Another weekend in the books, another victory in the bag. Newcastle easily got rid of Norwich City with a 3-0 victory away from St James’ Park before returning to their home turf to face Liverpool next weekend.
Here are your Top-3 players of Match Day 34, along with some quotes from the very own protagonists of the weekend.
I’m not a homer, but I’m a simple man and I know when to give plaudits when plaudits are due. I don’t really think Bruno did anything at all wrongly yesterday. You might want to knock his 10-grade down to a 9.5 one because of a mistimed tackle deep into the second half, but other than that there is nothing to put on the negative column of the Brazilian’s sheet against Norwich. Only Joelinton’s brace outshined this man’s effort, but even then I feel like handing him the Golden Seahorse of the match. Nothing crazy considering he completed the most passes (53) with a staggering 95% success rate, won the second-most duels among Magpies, tied for the lead in tackles won and scored the most wonderful goal of the season on top of everything.
Midfielder or striker? I don’t care! Let’s call it “Joelinton” and leave it at that. JoJo put on a magic performance scoring two goals against all odds given his season-long numbers and benefiting from visiting his early days’ forward area. Even though Howe used Joelinton in the most advanced strata, the Brazilian has clearly developed some midfield tendencies that had him dropping deeper to the middle of the park slightly falling to the left side—clever considering Saint’Ximin populates that flank. Night to remember for Joelinton dumping a couple of goals—one of them a legit banger—in his 100th PL app.
The defense didn’t have a lot to do yesterday, I know, but I wanted to holla at the unit for keeping the danger absolutely at bay all game long with the exception of that Pukki isolated action in the first half. I could have highlighted returning Lascelles, ever-great full-backs Krafth and Targett, or even GK Martin Dubravka, but I’m sticking with January-acquired Dan Burn. Burn manned the left side of the center-back line with gusto clearing six balls next to Lascelles (also six clearances), intercepting four balls, completing one tackle, and not getting dribbled past even once all afternoon. Solid game by all of the D-men donning Newcastle’s jerseys on a random sunny Saturday.
In Their Own Words
Pulling some quotes dropped after the game at Norwich’s Carrow Road.
NUFC manager Eddie Howe, speaking about the victory and how the team got there:
It is an important win for our standards and what we expect of one another. We knew it would be a difficult game today and the start was. It wasn’t until we scored the first goal that we got control of it. Credit to the players again. They have incredible desire to go and win football matches at the moment and there is confidence running through the team.
Much needed and very well deserved words on a phenomenal Joelinton:
I have a great relationship with him. Really like him as a player. He has so much ability. The two goals were so great for him to score. 100th appearance and you saw the scenes at the end there, brilliant moments for him especially knowing the journey he’s had at the club.
He played dual roles today as he has done most of the season. He started up front and then moved to the left wing. We love him to bits. I’m very open-minded, I think Joe can play anywhere in those front positions and, obviously, as an attacking midfielder as well. I would never say that’s his position and where he’s going to stay.
Today, he showed his versatility and the importance of his role in the team. He can play as a centre forward, he can play as a second striker, he can play wide and he can play as an eight so it’s great to have players like that. I wish I had a few more!
On the Toon Fan Army making the trip to Norwich to galvanize the team away from the comfy St James’ Park:
It was a great moment at the end with players giving their shirts to the fans. That bond has built since we’ve been here, I hope it continues as it is fundamental to a successful football team. I hope they enjoyed watching us today. We were good after we scored, with attacking football, which is what they want to see.”
On cracking the top-10 in the Premier League table with four games to go:
When you look back and think of some of the days we had early on, the Cambridge defeat, the late equaliser Watford scored, those were difficult moments and we were a long, long way from where we are now.
It’s taken an incredible effort from the players, staff and supporters to lift us into the position we are. I can’t thank everyone enough what they’ve given me and the team.
Finally, your Brazilian Boy. No transcription because you need to actually watch and hear the man himself: