Newcastle United made it three wins in a row after a 2-1 victory away at Burnley on Monday night.
The Magpies had a bleak record playing on a Monday night as well as an unconvincing history against the Clarets, having not won at Turf Moor since the 1970s.
However, it was the Magpies who were the more eager, and the away side’s bright start paid off as they took the lead four minutes in; defender Federico Fernandez’ curling effort deflected off Burnley’s Ben Mee and subsequently looped over Joe Hart and into the back of the net sending the travelling Toon Army into raptures.
Newcastle then doubled their lead midway through the first half, with Ciaran Clark glancing in a header from a Matt Ritchie cross following a corner.
United seemed well in control at this point, with manager Rafa Benitez deploying a 3-5-2 formation in order to deal with Burnley’s physicality up-front. The Clarets’ tactics consisted long balls up to their strikers – Sam Vokes and Chris Wood – while the United back-line were well-equipped to deal with this; even without captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Burnley did find the net however, with Sam Vokes looping a header past the outstretched Martin Dubravka just before half-time to set up a tense second period.
Shortly after the break, United should have made it 3-1 with Matt Ritchie spurning a glorious opportunity where it seemed easier to score. The Scotsman was eager to make amends and was almost too keen, getting in the way of teammate Salomon Rondon when the Venezuelan was eyeing up a volley following neat build up play.
Burnley continued to press, with Chris Wood twice testing Dubravka, however the away side defended heroically; a man-of-the match display from Federico Fernandez, coupled with Clark’s no-nonsense defending as well as Fabian Schar’s composure allowing the Magpies to cope effectively.
Newcastle substitute Joselu then struck the post late on before some more Burnley pressure, which consisted of ‘keeper Joe Hart being sent up for a late set-piece. Newcastle held on to record a third successive victory, which was timely considering how tight it is at the bottom of the table.
The sold-out away end made themselves heard, remaining behind after full-time in praise of their team who now rise to 13th place.
Written by Dawud Arshad
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