In a game you’re probably glad you missed, or wished you did, it was Burnley that somewhat begrudgingly took all three points at Turf Moor.
Billed by the Sky Sports pundits as a tight fixture, the defensive displays were seemingly the only thing tight about it – James Tarkowski and Jamaal Lascelles maintaining their excellent form thus far this season, with some great composure on the ball and smart interceptions.
It is difficult to say which team got going first – neither team really got going. Chances came few and far; Jonjo Shelvey’s venomous strike on the 17th minute was eventually tamed by Nick Pope. Christian Atsu provided a spark out wide throughout the second half, but crosses into the box were poor at both ends of the pitch.
As the first half came to a close, it was clear that the resiliency of the back four was the key to a positive result for either side, it was just a matter of who cracked first.
The second half was filled with sliced clearances, misplaced passes and timely blocks, frustration descended upon both sets of fans rather than boredom – a rare contribution by the anonymous Ayoze Perez saw the Spaniard’s curling effort saved by the consistent Nick Pope in-goal.
Burnley’s only clear chance of a goal came right before the goal, with a Jack Cork shot being parried away by Elliot, only for the Irishman to be beaten at the far post. A Jeff Hendrick tap-in in the 74th minute left the Geordie away support disheartened, but not silent.
Not even the substitution of the awfully clumsy Mo Diame, paired with the arrival’s of Jacob Murphy and Dwight Gayle, could tender to Newcastle’s severe lack of quality and drive. Late long-distance strikes by Shelvey and newly introduced Isaac Hayden were not enough to catch out Ben Mee and James Tarkowski, who have admittedly been the best defensive partnership in the Premier League so far this campaign.
A really bad game and a night to forget – And that’s only from a Burnley perspective. The Magpies host Bournemouth next week, so let’s look on the bright side; it can’t get any worse than that.