Newcastle destroy meek Bournemouth
Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle United
Goals from Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Miggy Almiron and Lazaro don't really do justice for the dominance of the Magpies in a totally one sided encounter at the Vitality this evening.
What should have been a battle to the death for the home side turned out to be little more than a training match for Bruce's men.
A comfortable first half from a dominant Newcastle United and an electric Allan Saint-Maximin sent the visitors in 2 up at the break.
A loose pass at the back inside 10 minutes allowed Longstaff to steal, Saint-Maximin to play a simple ball to the unmarked Gayle who did the rest with a driven finish across the face of the disbarring keeper.
If Saint-Maximin’s assist for the fist was beautifully simplistic, his second was just beautiful.
Twisting and turning on the edge of the box he eventually made his way to the byeline before taking on and beating 3 players. A loverly cut-back to the onrushing Sean Longstaff gave the Newcastle youngster the time to drive the ball into the roof of the net for United’s second.
Easy at the break.
The second half gave the watching black and white fans much more of the same. Saint-Maximin once again the provider, this time for Almiron with a lovely finish. The fourth came from Lazaro who also finished well before the same player smashed the underside of the crossbar before Hayden inexplicably missed an open goal.
There would be a typical Newcastle moment at the end, when a hoofed free kick was eventually turned into the Magpies net by ex-Mag Gosling in injury time. But that was that.
4-1. Totally one sided. Newcastle United safe in the Premier League for another season. Job done for Steve Bruce and his men.
The prize for this one, for Newcastle at least, was safety and maybe even a place in the top half of the table.
For Bournemouth, who started in the bottom 3, a victory or even a draw would lift them out of the relegation zone, at least for now. But with just 1 point from a possible 18 available their struggle was something perhaps United were more used to. But the inclusion of Solanke, King and Groeneveld certainly showed intent.
For Bruce, there was an opportunity taken to ring the changes for this game. Stating a number players wouldn’t be risked through tiredness with 4 games in 11 games. A little bit of a surprise then that one of those he’d called out as being fatigued, Allan Saint-Maximin, was to start the game.
In, however, were a good sprinkling of the lesser seen squad. Krafth, Bentaleb, Gayle from the start in particular.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Krafth, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo (Yedlin, 73), S Longstaff (Almiron, 33), Bentaleb, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Lazaro, 61), Gayle (Carroll, 61), Joelinton (Hayden, 73)
And Newcastle were off to a flyer. A mix up at the back with a ball across the back 4 allowing Sean Longstaff to steal the ball off Lerma and into the path of Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman fed Gayle who composed himself before firing past Ramsdale. A goalscorer’s finish and just the way to get his horror miss in the Cup against City out of his system. His second of the season. Saint-Maximin’s 5th assist.
From there there game evened out a little. Newcastle playing with some freedom and seemingly without nerves, Bournemouth looking like their main threat may come from a set piece.
Just before the half hour it was two. Saint-Maximin again the creator, brilliantly beating three men on the byeline before cutting back to Sean Longstaff to slam into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Outstanding from the Frenchman.
For Longstaff that was his last action of the game, having to come off with what looked like a hamstring on 33 minutes.
As the half moved on the Magpies started to take a firm grip of the game and Newcastle hardly looked like they’d made it out of second gear. Yep. That's not a misprint.
Bournemouth couldn’t be as bad as in the first half surely, and they almost got of the perfect start to the second period when Solanke’s ball ended up with Joshua King who slotted home, only to turn and see the offside flag.
The home side certainly looked brighter in the early stages of the second half. The third goal certainly seemed, as they always are, massive.
And it was the Frenchman who against almost provided the spark for United, this time a neat turn of pace and a trick to give him a yard to sting the palms of Ramsdale from distance.
Another surging run from ASM on 54 minutes almost had Almiron in. Picking the ball up on the edge of his own box he ran the length of the pitch before feeding his teammate who, but for a bit of luck and the defending closing his legs in time, would have been clean through.
Neither player were going to be denied however. And moments later the same combination, although from a much more straight forward square ball from Saint-Maximin, provided the 3rd. Almiron’s finish was superb however. Pushing the ball once out of his feet, twice past the defender and then a lovely finish into the top right hand corner.
Brooks would offer something going forward for Bournemouth at least. His dipping ranged hit skimming the top of the crossbar.
But Newcastle weren’t done yet. After a raft of subs, Lazaro was next up. Shelvey this time the provider with a slide rule pass setting Lazaro free to fire home for United’s fourth.
And moments later it could, and should, have been five. Lazaro again the chief protagonist with a wonderful hit that smashed off the underside of the bar and bounced back into the path of fellow sub Hayden. But the Englishman, with time and just six yards out in front of an open goal, somehow fired over and wide. A quite crazy miss.
Dan Gosling would get one back in injury time, but that really meant nothing now in the grand scheme of things.
For Newcastle it is job done. 42 points will be enough to easily see United safe this season. A huge congratulations to Steve Bruce and his men who played without fear tonight.
5 seasons in the Premier League for Bournemouth certainly seems in jeopardy for the Cherries after this one.