Newcastle United yet again showed their unpredictable nature by taking all 3 points from an in-form Everton.
The Toffees travelled to St James’ Park in 2nd place, and although stumbled against Southampton last week, would surely have felt confident they would return to Merseyside with at least a point.
This was not the case though, as a highly efficient Newcastle United earned a thoroughly deserved 3 points, inflicting consecutive league defeats to Ancelotti for the first time since September 2014.
With Steve Bruce utilising the same formation that earned a point at the Molineux, it seems we are on the right tracks to establishing a successful formula with this group of players.
With a match including plenty of positives, we focus on the 5 key takeaways.
Longstaff Connects the Dots
With Jonjo Shelvey ruled out for around a month following a hernia injury, there were fears that our creativity may somehow suffer further.
This hasn’t been the case however, especially in yesterday’s game as Sean Longstaff stepped up to the task.
Looking lively throughout the 90 minutes (set pieces aside), it was a very assured performance from Longstaff, more reminiscent of when he first broke into the first team picture.
Helping the team transition between defence and attack, the midfielder who this week celebrated his 23rd birthday was nearly celebrating a goal too.
Following nice interplay between Jacob Murphy and Callum Wilson, Longstaff found himself in a yard of space to unleash a thunderous shot at the Everton keeper. It was only a top drawer save from the debutant, Robin Elson which keep to local midfielder at bay.
At least the onlooking Jordan Pickford may have learnt a thing or two!
Wilson is everything we hoped
It is unusual to think that a £20 million pound signing can be viewed as an absolute bargain, but that is exactly what Callum Wilson is.
Netting 6 goals in the first 7 Premier League matches, the forward is already on level terms with our top goalscorer from last season, Jonjo Shelvey.
Scoring twice on Sunday, the former Bournemouth man provides the type of goals we were desperately lacking last season.
For his first strike, the number 13 earned a penalty with some clever movement before calmly converting the spot kick after a less than ideal delay.
To get his name on the scoresheet for the second time, and effectively kill the game as a contest, he converted a true strikers goal. Being in the right place and the right time, he was on hand to convert Fraser’s cross.
How many times had we seen those teasing crosses go begging last season?
Fernandez is never fazed
When Federico Fernandez signed for Newcastle back in the summer of 2018 there was not too much buzz around the city.
Perhaps this was due to the robust defence that Rafa Benitez had already assembled, but the ex-Swansea captain has arguably risen to the top in terms of our most reliable man at the back.
Topping the Premier League charts for the most clearances so far this season, the Argentinian never puts a foot wrong.
As exciting as our attacking players are this season, the importance of Fernandez at the heart of our defence cannot be overlooked.
Navigated tricky fixtures
Following the 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, the fixtures of Wolves and Everton did appear slightly daunting.
The return of 4 points from these fixtures however is a huge huge positive, and one which Steve Bruce must take some credit for.
With Southampton looming before the international break, there is a possibility we may find ourselves sitting in the top 4 as of Friday. Now that is some prospect…
It’s never a good thing for any football player to be injured, however with a trip to St Mary’s up next, the omission of an in-form Danny Ings will be a huge bonus for us.
As we saw against Everton, injuries can disrupt any kind of momentum the team was carrying.
Lets hope for another positive result before the interruption of an international break!
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