Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Eddie Howe and the boys up to 14th in the Premier League!
Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 26 February 3pm
A game that started off pretty even for the first ten minutes.
Then a big moment, Murphy laying the ball back to the edge of the box and when it was deflected out of the path of Shelvey, Targett went for the loose ball.
Josh Dasilva raced out of the Brentford box and stretched beyond the ball, catching Targett, however, referee Mike Dean awarding the free-kick to Brentford.
What’s this though…VAR sending Mike Dean to look at his pitchside monitor and a red card for Dasilva!
The correct decision, whilst the Brentford man probably didn’t mean it, this was a really reckless challenge with Dasilva catching Targett on the shin, well away from the ball.
It took maybe 15 minutes for Newcastle to settle a bit and start to use the extra man a little better, the best route for a goal seeming to be the supply route down the left with Fraser and Targett working in tandem.
A quick break after winning possession on 25 minutes, an excellent Fraser cross, Chris Wood free header around eight yards or so out, should have scored but close enough for the keeper to make a decent save. Should have been left with no chance though really.
A clever ball from Willock then played Targett in on 31 minutes and he fired it across from the left side, keeper Raya doing well then to prevent it going across to Wood.
Only a minute to wait though.
Ryan Fraser time to put another great cross in from the left, beyond Wood but Joelinton racing in, leaping like the proverbial Salmon and bulletin the header back across Raya and into the bottom corner from around ten yards out. The Brazilian running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the travelling Newcastle fans, Joelinton’s second goal of the season, both against Brentford!
Half-time approaching, Newcastle give Brentford a glimmer of hope with a corner.
Corner wasted though and Newcastle clear the ball up the pitch, Fabian Schar the furthest man forward, one on one. Holds the ball up and a clever ball played left footed to Joe Willock, making no mistake, smashing it past Raya into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. Two games two goals for Willock, after nothing in the first six months of the season.
The stats at the break summing up that opening 45 as the visitors got into their stride, Newcastle 14 v 0 when it came to shots and 8 v 0 for efforts on target.
The second half then starting as the first finished, Newcastle pressing and Brentford very short of inspiration.
That leading to an emotional moment only six minutes after the break, Christian Eriksen introduced from the bench for his first competitive football since that horrific moment in the Euros last summer.
Newcastle taking the foot off the pedal a bit and on 58 minutes Norgaard allowed time and space to give a warning, his shot from outside the box just clearing Dubravka’s bar.
Thomas Frank then really going for it, with Ivan Toney introduced as well. His substitution swiftly followed by Bruno Guimaraes given half an hour, following three very brief previous cameos.
Joelinton doing well on the left and initiating a move where Wood and Fraser combined to put in Targett and the left-back producing a very good one handed save from Raya.
Brentford looking to rely on the odd set-piece and long throw to try and find a way back into the game.
Watching Bruno Guimaraes was very pleasing on the eye, his movement and smooth passing maybe on a slightly different wavelength to some of his teammates…
A shot from Bruno on 84 minutes a few yards wide from outside the box, then seconds later a great ball releasing Fraser through the middle and only a foul stopping the Scotland international. Shelvey firing the free-kick direct at Raya who palmed it away.
Maybe not what you would call a classic performance in terms of the quality of the football but United doing more than enough to win this comfortably. What I really like about the way Eddie Howe has his defence playing, is that as usual, today it was great to see such focus and commitment to make sure they got there first when Brentford did even marginally threaten.
Some sloppy defending two minutes into added time seeing Martin Dubravka have to make his first save, turning the shot over the bar.
The final whistle seeing Newcastle United up to the heady heights of fourteenth, a point now above Brentford with two games in hand.
Four wins in the last five PL games for Newcastle, seven undefeated. Whilst for Brentford, one point from their last eight games and now worried glances below them.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Brentford 0 Newcastle 2 – Saturday 26 February 3pm
(Half-time stats in brackets)
Red card Dasilva (11)
Joelinton 33, Willock 44
Possession was Brentford 37% (35%) Newcastle 63% (65%)
Total shots were Brentford 6 (0) Newcastle 26 (14)
Shots on target were Brentford 1 (0) Newcastle 11 (8)
Corners were Brentford 6 (3) Newcastle 6 (3)
Referee: Mike Dean
Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Willock (Lascelles 83), Shelvey, Joelinton, Fraser (Almiron 90), Murphy (Guimaraes 64), Wood
Darlow, Dummett, Fernandez, Manquillo, Gayle, Longstaff
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