Newcastle United was able to get three points on the road, even after losing three players to injuries.
Brentford came to play in front of their home crowd in today’s EFL fixture. However, it was Newcastle United who was able to strike first. As he had done 19 times previously this season, Dwight Gayle fired the ball past an opposing goalkeeper. His 20th tally of the season is the most for a Newcastle man since Alan Shearer. Unfortunately, Gayle would come off not long after, due to what appeared to be a knee injury.
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A trend this season for NUFC has been complacency, as was discussed in the keys to the match today. While it may not have been complacency this time, yet again, Newcastle couldn’t hold onto the lead. Lasse Vibe, who proved to be a lot to handle all match, equalized after the half. Isaac Hayden was forced to come off due to injury, and was replaced by Vurnon Anita. Then, Anita was stretchered off, and replaced by Grant Hanley. Hanley would come up big in his shift, multiple times rising up for a key clearance.
Too many times this year, this would end in a frustrating draw, or even worse, a heartbreaking defeat. Today was different. In the 79′, Daryl Murphy, who earlier came on for Dwight Gayle, was able to put the ball home from an Ayoze Perez cross. Perez had both assists in the match, the second being especially beautiful. It was Murphy’s second goal in as many matches. In response, the Bees did what they did most of the match, create chances and force last second stops by the NUFC back line or Karl Darlow. The closest non goal was a chip that bounced off the post, and ever so carefully down the line. Thankfully though, the scoreline held at 2-1.
It was a match that showed, despite their previous failings, that Newcastle United can win with their backs against the wall. They overcame injuries, being equalized, and numerous close chances by Brentford. Now, with Brighton’s loss, they move back up to the top of the table. In nearly equally good news, Jonjo Shelvey has officially completed his misconduct ban. The creative midfielder’s presence has been missed more than most expected, or hoped. He will be available for selection in this week’s FA Cup replay against Birmingham City.