Newcastle won their first match since their Second Round EFL Cup tie against Tranmere on August 24th. The Magpies dominated Fulham 4-1 on the road. The team now sits in 7th place with 11 points through Matchday 9—and eight games played.
Here are your Top 3 Magpies from their first game back after the September international break.
In possibly his best game in a Newcastle shirt, Almirón sent the traveling supporters into a frenzy at Craven Cottage in the 33rd minute. Bruno Guimarães lobbed a high through ball up into the 18-yard box that the Paraguayan volleyed into the far corner. One day into the new month, the competition for October’s Premier League Goal of the Month may be over already.
Almirón was far from finished and continued to tear Fulham’s backline apart for the remainder of the afternoon. He completed a brace with a calmly delivered tap-in from a Joe Willock low cross. For all intents and purposes, this goal sealed the game for the Magpies as they were up 4-0 with half an hour remaining.
However, Newcastle fans were cursing the linesman ten minutes later. Almirón was inches offside when he slotted the ball past Leno for the third time. Despite the goal being waved off, Almirón couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as he joked around the referee and his teammates about the flag being raised. If he keeps this form, it is only a matter of time before he gets his long-awaited hat-trick.
Willock was sensational against the Cottagers. He won free kicks in the opposition’s half, put good shots on target, and finished the match with two assists. Those dimes were far from routine though. Willock served his teammates’ scoring opportunities to them on a silver platter.
In the 11th minute, Willock snapped a header towards the far-side post that was destined for goal. Instead of letting the header bounce in, Callum Wilson smashed the ball into an empty net from less than a yard away. Fortunately for the Magpies, the goal survived a VAR check for offside, and Willock was credited for an assist.
On Almirón’s aforementioned brace, Willock raced down the sideline after being played through and guided a low cross past 3 Fulham defenders to secure a tap-in for the Paraguayan. Despite looking like a seasoned playmaker, these were just the second and third assists of the 23-year-old’s career, which reached 91 Premier League appearances last Saturday.
While Almiron and Willock were locks to make this column, the final spot could have gone to any number of Magpies. Ultimately, Kieran Trippier just edged out Bruno Guimarães and Callum Wilson. The skipper helped apply near-constant pressure on offense while making several stops when the ball did make it to the defensive half.
On the opening score, Trippier was primarily responsible for Willock’s assist and Wilson’s goal. It was his tantalizing cross into the box that Willock steered towards the goal for Wilson. Then, he secured his second “hockey” assist of the night from a set piece.
Trippier ran a hurried corner routine to perfection. Less than 10 seconds after Leno made a save, the captain swung in a corner to an unmarked Svet Botman. Botman hit the post, but Sean Longstaff hammered home the rebound to bring the first half to a close.
If his offensive performance wasn’t impressive enough, Trippier also drew a foul in his own end and played solid defense. Despite two fouls, he walked away without a card before getting subbed off in the 83rd minute. Notably, Fulham ruined the Magpies' clean sheet while Trippier was on the bench. Had the skipper stayed in, Newcastle likely would have enjoyed a four-nil victory.
This performance also came at a time when the cameras were focused on the 32-year-old right back. Trippier is fighting to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold off his place in the Three Lions’ lineup prior to the World Cup. In a bit of a shocking move, England gaffer Gareth Southgate stated that Trippier had a better all-around game than TAA.