you know they wont let you pour your own petrol in Oregon? I was there a year ago and some college kid did it, insisting it was state law. I think he can carry an assault rifle though.


  2. Leicester reject £40m bid for Maddison 😳😳😳.

    Said when we were linked to Tielemans that I’d prefer Maddison.

    Top player!!. Hope there’s legs in this one 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼


  3. Attacking options.
    assume 4-2-3-1 and look at the front four
    ASM, Anderson and Almiron with Wilson up front is probably my choice
    What do Maddison (AM) and Cornet (LW) bring
    Cornet, Maddison and ASM
    Neither are back up for Wilson so we still need a striker.
    Who would you rather have Maddison or Paqueta? Maddison home grown. both £50m


  4. I do not understand.
    We are not bidding for Paqueta because he is not a RW / CF which are our priorities, but we are prepared to bid for Maddison who is neither a RW nor a CF


  5. Maddison is a better option than Paqueta. Head to head last season Maddison has better output in a tougher league. Similar price, no worries about adapting to the league, British. No brainer. Statement signing and one of the best midfields in the league. If Cornet does have a release clause then we should trigger it. In my opinion St. Max is overrated, lacks football intelligence and is selfish. Also doesn’t track back whereas Cornet does.


  6. This website is getting worse and worse. Now having to chose cookie settings every time I open the page or post a comment. Not far from giving up on the site now.

    We still need to shift on Fernandes, Manquillo, one of Darlow/ Dubz (depending on what Dubz wants to do), Murphy, maybe even Willock if Anderson can step up. Can pull a bit of money back then.


  7. So your midfield 6 are
    Bruno, Big Joe, Maddison, Shelvey, Longstaff and Anderson
    no Little Joe
    To be fair, Shelvey has had a great preseason, whilst Little Joe and Longstaff have shown flashes.


  8. Prem – I agree with you mate. This is playing out to be a difficult window & we really need to stick to priority signings first – CF first and foremost, then RF.

    I’m with Sham, I’d take Maddison over Paqueta – but I’m not going to grumble either way really, they are both outstanding players. I just think Maddison’s experience & already proven ability in the league tips it for me … but after a CF signing!!.

    That said, I’d still sign Cornet if we could get him for as little as £17.5m. It’s minimal money & he’d improve our forward options.


  9. If I was a poker player, which I am not, I would bid for Maddison to show Lyon we have other options to Paqueta.


  10. I want Willock to come good. He pretty much saved our season when he was on loan under the cabbage and that ultimately led to the takeover. There is no way the Saudi’s would have invested in us if we were in The Championship.

    So, let’s go with Little Joe and get ourselves a striker.

    Willock is not that little either 🙂


  11. I have been to Bilbao. Nice enough city with good food, but it p!ssed down with rain. That was my ex-wife’s fault. Everywhere we went for the final 5 years of our marriage the weather was terrible. in the 10 years since I have become a weather guru where everywhere I go I have perfect weather. Even the west coast of Scotland in december where is was 20 degrees celcius.


  12. Oh, I forgot how great a drive it is from Madrid to San Sebastian and Bilbao. Everyone should do it once.


  13. So the match today will not be shown live in the Uk, but will be available everywhere else. 🤬🤬. Anyone know a stream? And the site is playing up again… oh dear! 😡


  14. OK with Maddison lot going for him as Sham said but I do like Paqueta . Still I want to see a forward in first.


  15. God this site man, just opened a new tab to be able to continue as post not showing again. How come these issues can’t be fixed ? If it’s that hard maybe they should just shut it all down and start again ? Works with my PC when it plays up lol.

    Seriously though makes having a conversation hard work and getting to point I can’t be arsed. Right back to decorating cause this is waste of time, can’t even watch the game either.


  16. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh So goddam fuc.king frustrated. No live steam. No radio commentary, no fuc.king anything. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬


  17. And now, after all that, it’s now playing on NUFC tv when it’s not meant to be available… odd. And we lead 1-0


  18. Well Wilson proves again how important he is & having a quality CF is. Again, we’ve learned nothing we didn’t already know there.

    Interesting though, Howe played ASM on the right today & he looked very good. I wonder if that was with a view of Cornet coming in to take the left side?!.

    I’d be happy with that if that’s the plan.


  19. Thanks for the goal hightlights Olly.

    Where did this Joelinton come from?!! What a pass for Maxi’s goal! I watched him for 2 and a half years under the cabbage and he couldn’t control the easiest pass never mind deliver a killer pass.


  20. Has anybody ever seen such a turnaround in a player as Big Joe under Eddie? I haven’t. Next we will be seeing Chris Wood score 20 goals this season. I am not a Wood basher BTW as there are too many of them out there already. He was bought for a purpose and he helped us get away from relegation.


  21. Some CFs are petulant egotists who think that only they have the right to score in a team and never gain an assist or pass the ball. Which is not what Eddie Likes.
    Wood is the opposite. A handful that holds up play brings others into the game and scores penalties. Which is why eddie bought him, to do a job


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