Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle United
It’s hard not to be disappointed after this one. A game that saw the Magpies enter the last 10 minutes of the game with a 2-0 lead only to end up with a single point.
It could have been so different too had first Perez and then Shelvey taken glorious chances in the second half to make is 3-0, the latter coming just 60 seconds before the first of the two Bournemouth goals.
Rafa had named an unchanged side before this one, only the second time that’s happened this season, and fully justified after an outstanding performance and win against Manchester United last time out.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Manquillo, 84), Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy (Atsu, 64), Perez, Gayle (Hayden, 78)
Newcastle had played the perfect first half. Controlled at the back and clinical up top.
The goal hero for the Magpies would be Gayle, starting once more after news that Slimani would be out for at least a further 2 weeks after aggravating his existing injury in training last week.
His first would be a result of an outstanding pass and cross. The pass was from Shelvey, a ball out in behind the Bournemouth left back so inviting for Ritchie that it was left on a plate for him to whip into the Bournemouth penalty area. And whilst Gayle’s first attempt would be kept out Begovic the ball would land at the feet of the Newcastle striker who, with consummate ease was able to back heal the ball into the open net.
Ahead after just 17 minutes then and things and Newcastle would have a comfortable run to the second goal.
Half chances for Perez and Gayle would be the closest either side would come to anther goal in fact until first half injury time. With the black and whites pushed forward for a corner, not the best of corners, the ball would be recycled to Perez who’s cross should have been gathered by the Bournemouth keeper only for him to inexplicably let the ball run through to Gayle to stab home again and send the travelling fans into delirium.
2-0 then at half time with Newcastle in complete control.
Although Bournemouth did look a little better in the second half it was the visitors who would would come agonisingly close to extending their lead. Not once, but twice. First a deflected shot would fall into the path of Perez who’s toe poke would clear the bar.
Whilst that chance was more than a half one, the next would be excruciating to watch. Another break away from Newcastle allowed Atsu to race into the left side of the box and play a perfect ball across to the onrushing Shelvey. And whilst the our number 8 was being closed down he unbelievably missed the target with an open goal gaping. That’s still no goal and no assist for the Newcastle man this season, although that stat is a little misleading when it comes to his overall performances of late.
And with that missed chance also went, as it turned out, 2 dropped points.