Accomplished performance extends improved run of form
Newcastle United extended their unbeaten run to six games and further increased their chances of Premier League survival with a 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
Eddie Howe was again without the services of playmaker Allan Saint-Maximin due to a calf injury and chose to name the same 11 that deservedly earned a 1-1 draw at West Ham United last time out.
After a fairly uneventful opening period the game swung in the favour of the Magpies in the 11th minute when Brentford’s Josh Dasilva was sent off for a poor challenge on Matt Targett. By the end of the first half Newcastle had managed to make their numerical advantage count.
Just after the half-hour mark the in-form Ryan Fraser crossed for Joelinton who headed past Raya to give the visitors the lead and the Brazilian sprinted away to celebrate with the Toon Army. On the stroke of half-time Newcastle doubled their lead when Brentford pushed everyone forward for a set piece, only for Schar to catch them with a devastating counter-attack, culminating in a square pass for Willock to score for the sconed game in a row.
With their man advantage, Edie Howe’s side were able to negotiate the second half with relative ease and the highlight of the half came when Brentford introduced Christian Eriksen from the substitute’s bench. The Dane received a warm welcome from all in the ground on his first competitive appearance since suffering cardiac arrest while playing for his country last year.
It looks like Brentford will need Eriksen to inspire them in the run towards the end of the season as they have now gone 8 matches without a win while Newcastle continue to go in the opposite direction.
The Magpies have soared up to 14th place in the table, a point above Brentford and 4 clear of the relegation zone.