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Mark Lawrenson thinks West Ham was a one-off for Newcastle United

12 months ago

Heading into November, Newcastle United were on a dismal run of one win in their last eight games.

Added to which, the team looked incapable of creating regular chances never mind regularly scoring goals.

With only two goals in over nine hours of football and not having a single corner or effort on goal in their last two away games, the omens weren’t great for the game at the London Stadium.

For 51 minutes though Newcastle confounded their critics, creating chance after chance and scoring three goals, before Steve Bruce went negative again and had his team defending deep yet again to try and see out the game safely. The ploy almost backfiring as the home team were invited to attack and scored twice.

The big question is, was last Saturday a one-off and down to simply facing a team and especially defence that were very poor on the day, or a sign of better to come?

Mark Lawrenson is in no doubt.

He says: ‘The Magpies played well when they beat West Ham but I don’t see them building on that result.’

Despite Bournemouth only scoring once in the last four games, the BBC Sport pundit says he would ‘always back them to score’ in the Premier League. Adding that he couldn’t say the same for Newcastle.

A look at the stats shows that in the 87 games since Newcastle were promoted in 2017, the Magpies have scored 90 goals compared to 115 for Bournemouth in the same period.

It was a strange game in many ways as despite creating a good half a dozen very decent chances in open play, Newcastle couldn’t score from any of them. Yet despite not having scored a single set-piece goal this season previously, NUFC scored with all three where they really threatened.

Mark Lawrenson goes for a 2-0 away win to Bournemouth and it is now down to the Newcastle players to prove that the West Ham game was more than just a token entertaining game of chances and goals.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Bournemouth got a really good result against Manchester United last weekend, and I have them down as quite a streaky team.

“In that they tend to have bursts of good form.

“The Cherries have also kept three clean sheets in a row now, which is important for them because I would always back them to score.

“The same cannot be said for Newcastle.

“The Magpies played well when they beat West Ham.

“But I don’t see them building on that result.

“Prediction is Newcastle 0 Bournemouth 2.”


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