The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW32): Bournemouth 1-4 Newcastle
Sporting their Wolves-esque kit for the game, Newcastle United travel to the South Coast looking to bounce back from their FA Cup knockout to Manchester City. Bournemouth are looking to get a positive result in this fixture, and with their fixture list looking incredibly difficult after this fixture, this is a must-win game for Eddie Howe’s team. Without main striker Callum Wilson due to suspension, Dominic Solanke gets a rare start for the Cherries. Newcastle also make a sweep of changes with Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden, Miguel Almirón, and Danny Rose all making way in Steve Bruce’s much changed side.
The Toon took advantage of Bournemouth’s poor form, and in the opening minutes when Lerma’s mistake allowed Allan Saint-Maximin to feed a delightful through ball for Dwight Gayle who slotted away his second goal in two games. Newcastle remained in the ascendancy and Bournemouth struggled to get a foot in the match at all. Bournemouth had given a start to Dominic Solanke, and the former Liverpool striker had their best opportunity when they recovered a corner, for the Englishman to blaze over the goal.
Things got even worse for Bournemouth, and again it was Allan Saint-Maximin making the difference. The French winger forced Adam Smith into a standoff, and then bamboozled the defender and weaved his way into the box, delivering a low cross which found Sean Longstaff who buried the ball into the back of the net with a shot the hit the roof of the net. Newcastle’s lead was thoroughly deserved, with Saint-Maximin unplayable. Sean Longstaff’s game was over as he pulled up, allowing for Miguel Almirón to enter the match. Longstaff was brilliant up until his departure, and with Almirón on the pitch things looked like they were only going to get worse for Bournemouth.
Newcastle dominated possession in the first half, and they stretched Bournemouth every time they had the ball. The formation and refresh of players really brought Newcastle to life, and it was asking serious questions about Bournemouth who didn’t show any signs of fight in them.
The second half didn’t really change anything, with the first opportunity after the break falling to a shot from just outside the box from Saint-Maximin which forced a good save from Ramsdale. It didn’t stop there, in the 58th minute Miguel Almirón found himself on the scoresheet after a quick Toon break, and his finish was into the top left corner, a really good goal from a player who has now found their feet in the league. And, the man to set it up? You guessed it…Allan Saint-Maximin. Newcastle were really enjoying themselves.
The subs that both teams made also didn’t stop the one-way traffic, with Valentino Lazaro who replaced Saint-Maximin, netting his first Premier League goal after a swift counterattack. Jonjo Shelvey played in a tight through ball with Lazaro on the receiving end, and it was a lobbed finish Mo Salah would be proud of. Andy Carroll again looked productive and up for the first with his hold up play exceptional. Bournemouth are being absolutely humiliated against a team who has the lowest average possession per league game this season. All over the pitch Newcastle were still not letting up, they smelt blood and they were absolutely going for a landmark victory.
A slick passing move from Newcastle in extra time could have added a fifth, with Andy Carroll’s thunderous left footed strike being saved by Ramsdale. There was a bright, but ultimately redundant moment in the 95th minute, when former Newcastle player Dan Gosling picked up a consolation goal for the Cherries after a set pieces saw Ake head down to a pouncing Gosling. Newcastle will be disappointed they switched off and ruined a clean sheet, but it shouldn’t take away from the brilliant Newcastle performance on the day.
Bournemouth took a beating from an excellent Newcastle. This looks like it was the exclamation point on the reality of Bournemouth’s Premier League run coming to an underwhelming end.
Assists: Nathan Ake
Goals: Gayle (1), Longstaff (1), Almirón (1), Lazaro (1)
Assists: Saint Maximin (3), Shelvey (1)
Man of the Match: Allan Saint-Maximin (NEW)
Steve Bruce made wholesale changes after the FA Cup loss to Manchester City, but he was wise enough to keep his most influential player in the starting eleven…Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman’s quality was just too much for Bournemouth, and every time he got wide Bournemouth couldn’t live with him. The Frenchman had a hand in both of Newcastle’s two goals in the first half, assisting both goals. The first a timed through ball for Gayle, and the second a weaving run through the lacklustre Bournemouth defence, and a perfect cross for Longstaff. Saint-Maximin is a joy to watch, and he also didn’t need Miguel Almirón to help him either.
Saint-Maximin also picks up a rare record as only the third Newcastle player to create three goals in a Premier League goal. He shares the record with Andy Cole and Moussa Sissoko.
BOU 1-4 NEW - Insight and Analysis:
Going into this match I thought ‘It is Newcastle, it will probably be a tight game’…and how wrong I was. This was Steve Bruce’s best performance as a Newcastle manager, with a progressive team shape dominating possession and the lions share of chances. They were doing their best Liverpool impression today by running the show, counter pressing, and having four superb finishes to kill off the game. The partnership between Fernandez and Lascelles as the back is a quality pairing, and they are starting to get the best out of Almirón and Saint-Maximin. If the takeover is to happen, Newcastle already have lots of quality players to already rely on, with key additions taking the team to the next level.
Bournemouth, oh Bournemouth. What happened to you? I used to love watching their freestyle play, and positive football. They could fight or scrap for a result, or blitz teams away. Their players body language today was that of defeat, and with their relegation race only getting tougher hereon out, I believe unless it is a sudden and quick transition to get results, Bournemouth’s tenure in the Premier League is coming to an end. It would be a real shame, and a blow to progressive football, and this now casts doubt on whether Eddie Howe can make it at a higher level. The recruitment has been hit and miss, and players appear uninterested. I hope they stay up; I just can’t see it happening.
Venue: Vitality Stadium
Manager: Eddie Howe
GK: Aaron Ramsdale
LB: Lloyd Kelly
CB: Simon Cook (Mepham 80')
CB: Nathan Ake
RB: Adam Smith
LM: Arnaut Danjuma (Stanislas 62')
CM: Craig Billing (L. Cook 45')
CM: Jefferson Lerma (Gosling 75')
RM: David Brooks (H. Wilson 62')
ST: Joshua King
ST: Dominic Solanke
Artur Boruc, Harry Wilson, Diego Rico, Mepham, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook, Junior Stanislas, Surridge
Manager: Steve Bruce
GK: Martin Dubravka
LB: Javier Manquillo (Yedlin 72')
CB: Federico Fernandez
CB: Jamaal Lascelles
RB: Emil Krafth
CM: Nabil Bentaleb
CM: Jonjo Shelvey
CAM: Sean Longstaff (Almirón, 33’)
RW: Joelinton (Hayden 72')
LW: Allan Saint-Maximin (Lazaro, 61’)
ST: Dwight Gayle (Carroll 62')
K. Darlow, F. Schär, A. Carroll, M. Ritchie, I. Hayden, D. Yedlin, V. Lazaro, M. Almirón, D. Rose
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