Newcastle United defeated Norwich City at home 2-1 Saturday in a match that was actually somewhat routine by their standards. They came into the match having beaten Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur consecutively, so a letdown against what is honestly a fairly poor Norwich side would have been expected.
Instead, Loic Remy scored in the second minute on a corner, their first such goal in over two years. It was mostly smooth sailing from there. Yoan Gouffran scored later in the half on a beautiful setup from Moussa Sissoko (with a floating, bending cross) and Shola Ameobi (with a strong header to the opposite post), meaning that there was margin for error if and when the play got sloppy in the second half.
Indeed it did, and although Newcastle's boring play (to be fair, exactly what they needed to do) kept Norwich off the scoresheet for quite a while, they broke through in the 79th minute on a Leroy Fer header. While the rest of the match had its tense moments, it was about as comfortable as a 1 goal win gets.
There were lots of solid, if not particularly inspiring, performances from players in black and white shirts, but the three main takeaways in my mind will be: (1) NEWCASTLE FINALLY SCORED FROM A CORNER, (2) they now have a three-match winning streak in Premier League play, and (3) they didn't drop a winnable game just because. That's progress.
West Bromwich Albion is next.