Jamaal Lascelles had been the man of the moment heading into Saturday’s match.
With each game this season the Newcastle defender had looked better and better as both a player and captain in the Premier League.
Lascelles attracting praise from all quarters, which then led to more than a little surprise when he wasn’t considered for the England squad despite Gareth Southgate giving more of a chance to young players.
Southgate preferring to select the likes of Joe Gomez, despite Liverpool’s defending being ‘disappointing’ to say the least.
Alan Shearer even rocked up to the Newcastle training ground this week, to record a special interview with Jamaal Lascelles for the Premier League show, which will be broadcast this coming week.
So naturally, everything had to go wrong for the Newcastle captain against Bournemouth!
The game started well with Newcastle dominating and pressurising Bournemouth, Rafa’s team deserved to be at least a goal or two up and were denied an opening goal after a quarter of an hour when Dwight Gayle was wrongly flagged for offside.
The visitors had managed the odd break but were still second best.
Then on 36 minutes Jamaal Lascelles picked up an injury and was treated on the pitch, getting to his feet it looked like there was no way he could carry on, but eventually managed to come back on, although in the meantime Newcastle were forced to defend a corner without him.
Bournemouth started the better after the break but maybe it was the 55th minute when the game really turned.
The United skipper going in for another challenge but this time unable to carry on, you can only assume aggravating the injury picked up in the first half.
Certainly after his departure there appeared to be very little leadership on the pitch and it became a very ragged performance, nobody getting hold of the game or getting their teammates pulling together.
The fact it was a towering header from an injury time corner that won the game, only rubbed it in further.
Jamaal Lascelles having done the same when Newcastle beat both Swansea and Stoke, plus the fact if he had been on the pitch he may have prevented Cook’s winner.
After the game, Lascelles was seen on crutches wearing a protective boot, worries all round about how long he will be out for.
The player himself giving an update on social media, revealing he will have a scan on Monday on what is believed to be an ankle injury.
That game at Old Trafford and up against Lukaku amongst others, is looming ever larger in 13 days time.
“Disappointing result today..
“Gutted I had to come off the pitch.
“Scan Monday so hopefully not too bad… thanks for the support.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 1
Bournemouth: Cook 90+2
Possession was Bournemouth 52% Newcastle 48%
Total shots were Bournemouth 16 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 4
Corners were Bournemouth 9 Newcastle 11
Referee: Paul Tierney
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 55), Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Hayden, Atsu (Murphy 82), Joselu (Perez 68)
Darlow, Gamez, Mitrovic, Diame
Crowd: 52,237 (Bournemouth 1,600)
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game HERE)
(A worthwhile experiment Rafa Benitez will not be repeating..? Read HERE)