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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Sunday – Burnley 1 Newcastle 2

3 weeks ago
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Sunday afternoon’s match ended Burnley 1 Newcastle 2.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

Burnley totally dominating the first-half but Martin Dubravka keeping the score down to 1-0.

Allan Saint-Maximin then brought on with just over half an hour remaining BUT only needing seven minutes to win the match.

This time it is Billy Miller:

POSITIVES

The Right Starting Line-up And Substitutions

I was relieved to see the starting line-up. If I could have made one amendment it would have been Willock for Shelvey but that was never going to happen. Krafth simply had to be removed having been the weak link in an otherwise excellent performance against Tottenham and Lascelles was an enforced change.

I think five at the back is what we’ll need for every game until Sheffield United, with tweaks in personnel as key players get fitter, so it made sense to stick with it today.

With Wilson just back it would have been risky to have him start and if Saint-Maximin had been in from the beginning I felt Burnley would just kick him about the pitch until he had one of his strops and stopped trying to make an impact or limped off.

Ritchie and Murphy had both been excellent previously and deserved to retain their places, as did Joelinton.

It’s easy to say after the event but I think the starting line-up was pretty much spot on.

Unfortunately, in the first half we looked nothing like the team that played Spurs. Although the formation and personnel were similar, individually the players played nowhere near as well.

I thought Murphy went about his defensive work excellently but rarely pushed forward like he did against Tottenham. He and Ritchie barely crossed the halfway line before the half hour mark. Joelinton was back to his usual level of performance and Almiron wasn’t getting into spaces.

At around thirty minutes in, we began to get overlaps and started to create chances. The changes when they came were precisely the right ones. The shape wasn’t tinkered with, we just brought on much better players into the attacking positions and the game was transformed.

It was sporting of Bruce to voluntarily reduce us to ten men for the last couple of minutes by bringing on Hendrick at his former club.

The Boys Are Back In Toon

As I said, I’m glad they didn’t start but seeing ASM and Wilson jog onto the pitch together must have lifted the heart of every Newcastle fan. It took the maverick Frenchman all of two minutes to jiggle into the box and lay off the ball for Murphy to rifle in the equaliser.

A few minutes later and he was snatching the winner.

Saint-Maximin was the man of the match in the home win and grabbed an assist and a goal that game too. His goal wasn’t dissimilar to the one in the first game. Running from the centre of the pitch with defenders frightened to put a challenge in before placing it in the bottom corner, this time on his left foot. When he’s twisting and turning, he’s like the Tasmanian Devil and nobody can get close to him.

Wilson looked like what he is, a bloke coming back from a lengthy lay off. He didn’t break into a sprint too often and only got the ball a handful of times. Fortunately, we didn’t need him to be flat out today and I’m just glad he got some minutes and didn’t suffer a reoccurrence of his injury. Let’s hope with a week of training he can start against West Ham and try and get his first goal back from injury against the team he got his first Newcastle goal against. Shame ASM’s cut back evaded him before Almiron’s strike was cleared off the line.

Six Points From Danger

With a game in hand and both us and Fulham coming into runs of tricky games, six points is a hefty gap. Fulham put themselves in a great position to catch us and had two chances, two weeks in a row to leapfrog us but couldn’t take either. Not only could they not win either game but they threw away a lead to lose in the last twelve minutes against Villa and then conceded in stoppage time to lose at home to Wolves. Their morale must be rock bottom whilst ours should be buoyant.

It looks like the pressure has really got to Scott Parker’s side. They only lost one game in seven, winning at both Everton and Liverpool, but since that win at Anfield they have lost four in a row. We have only lost one of our last six (although we’ve only won one too), so have picked up points at the right time.

West Ham at home is a winnable game and, if we manage it, I think it would settle the relegation issue for good. Having completed a double against one claret and blue team, we’ll be feeling more confident than ever of repeating the trick. Although, at the time of writing the Irons have just entered the top four.

NEGATIVES

VAR From Correct

I guess it’s one of those that you would disagree with if given against you but would always campaign for when in your favour.

The way I see it, Longstaff is a big bloke and was only stooping slightly so Tarkowski is kicking the ball at around six foot in the air. He’s connected with a combination of the ball and Longstaff’s head.

As the commentator said when it was being assessed, if that happens on the halfway line the foul is given. This was then evidenced when McNeil did a Tarkowski impression (again on Longstaff) outside our area and a free kick was given. It could have been so costly and although it’s not affected us often this season, the inconsistencies of VAR are still so frustrating.

No Fans

I’ve used this one as a positive a couple of times this season. This would have been the perfect away day for fans to have attended though.

A poor first half, going a goal behind would have made unpleasant viewing. The return of two talismanic players would have lifted everyone and then the nature of the turnaround would have guaranteed euphoric celebrations from the travelling support.

The intensity of the last twenty odd minutes with loads of last ditch defending and Dubravka punching and catching a multitude of corners would have meant that the final whistle would have drawn similar celebrations to the goals.

Very Dull Until The Spark

Bruce apparently claimed that against Spurs we played a 3-5-2 with Murphy and Ritchie as out and out wingers.

I do sometimes wonder whether Bruce knows about the invention of the television.

He must think that without fans in the stadiums, none of us can see anything that goes on. Both players were excellent against Spurs and got forward and pressed but they were most definitely wing backs.

Today it was clear again that this was the situation with neither player getting forward much in the first half. Burnley were the dominant side for most of the first half and I’m not sure we would have got back into the game had we not had such pivotal characters to call on from the bench.

That’s neither here nor there though. They are back and we won.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Sunday 11 April 12pm

Goals:

Newcastle:

Murphy 59, Saint-Maximin 64

Burnley:

Vydra 18

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Burnley 57% (49%) Newcastle 43% (51%)

Total shots were Burnley 24 (11)  Newcastle 10 (4)

Shots on target were Burnley 4 (2) Newcastle 5 (1)

Corners were Burnley 13 (1) Newcastle 3 (4)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Sean Longstaff, Almiron (Hendrick 90+30), Gayle (Wilson 57), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 57)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Carroll, Willock, Krafth, Lewis, Manquillo

Crowd: 00,000

(Steve Bruce makes it up as he tells Sky Sports about Newcastle winning run after Burnley – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – A massive relief but a couple of things…Read HERE)

(The Elephant in the room at Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Allan Saint-Maximin gets emotional after MOTM turn around “I give this win to the supporters” – Read HERE)

(Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Sunday’s dramatic win – Read HERE)

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