Newcastle United wasted a great chance to push up the table and enter the festive period looking up the table after a 1-0 loss to a poor Burnley side.
In a pretty dire game, which could best be described as hoof ball, a 58th minute back post Chris Wood header from a corner would be the difference between the two sides.
In truth neither side showed much going forward and Bruce will be disappointed with United’ continued complete lack of cutting edge up front.
United had started the game without a number of key men. Clark joined Lascelles on the treatment table from the back line whilst more tellingly there would be no place for any of Shelvey, Almiron or Saint-Maximin who were also out injured, the latter rumoured to be out for around 6 weeks and will miss the entire festive and New Year fixture list.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Willems (Gayle, 71), S Longstaff, Hayden, Atsu (Muto, 79), Joelinton, Carroll
The first half was a non-event. Like two old-timer heavyweights well passed their prime slogging their way through the early rounds. Neither landing so much as a punch but plenty of shoving and holding.
The closest either side came would be an Andy Carroll header wide from a great cross from the Newcastle right.
For once Newcastle weren’t being played off the park at least. Mainly because both sides didn’t really fancy playing the sort of football you see from most teams in the Premier League this season. Long balls from both ends kept things pretty even in terms of chances and possession. But when Burnley got the chance to put in a cross from a corner just before the hour it was Burnley’s own big man up front, Chris Wood, who headed in at the far post following a brilliant delivery from Ashley Westwood.
A tremendous save from Dubravka to deny Cork on 70 minutes at least gave Newcastle hope that a single goal would rescue something form the game.
A decent effort from Joelinton with twenty minutes to go gave the travelling fans at least something to be encouraged about. That was immediately followed by a change of personnel and formation with Willems replaced by Gayle.
With just under ten minutes left there was a huge chance for Newcastle to equalise. What looked like a push from Joelinton on a defender gave him the opportunity to put in a great cross to the onrushing Gayle who could only put the ball wide at the front post. A fantastic opportunity wasted.
Newcastle stay 11th with he chasing pack all closing up behind with not just Burnley grabbing 3 points but also Bournemouth, surprisingly, winning at Chelsea.
A win today would have lifted the Magpies to 6th.