Less than 24 hours after beating Serie A side Fiorentina 2-0 in the return of Newcastle to St. James’ Park after touring the United States of America last month, the Magpies took on another light-heavyweight side.
And of course, Newcastle put a golden brochure to the weekend by conquering the first-ever Sela Cup putting Villarreal to bed and defeating them 1-0 on the day!
Newcastle named a rotated starting XI compared to Saturday’s including Nick Pope, Dan Burn, Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Jacob Murphy, Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, Harvey Barnes, Matt Ritchie, and Callum Wilson.
From the outset, the Magpies asserted their attacking intent, with Harvey Barnes proving to be a constant threat down the left flank.
In just the 5th minute, NUFC drew first blood as Jacob Murphy unleashed a powerful strike following a Matt Ritchie free-kick that Villarreal failed to clear. The ball found its way to Murphy, who calmly found the back of the net, sending the Geordie Faithful into a frenzy.
Despite an early disallowed goal from Callum Wilson in the 9th minute, Newcastle maintained their attacking prowess throughout the first half. In a friendly that looked like anything but that, Joelinton was shown a yellow card for an aggressive challenge following that, and it’d be the case for most of the afternoon.
As the second half kicked off, tensions escalated, and Paul Dummett was swiftly booked for a challenge on Juan Foyth. Nevertheless, Newcastle continued to dominate the proceedings, with Harvey Barnes taking center stage in his debut at SJP.
In the 61st minute, the former Fox and new Magpie finally got his debut goal with a precise finish, following an assist from Brazilian bulldozer Joelinton.
The Magpies weren’t finished yet, and in the 75th minute, Joelinton produced a remarkable solo effort, accelerating past the Villarreal defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area to make it 3-0.
Barnes wasn’t done either and added another goal to his tally in the 78th minute, further solidifying Newcastle’s control over the match and his more-than-probable XI to be named by Howe ahead of Matchday 1 of the new Premier League season a few days from now.
The ref blew the final whistle. The victory was confirmed. Newcastle lifted the valuable Sela Cup. The lads will keep marching together.
Villa, you’re next. Better get ready.