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Newcastle United faced off against Burnley in a match where the primary objective was to secure a hard-fought victory, quite a contrast from their high-scoring spectacle against Sheffield United. Despite struggling to find their groove and donning cumbersome kits, the Magpies managed to clinch a 2-0 win, with Alexander Isak netting a crucial late goal to seal the deal.
This victory marked Newcastle’s third consecutive win in the league, a significant turnaround after enduring three straight defeats at the beginning of the season. It provided them with much-needed stability following a shaky start to their campaign. Notably, those initial three losses came against top-tier opponents. Furthermore, this win extended their impressive defensive record, as they secured their fifth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions, even though Burnley’s offensive prowess failed to pose much of a threat.
Newcastle commenced the match at a somewhat lethargic pace, reminiscent of their performance against Sheffield the previous Sunday. However, they could afford to be less dynamic given that their opponents failed to capitalize on their sluggish start.
Both Sheffield and Burnley had their fair share of missed opportunities. Swiss striker Zeki Amdouni squandered a clear-cut chance for Burnley, firing directly at Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Nick Pope, just four minutes into the game.
Vincent Kompany, Burnley’s manager, commented on his team’s performance, stating, “We had a promising start. I can’t fault the overall performance. Success in matches like these requires a bit of luck and the ability to seize key moments, and, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”
Despite the prevailing opinion that Burnley adopts an attacking style of play, their Achilles’ heel lies in their inability to find the back of the net. They currently hold the unfortunate record of the fewest goals scored in the Premier League, with just four goals from six games. Possessing the ball and orchestrating intricate passing sequences may earn admiration in training, but they count for naught when it matters on matchday.
Conversely, Newcastle showcased the significance of clinical finishing when Miguel Almiron unleashed a spectacular 25-yard curler into the top corner against the run of play, propelling the Magpies into the lead.
Burnley’s Aaron Ramsey hesitated in midfield, providing an opportunity for Kieran Trippier to dispossess him and set up Almiron’s stunning strike.
Despite their early goal, Newcastle couldn’t put the game to bed in the first half. Alexander Isak missed a golden opportunity when he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and James Trafford made crucial saves to keep Burnley’s hopes alive.
Isak eventually sealed the win in the 76th minute, calmly converting a penalty after Ameen Al-Dakhil fouled Anthony Gordon. This goal alleviated the tension at St. James’ Park, although it should have been secured much earlier.
Manager Eddie Howe acknowledged the challenging nature of the match, remarking, “There’s no such thing as an ordinary win. It was a tough game. We were aware that we needed to perform at our best because they employ an open style of play. However, this style can be perilous if not executed perfectly in terms of pressing. We had to execute our game plan effectively, and I believe we did just that.”
As for Burnley, they find themselves in a precarious position, hovering just above the bottom of the league table, a situation they must remedy by improving their goal-scoring record to ascend in the standings.