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English Premier League

Newcastle United 5 – 1 Brentford

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Newcastle United 5 - 1 Brentford

Eddie Howe praised “outstanding” Bruno Guimaraes as Newcastle marked a year since their takeover with a crushing win over Brentford.

Guimaraes put Newcastle ahead with a flying header before Jacob Murphy doubled the advantage shortly after following an error from David Raya.

Ivan Toney scored against his old club via a penalty, but Guimaraes netted again less than two minutes after.

Brentford was first to have the ball in the back of the net, Bryan Mbeumo running onto a Shandon Baptiste flick and slamming through Nick Pope’s legs. However Toney was ruled to be interfering with play as he moved out of the way of the ball while offside, and the effort was ruled out by VAR.

Instead, Newcastle took the lead, Kieran Trippier brilliantly curling in a far-post cross from deep after a short corner with Guimaraes heading home.

Newcastle boss Howe, speaking to Match of the Day, said of Guimaraes: “He was outstanding. We really missed him when he was out [as he is] a quality player who helps us in every phase.”

United doubled their lead thanks to a howler from Raya, who passed straight to Callum Wilson. He played square for Murphy to strike past covering defender Ben Mee.

Toney made it 2-1 from the spot after Aaron Hickey headed against Dan Burn’s raised arm, but one minutes and 57 seconds later Guimaraes restored the two-goal advantage as he won the ball from Hickey near the halfway line, drove forward and struck to Raya’s right from 25 yards.

Brentford were their own worst enemies as they were caught playing out from the back again, Pinnock selling Raya short with an under-hit pass that Almiron burst on to and slammed home.

Pinnock was again at fault for number five, sticking a boot out right in front of Raya to deflect a low cross from the left past his own goalkeeper.

Five-star Toon on day of celebration
One year and a day since a Saudi-led consortium took over their club, Newcastle’s fans were in a celebratory mood at St James’ Park. A tifo covered the Gallowgate End before kick-off, based on the takeover announcement and listing the signings made in the past 12 months.

Two of the players signed by the current owners are Trippier and Guimaraes, and both were in the stellar form here. Trippier’s crossing was a constant menace, as he left a timely reminder as to why he may go to the World Cup with England ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Guimaraes was the driving force from midfield for Eddie Howe’s side, his goals ending a run of three successive home draws for the Tynesiders.

Almiron was also excellent – signed during the Mike Ashley era and often maligned, he was an endlessly energetic attacking presence, forcing a great save from Raya after five minutes and carrying on in that form.

He only got one goal last season but is already on four this campaign, and after scoring was presented with a Paraguay flag from the crowd – a sign of the esteem in which he is held by fans.

Of Almiron, Howe said: “It is all about building consistency to his game but he has performed brilliantly off the ball and now he is adding goals to that.”

The return of Allan Saint-Maximin as a late substitute capped a terrific day for Newcastle, the forward has not played since August because of a hamstring injury.

Brentford last won at Newcastle 88 years ago, and aside from a VAR-crushed moment early on never looked likely to end that sequence here.

The goalless draw at Bournemouth last weekend marked their first clean sheet in 20 Premier League away fixtures. With five shipped here, clearly Thomas Frank has issues to solve in defence.

Frank told Match of the Day: “In general I never thought we would concede five goals, we did today. In life and football, it is about how you respond to setbacks.

“If you want to win football matches it is relatively important you don’t make one, two, three, or four mistakes leading to goals. To make four mistakes then you lose football games and basically, that is it.

“We are of course fuming. I can feel my anger bursting around inside me. It is the same as the players and we will bounce back.”

It was also a bad day for Toney, captaining Brentford at the stadium where he made two Premier League substitute appearances for Newcastle in 2015-16, the sum of his top-flight career for the north-east side.

After inadvertently denying his side their opener, Toney did score with his 21st successive converted penalty, early in the second half.

He has been involved in eight of Brentford’s 16 Premier League goals this season, scoring six – but it is at the other end of the field where their major problems lie.

Source – BBC Sport

English Premier League

Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United

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Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United

Luton Town 1-2 Manchester United. Rasmus Hojlund scored for the sixth successive Premier League game as Manchester United survived a Luton Town display of fierce determination to stay in contention for the top four with victory at Kenilworth Road.

United’s £72m summer signing from Atalanta has hit a red-hot streak after early struggles in front of goal and scored twice in the first seven minutes to set up a fourth successive league win for Erik ten Hag’s side.

The 21-year-old pounced on Amari’i Bell’s error after only 37 seconds to round keeper Thomas Kaminski and score, adding a second in the seventh minute, instinctively diverting Alejandro Garnacho’s shot into the net.

Luton Town, in an uproarious atmosphere, responded with defiance and character, Carlton Morris swiftly giving the Hatters hope with a header as United struggled to cope with the intensity of the home side, especially in the opening half.

United lost defender Luke Shaw to injury before the interval, while Harry Maguire and Casemiro also went off at the break, but for all Luton’s second-half endeavour it was the visitors who created the better chances, Kaminski denying Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, and a Hojlund hat-trick.

However, there was one more nervous moment for the visitors in stoppage time when Ross Barkley’s glancing header clipped the top of the crossbar.

The win means United are now only five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

United needed leaders to see them through an encounter that became an ordeal for long spells, especially in the opening half, and they emerged from unlikely sources as another important three points were secured.

While experienced players such as Casemiro, so lucky to avoid a second yellow card, Maguire and Raphael Varane struggled and were exposed by the sheer energy of Luton’s approach, it was match-winner Hojlund and outstanding 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo who stepped up.

Hojlund has really come to the fore in recent weeks, now getting the goals all his hard work – even early in the season when they were in short supply – deserve, his first a composed piece of work and his second quick thinking as United established early control.

The Denmark forward showed commendable hold-up play, a willingness to engage in the physical exchanges with Luton’s defence, and was only denied a treble by Kaminski’s block before he departed to a standing ovation from United’s away support.

Mainoo, meanwhile, rose above the blood and thunder with rare composure for one so young. United have a gem on their hands.

The visitors improved after the break and even though Luton pressed, they were the more dangerous side, Kaminski and Albert Sambi Lokonga denying Rashford before a combination of the goalkeeper and Bell thwarted Garnacho.

In the end, Hojlund’s early goals were enough as United extended their winning run.

Luton lost another home game to one of the Premier League’s big guns but once again more illustrious visitors to Kenilworth Road were made to fight every inch of the way.

United joined Manchester City and Arsenal in chalking up a narrow wins while Liverpool were held to a draw – and it is no surprise when Luton’s approach in this wonderfully hostile environment is taken into account.

The Hatters could have been forgiven for thinking their day was done when they conceded two goals in only seven minutes but, galvanised by the home support, Rob Edwards’ side responded superbly and were right back in it after Morris’ goal.

The reborn Barkley prompted from midfield with confidence while Lokonga was one of the game’s outstanding performers.

Luton faded after the break but showed enough to suggest they can make a real fight of things before the relegation places are decided, the standing ovation at the final whistle merited for their efforts.

Barkley almost snatched a point when his header glanced off the bar in the closing seconds but it was not to be for battling Luton.

source – BBC

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English Premier League

Sheffield United 0-5 Brighton

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Sheffield United 0-5 Brighton

Sheffield United 0-5 Brighton. Brighton thrashed 10-man Sheffield United, who stayed bottom of the Premier League and conceded five goals at home for the third consecutive game.

The game swung in the 12th minute when United’s Mason Holgate caught Kaoru Mitoma in midfield with a horrific challenge just below the knee.

The Everton loanee was shown a yellow card, but the decision was upgraded to a red after intervention from the video assistant referee (VAR).

Against 10 men, Brighton attacked at will, taking the lead through Facundo Buonanotte, who bundled in a corner.

Danny Welbeck doubled the advantage, firing in a rebound after keeper Wes Foderingham denied Mitoma.

The hosts thought they had pulled a goal back just before the break through Ben Osborn, but his hooked volley has ruled out for offside.

Brighton got a deserved third midway through the second half when United defender Jack Robinson diverted Mitoma’s cross into his own net.

Simon Adingra added two late goals, burying Pascal Gross’ cutback and benefiting from a looping deflection.

Sunday’s victory was only Brighton’s second in the league in 2024, although they have won twice in the FA Cup, including a 5-2 triumph over United at Bramall Lane in the fourth round.

Even before Holgate’s sending-off Roberto de Zerbi’s side were routinely carving forward.

Adingra, back from winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, had a cross deflected off Anel Ahmedhodzic and narrowly kept out by a diving Foderingham.

At 2-0, Yasser Larouci twice cleared off the line for United, denying Mitoma and Gross from close range. Foderingham also smartly kept out Welbeck and Mitoma either side of half-time.

Brighton’s win is their biggest away from home in the top flight, and they have scored four or more goals seven times in all competitions this season.

Seventh-placed Brighton face teams from the bottom half of the table in their next five games.

They host Everton on Saturday, a game De Zerbi will expect to win.

source – BBC

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English Premier League

Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea

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Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea

Manchester City 1-1 Chelsea. Rodri dramatically rescued a point with a late leveller for Manchester City to deny Chelsea victory and maintain his side’s long unbeaten home record.

City still lost ground in the title race after seeing Liverpool and Arsenal both post emphatic wins earlier on Saturday, but this has to go down as a point gained given how close they came to defeat.

Raheem Sterling had given Chelsea the lead just before half-time, finishing off a brilliant counter-attack by meeting Nicolas Jackson’s cross, cutting inside Kyle Walker and curling his shot home.

The visitors looked threatening on the break all game, with Jackson earlier spurning an even better chance from Malo Gusto’s cross when a heavy touch allowed Ederson to smother his shot, and City’s keeper also denied Sterling a second from point-blank range.

City were racking up the chances too, but seemed unable to take any of them, or even seriously test Chelsea goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic despite piling on the pressure in the second half.

Erling Haaland was the main culprit, with his worst miss coming when he somehow headed wide from a delicious Kevin de Bruyne cross.

The defending champions were facing their first home league defeat since November 2022, until Rodri struck with seven minutes to go.

After Walker’s shot was deflected into his path on the edge of the box, Rodri fired in a ferocious first-time strike that was going in anyway but took a touch off Chelsea substitute Trevoh Chalobah on its way into the net.

The draw sees City drop to third in the table, four points behind leaders Liverpool but with a game in hand – they can close the gap, and leapfrog second-placed Arsenal, if they beat Brentford here on Tuesday.

Chelsea, who were minutes away from a third successive away win, stay 10th, but head to Wembley for next weekend’s Carabao Cup final on the back of one of their best displays of an erratic campaign.

source – BBC

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