It finished Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 on Monday night.
A very decent all round team performance brought home the three points and sent Rafa’s team to the heady heights of 13th.
Three wins in a row must have now produced a buoyant dressing room ahead of another five matches before Christmas, where Newcastle look capable of getting points from.
General expectations were of a very cagey game whereby both managers would look for a clean sheet first and foremost.
However, it turned out quite the opposite, with Rafa having his team pressing high and helping to create an end to end entertaining match.
Early goals obviously help in that respect and Newcastle scoring after only four minutes lit the fuse and changed the dynamic of the game at least to a certain extent.
Federico Fernandez seeing his shot deflected off Mee and beyond Joe Hart, TV pictures maybe showing that his shot was maybe just missing before hitting the Burnley defender.
Rather than sitting back, Rafa had his team continuing to press and with Ki once again the main man and Diame showing signs of his February April form, the midfield pair didn’t allow their opponents a chance to settle.
Newcastle’s enterprise produced a number of first half corners and after working a short one (corner), Matt Ritchie produced an excellent cross and Ciaran Clark’s glancing header gave Hart zero chance, right in the bottom corner.
Captain for the night, Clark then played a part in allowing Burnley back into the match, a hopeful long ball was met with a towering Vokes header, Clark not putting in the best of challenges and Dubravka maybe a yard or two too far off his line. Credit to the striker as well though as it was a great header.
Newcastle came out in the second half with no intention of sitting back and should have put the game away, Matt Ritchie somehow missing an open goal from a yard out after Yedlin’s perseverance created the chance. Looking back on TV, Yedlin was tripped as he played the ball and should have had the penalty once Ritchie somehow blazed wide.
Then after Joselu was introduced, a clever Ayoze Perez pass put him one on one and nothing wrong with the connection but the former Stoke reserve hit the post rather than the back of the net.
It could have been 4-1 but just as easily Newcastle could have lost it in the final stages. Burnley at last managed to press and a couple more chances fell to Vokes, the final act seeing him head over with the goal gaping, the ball maybe just an inch or two too high.
Newcastle were definitely the better team and deserved the three points but once again the margins are small, with no victories coming by the easy route.
A cold November night in Burnley, these are the kind of matches where a win can help give a strong foundation for the season ahead.
Great support as well from the travelling fans, whilst when the opposition can’t sell out such a small (just over 20,000) stadium, it shows the chasm in terms of size of the two clubs, at least in terms of the fanbase.
Nice to see that gap replicated on the pitch as well tonight, though as I said above, failing to take those glorious second half chances, left Newcastle open to a late sucker punch.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Burnley 1 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Fernandez (Mee own goal?) 4, Clark 23
Burnley: Vokes 40
Possession was Burnley 56% Newcastle 44%
Total shots were Burnley 14 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were Burnley 4 Newcastle 3
Corners were Burnley 5 Newcastle 5
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Rondon (Joselu 71), Perez
Woodman, Manquillo, Shelvey, Murphy, Atsu
Crowd: 20,628 (Newcastle 2,400)
(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)