Wednesday night ended Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4.
Newcastle United pressing high and forcing a mistake for the opening goal after five minutes, in control from that moment and added another three.
It took Bournemouth 94 minutes to get an effort on target but that goal no consolation whatsoever for a club that are going down.
Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.
This time it is Ben Cooper:
Cherry Oh Baby!
At the start of the season when the guesses were being guessed, if this fixture had thrown up a 13th place versus a second bottom it would have been more plausible to think that both teams were having a poor season. Bournemouth under-achieving in 13th, United struggling at second bottom.
The fact that the teams are the other way around is a huge positive for NUFC. United are at the top end of their achievement whereas Bournemouth have completely fallen apart.
We saw exactly the same thing earlier in the season at SJP, the Cherries lacking leadership, backbone and having no one prepared to do the hard graft while United lacked quality but not resilience, effort or fight.
Bournemouth’s only hope now is that three teams are worse than them come the end of the season, I can’t see it after this weeks’ round of games.
In the second half, while they waited to take a free kick, the referee asked for some off-field footballs to be sterilised and I am sure that was Bournemouth’s longest period of possession in the whole game, they were so bad.
For Newcastle, safety has been achieved comfortably and the team can now look forward to ending the season on a high with a bit of fun thrown in. Or jacking it in now. Whichever they would prefer.
There have been a few players bought in the summer by Newcastle’s recruitment army who haven’t really cut it at SJP this season.
ASM has radically improved from his exciting but heedless early outings but apart from him, everyone else had fleetingly contributed without really improving the team. That said, it was encouraging that squad players like Carroll, Lazaro and Bentaleb all contributed on Wednesday and none more so than Emil Krafth.
It has always been the case at SJP that players signed have been given no help by the club after arrival, tales of Andy Cole living in Crook and Albert Luque unable to speak English, holed up in Malmaison, come to mind.
Krafth was a great example of that, looking like he had never played as a wing back before or in a 5-4-1 and asked to do a job that he wasn’t used too. So it was good to see him fit in a back four and look like a defender. Not just for him personally but for the team and the squad, for the last few years United have always been a better team than their players suggest, Championship players making up a Premier League team as they were often called after the return to the top flight two seasons ago. Against Bournemouth Emil Krafth looked like a Premier League player.
Get It On
United’s second, third and fourth goals were actually pretty good. I know all Newcastle goals are good in most respects, but these ones were the result of some well controlled, quick, incisive football.
There was much commentator chat about the “pressure of the position” being a noose around the necks of the Bournemouth players, well likewise, with the pressure off United maybe that is the sort of football they are capable of. I look forward to seeing more of the same over the coming few weeks.
Fit But Don’t You Know It
Was Sean Longstaff fit to play on Wednesday?
Was Isaac Hayden when he came on?
These players are supposed to be struggling with injury and Longstaff is probably out for the season now.
Does the club have so limited resources that they have to play unfit players who risk injuring themselves in games which are already won?
Leading up to this game a lot of the media chat was centred around Steve Bruce’s self-publicity and poor mathematics.
Pundits, commentators and bacon buddies seem to enjoy puzzling over why Toon fans aren’t lavishing Bruce with the praise he deserves while still hankering for days of defensive football and boardroom disharmony.
It would be nice if Steve Bruce accepted that he is getting all of the praise he deserves and doesn’t need to trump up facts and figures to prove a point. Apart from Jose Mourinho, good managers never smugly self-congratulate themselves because they always want to be better. Steve Bruce has done as well as we could have hoped he would. I think most Newcastle fans have accepted that and I hope that Bruce now concentrates on trying to make the team better rather than trying to make himself look better.
Beating Rafa Benitez’s points total should not be the level of Steve Bruce’s ambition, beating Frank Lampard’s points total should.
Pretty In Pink
What is happening to football kits?
Martin Dubravka has made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper, we all notice him, he doesn’t have to wear the sort of kit that Andy Carroll’s lass wears on S’Arenal de San Antonio.
Maybe he saw Man City’s kit on Sunday, thought “I can do better than that” and asked the Sports Direct Dutch Tracksuit Design department to do their worst. They did him proud, they came up with one worth £2.99.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Wednesday 1 July 6pm
Gayle 5 Sean Longstaff 30, Almiron 57, Lazaro 77
Possession was Bournemouth 55% Newcastle 45%
Total shots were Bournemouth 12 Newcastle 12
Shots on target were Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 7
Corners were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 3
Referee: Kevin Friend
Dubravka, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Manquillo (Yedlin 73), Shelvey, Bentaleb, Sean Longstaff (Almiron 33), Joelinton (Hayden 72), Gayle (Carroll 62), Saint-Maximin (Lazaro 62)
Darlow, Schar, Ritchie, Rose
(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 : The match report – Quite what this win proves, I don’t know – Read HERE)
(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)
(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s rout – Read HERE)
(Eddie Howe says Bournemouth brought it on themselves after Newcastle hand out a hammering – Read HERE)
(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Watch official match highlights HERE including all 5 goals)