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Backs to the future

Newcastle United 2-1 Bournemouth

Newcastle recorded back to back victories for the first time since April after coming from behind to beat a combative Bournemouth side at St James Park.

The win, following a diving header form Yedlin and a delightful ‘miss-kick’ form Clark send United up to 11th in the table and also break Newcastle’s unwanted record of not scoring more than one at home this season.

Steve Bruce’s men may not have dominated the play in regards of possession (with just 33% of the ball), but their 20 chances is the most they’d created in any game since January, with 9 on target compared to just 3 for Bournemouth.

STARTING XI: Dubravka, Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles (Dummett, 20), Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu, 90), Almiron, Joelinton (Carroll, 83)

It was the visitors who’d start this one the brightest. The warning signs being there well before a well worked, training ground, corner saw Harry Wilson lose is marker in the 6 hard box to finish a brilliantly worked set piece routine.

The game was just 14 minutes old at this point and Bournemouth would consider themselves unlucky not to be further ahead after a sting of chances including one that saw Fraser see Yedlin clear his goal bound effort off the line.

Enter… Saint-Maximin.

To be honest this is a little unfair on a number of others. Almiron (we’ll come onto his miss later) and Joelinton in particular, both playing major parts in this success, even if not in front of goal.

But in the Frenchman United have something special. Mercurial, direct, frantic… qualities that will make him frustrating at times no doubt, but a joy to watch.

And it was his cross that led to the United equaliser with the home side slowly coming into the game. With Bournemouth failing to clear their lines the ball came out to Saint-Maximin who seemed to be firing for the far top corner only the his shot to take a slight deflection. And whilst most stood and watched on both sides DeAndre Yedlin gambled and his firing header at the back post budged the net. For the first time ever at St James Park a VAR check was undertaken. The check for offside proved unfounded and the goal stood. The goal timed at 42 minutes and just what was needed before half time.

It is worth noting that the build up to the goal included a quite sublime cross field pass from Almiron to ASM.Add the relentless working and contribution of Joelinton throughout and today was actually a good day for the front three.

Just after the break United took the lead. Again Bournemouth were their own worst enemies. This time through it was Clark who would capitalise after Fernandez headed into the box allowing his fellow centre half to ‘miss-kick’ past Ramsdale in the Bournemouth goal.

Once again those in black and white were left scratching their heads about quite how Miggy Almiron has yet to register a goal for Newcastle. This weeks miss was from fully 18 yards but with Saint-Maximin having bundled past his man only to find the keepers legs when faced with a 1-on-1 the ball bounced to Almiron. But with the goal gaping and seemingly just the backs of a couple of defenders racing back to avoid, he managed to find his own player, ASM, with his drive with the deflection taking the ball over the bar. Unbelievable!

Saint-Maximin himself would go even closer, but his strike would come thundering back off the bar when he only had the keeper to beat. The Frenchmen perhaps guilty of going for the spectacular when a side foot would have surely seen the scoreline stretched further.

So whilst the front line continue to misfire, their defensive line once more find a way to win the game. At least this time out one of the front three can at least claim a significant contribution.



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