Eddie Howe was probably scratching his head, wondering where his side were in the first half. Newcastle were a shadow of themselves, they looked slow, labored, and probably most worryingly of all they had lost their swagger.
Brentford could have been three goals up at the break following a fast start but only led 1-0 at the half-time break—thanks to Ivan Toney’s second penalty of the game—after the former Newcastle striker saw a goal ruled out for offside by VAR before missing from the spot for the first time since 2018.
The real Newcastle returned after the break, perhaps with Howe’s words ringing in their ears... The swagger and confidence appeared to be back in their system again. They turned the game with two goals in six minutes, courtesy of Alexander Isak and Joelinton.
Howe introduced Anthony Gordon and Callum Wilson at the break and there was much more intensity from Newcastle going forward.
With 54 minutes on the clock, they drew level when Joelinton was allowed time to jink into the box to pick his spot and hit a shot that struck David Raya, and nestled into the net. That makes it three goals in two games for the Brazilian who returned from suspension in midweek.
Just after the hour mark, the comeback was complete as Wilson squared the ball to Aleksander Isak, who curled a sumptuous effort past Raya.
Frank must have wondered why his side let the Newcastle striker have so much time and space. It could have been three within moments, had VAR not adjudged Wilson to have handballed as he brought down a corner and fired home.
That disallowed effort appeared to fire Brentford up, and they came close to an equalizer when Nick Pope kept out a close-range Toney header.
The result leaves a top-four finish very much in Newcastle’s hands, and further cements them as the disrupter to the “Big Six.” Should they qualify for the Champions League, it will accelerate the clubs' vision by at least three years. In turn, Newcastle will be able to lure bigger talent and better players to the club with UCL football on the table.
Newcastle face yet another away game next, as they travel to an in-form Aston Villa side next weekend. Come through that unscathed and Newcastle will surely be within touching distance of a top-four finish.