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ACF Fiorentina v Newcastle United - Sela Cup

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Sela Cup — Newcastle 2-0 Fiorentina: Magpies win first leg of back-to-back games

One in the bag, one to go before the Premier League kicks off!

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Newcastle United returned home to play a couple of friendlies this weekend to please their new main sponsor Sela of Saudi Arabia.

St. James’ Park dressed pretty to host Fiorentina on the first of those matchups, with the second leg of the back-to-back scheduled for Sunday.

On Saturday, the Geordies attending the first game went home with a smile on their faces as Newcastle toyed around with Fiorentina on their way to getting a sound 2-0 victory over the visiting Italians.

Newcastle United v ACF Fiorentina - Sela Cup Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Magpies displayed a cohesive and disciplined approach just one week off the start of the season, which was nice to watch unfold on a matchup with a semi-good team in AFC Fiorentina. The win was a well-deserved one and the fact that Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak were the goalscorers only made it all better overall.

Right from the start, Newcastle exhibited attacking intent and dominated possession. The breakthrough came in the 38th minute when Alexander Isak’s precise pass found the ever-reliable Miguel Almiron, who made no mistake in putting the ball into the back of the net, sending the home crowd into a frenzy and completing a smooth fast break.

Fiorentina tried to fight back but the Magpie defense, one of the best units across Europe last year, stood tall and denied any clear-cut chance to the Italian lads.

The second half witnessed a determined Fiorentina attempting to level the score, but Newcastle remained resilient, denying their opponents any openings.

As the clock ticked, Newcastle seized control of the game once again, capitalizing on a corner in the 82nd minute. Alexander Isak showcased his aerial prowess, rising above everyone else to powerfully head the ball home, sealing the victory for the Magpies.

Eddie Howe didn’t make any substitution until the 80th minute, two before Isak’s finalizer, which speaks volumes of how seriously the head coach took this game ahead of the season. Expect many changes tomorrow in the XI and throughout the game to keep the Magpies’ legs fresh.

Howe clearly showed his cards today and the matchup against Villarreal is looking like a walkthrough practice judging by today’s approach to the game by Steady Eddie.

The match also provided the first glimpse of new signing Sandro Tonali to the Geordie Faithful, with the former Milan midfielder displaying flashes of his brilliance during his first appearance at St. James’ Park.

Let’s be honest, we can’t wait for the Champions League anthem to hit SJP, can we?

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