Paul Merson predicted Newcastle would lose to Watford.

Newcastle won 1-0.

Paul Merson predicted a comfortable 2-0 victory for Bournemouth at St James Park.

Newcastle won 2-1.

Paul Merson was covering the game for Sky Sports this afternoon and two Newcastle players stood out for him.

Salomon Rondon with his two goals, the second one especially impressing Merson, ‘a phenomenal header’ he reckons.

However, he thinks that even better than the number nine loan striker, was Martin Dubravka.

The keeper once again outstanding and worthy or Paul Merson’s praise and the three points.

The Sky Sports pundit also praising Rafa’s and his team’s game management in seeing the win out.

Jeff Stelling and Paul Merson on Sky Sports:

Jeff Stelling:

“Newcastle beating Bournemouth 2-1, was this a better performance than the one against Watford last week?”

Paul Merson:

“I didn’t see the Watford one but all I could hear was Charlie Nicholas keep on going ‘Watford should have scored’, ‘Watford should have scored’…

“I thought it was better (today), their game management. especially towards the end when 2-1 up, was very good.

“Bournemouth gave what they had but I thought they ran out of ideas towards the end.

“But it was a real good game.

“Rondon got two good goals, especially the second one, a header – a phenomenal header. Comes in from Kenedy and a proper number nine header.

“They did well but again the goalie (Dubravka) was outstanding, I think he was last week as well, made some great saves.

“They looked like they were cruising and should have gone three up.

“Wilson deflected header and a worldie save (by his own keeper) then go up the other end and made it 2-1 – then it was a bit nervy.

“Last ten or fifteen minutes though, I thought their game management was very good.”

Jeff Stelling:

“If they keep Rondon fit can he be the difference in them staying up?”

Paul Merson:

“I think 100% and I say that because longer the game went on, even though you say he’s not fit, he holds the ball up, he’s a presence.

“He was always lively and could have had a hat-trick, great save by Begovic.

“Gosling scores (after Dubravka save), would you give offside? Yes, just. But great save by Dubravka (from the original shot)

“Dubravka was outstanding and he was the one who probably got them the points.

“Back to back wins when you are in the bottom half is big stuff.

“Bournemouth will be kicking themselves because they would have gone up there thinking they should get something.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Bournemouth 1

Goal:

Newcastle : Rondon 7, 40

Bournemouth: Lerma 45+6

Possession was Bournemouth 61% Newcastle 39%

Total shots were  Bournemouth 14 Newcastle 18

Shots on target were Bournemouth 4 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Bournemouth 10 Newcastle 7

Referee: Lee Probert

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Hayden 74), Diame (Atsu 80), Ki , Kenedy (Clark 78), Rondon, Perez

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Joselu, Manquillo, Longstaff

Crowd: 49,266 (Bournemouth approx 600)

(Alan Shearer pre-match comment and post-match celebration comments HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to beating Bournemouth HERE)