Both teams have had underwhelming starts to the season, and prior to kick-off many predicted a close encounter at Turf Moor. Each side squandered good chances throughout the match, but it was Newcastle who prevailed, sealing a very welcome three points and ending a torrid run of form on Monday nights.
Newcastle were quick out of the races, going ahead after just 4 minutes. Federico Fernandez looked to strike the ball through Burnley’s congested penalty area, and his speculative effort took a heavy deflection off Ben Mee, leaving Joe Hart clutching at thin air and giving Newcastle a 1-0 lead.
This 1-0 lead was then doubled on 23 minutes. After a short corner routine gave Matt Ritchie time to pick out the perfect ball he did just that, with a curling cross that found Ciaran Clark’s head. He cushioned the ball goalward, directing the ball into the bottom left corner to extend Newcastle’s lead.
As is characteristic of Newcastle this season, they began to make things difficult for themselves before the first half was finished. Ben Mee looked to atone for his earlier error, and having stepped just inside Newcastle’s half, he played a superb ball towards Sam Vokes. Vokes met the ball on the edge of the penalty area, catching Dubravka off his line with a looping header and giving Burnley a foothold from which to mount a comeback.
Burnley began to look for an equaliser, and Dubravka had to make a strong save to keep out a fiercely hit volley from Chris Wood before half time. Newcastle went in winning 2-1 at the break, undoubtedly frustrated at conceding an avoidable goal and hoping to maintain their slight advantage.
In the second half, Matt Ritchie produced a real contender for howler of the season. A ball across the box from Yedlin had been helped on by Joe Hart and found Ritchie a mere two yards from the open net. You can’t blame the Newcastle fans for having started celebrating before Ritchie had even met the ball, but he inexplicably fired wide, spurning a great chance to seal the game for Newcastle.
Yedlin soon had to be on hand to make a sliding block on a Chris Wood shot from close range, preserving Newcastle’s slender lead. Burnley looked like they might steal a point at this stage, despite another golden chance falling to a Newcastle. Joselu found himself one on one with Hart and sent a low drilling effort towards the bottom corner that, on another day, might have bounced in off the post, but instead cannoned back into play.
However, these missed chances didn’t come back to haunt Newcastle. For all of Burnley’s efforts they couldn’t find a leveller, and at full time Newcastle claimed a 2-1 victory. The travelling fans were justifiably delighted with a win that moves them up to 13th, and after 3 consecutive wins, things might just be looking up for Newcastle United.