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Steve Bruce reflects on hammering Bournemouth: Saint-Maximin, injuries and the best football so far

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce could look back on pretty much a perfect night.

Newcastle United pressing high from the first minute and a really poor looking Bournemouth obliged, Lerma giving away possession on the edge of his own box in the fifth minute and Gayle producing an excellent finish.

That was game over really, Newcastle ruthlessly punishing a team who already look resigned to relegation.

Allan Saint-Maximin was at the heart of this demolition.

Providing the pass for Gayle, he then made it a hat-trick of assists when setting up Longstaff and Almiron, although the Paraguayan had to do plenty himself when running across the last man and providing a very classy right foot finish.

Talking about the man of the match, Steve Bruce said: ‘Saint-Maximin is a joy to watch at the moment and he was a constant threat. He played very, very well and he is providing that end product which we need. He has wonderful talent…’

It was a very good team performance as well though, just a shame that Sean Longstaff was forced off with what looked a hamstring problem shortly after scoring the second.

The midfielder had been key to United finishing this contest off so early, employed in an advanced role he chased down Bournemouth in deep positions and the hosts were unable to play it out from the back as they like to do.

It was very reminiscent of the cup replay at Oxford, Longstaff used in a similar role, the midfielder scoring as Newcastle went two up inside 30 minutes and missed other chances to really kill the game off totally.

Bournemouth looked like a team who had won only two of their last 14 Premier League matches and picked up only a point from their last six PL games.

As for Newcastle, they looked like a team capable of dominating and punishing poor sides with a high press, which does make you wonder why the same kind of tactics weren’t used on equally bad teams, such as Aston Villa only a week earlier at St James Park.

Steve Bruce:

“Some of the football we played was arguably the best since I have been at the club.

“Fair play to the players, the ones that came in brought a freshness to us, that energy.

“I was delighted with how we played, except for how things ended [Bournemouth consolation goal], but I will forgive them for that!

“Saint-Maximin is a joy to watch at the moment and he was a constant threat.

“He played very, very well and he is providing that end product which we need.

“He has wonderful talent…

“Every time I go to a ground and people haven’t seen him play, they always say what a talent he is.

“He can only get better.

“I felt we had lost that cutting edge, creating an opportunity to try to win a match.

“We enjoyed playing, that was pretty evident.

“There was a certain cutting edge to them, long may it continue.”

Injuries:

“We have got a few, although I will not quite know how bad for a little while.

“Sean [Longstaff] has got a hamstring that brought him off, which is a blow, because I thought it was as good as I have seen him look.

“We have got one or two others, Manquillo has got a bit of a strain.

“But I won’t really know for the next 24, 48 hours.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Wednesday 1 July 6pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Gayle 5 Sean Longstaff 30, Almiron 57, Lazaro 77

Bournemouth:

Gosling 90+4

Possession was Bournemouth 55% Newcastle 45%

Total shots were Bournemouth 12 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 7

Corners were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 3

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Manquillo (Yedlin 73), Shelvey, Bentaleb, Sean Longstaff (Almiron 33), Joelinton (Hayden 72), Gayle (Carroll 62), Saint-Maximin (Lazaro 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Ritchie, Rose

Crowd: 00,000

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 : The match report – Quite what this win proves, I don’t know – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s rout – Read HERE)

(Eddie Howe says Bournemouth brought it on themselves after Newcastle hand out a hammering – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Watch official match highlights HERE including all 5 goals)

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