It may have been a long time coming, but this performance from a Newcastle number 9 was a good as any from a Newcastle United striker as you’ve seen in many years.
A brace from Salomon Rondon, and a tireless performance from the big man, who dominated all over the pitch, as a sight for sore eyes for the long suffering Newcastle faithful. And showed what a good acquisition the lad could be, even if just on loan for this season.
And whilst a goal from Bournemouth’s Lerma in the 6th minute of first half injury time would set the nerves jangling for the home side and crowd for at least the latter stages of the game, Newcastle ran out deserved winners of this one against the tidy and high flying south coast outfit.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Hayden, 74), Ki, Diame (Atsu, 80), Kenedy (Clark, 78), Perez, Rondon
And there could have been more goal at both ends, with Newcastle in particular wasting a host of opportunities that could have put the game to bed earlier.
Newcastle had started brightly, taking the game to their opponents, and it wouldn’t take long before the breakthrough. Just seven minutes in fact. A lovely move down the right saw Yedlin pull the ball back to Rondon on the six hard line and whilst the keeper did well to parry his first effort he would be powerless to stop the Newcastle number 9 from slotting home the rebound from inside the crowded area. The perfect start for the Magpies.
The impressive Schar would put a header wide form a corner minutes later whilst the Fernandez, probably the pick of the Newcastle players other than Rondon and possibly Kenedy during this one, would mop up as Bournemouth threatened at the other end.
A bizarre injury to Adam Smith on 30 minutes, with the player falling crumpled to the floor during his run up to strike a free kick with no one near him. The resultant significant delay proving important to the away side later in the half.
But before that, a second goal for Newcastle. A wonderful cross field ball from Ki, showing vision on composure, to find Kenedy… A touch out of his feet to control a bouncing ball from the Brazilian before an early whipped cross into the box… A strong run to beat his man to the ball to nod home from Rondon… 2-0. Deadly.
It could well have been 3-0 before half time only for the Bournemouth keeper to make a fantastic reaction save following a Ki free kick the received a flick on from inside the box. Kenedy and Perez also going close when at least one of them should have done better. Whilst Dubravka would also be equal to everything the away side could throw at him until deep into first half stoppage time. Ryan Fraser the provider, finding Lerma who would nod home to make it 2-1 on 45+6 minutes.
There would be no more goals to add to the scoreline, somehow.
Missed attempts from Rondon when put through, Ritchie and Atsu late on would have been no more than Newcastle would have deserved had one of them been converted.
Whilst for Bournemouth a disallowed goal for offside and good chances for Wilson and Fraser, with a mixture of good keeping, brave defending and a bit of luck all coming to the black and whites rescue.
Back to back wins pushed Newcastle, somehow, up to 14th in the table. And whilst only a point or two separates a clutch of teams down at the wrong end, Newcastle United and their fans can go into this International break in much better spirits then in either of the last two with seven points from a possible nine from the last three games.