Yasir Al-Rumayyan sees Bruno moment, Miguel Almiron fight and deal Newcastle must make – 5 things – Ciaran Kelly

Newcastle United have moved just one point out of the top 10 after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at St James’ Park on Wednesday night.

Miguel Almiron took the lead with the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute after brilliantly finishing off a high ball from Bruno Guimaraes from above as newcastle he reached the 40-point mark with five games to spare.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

READ MORE: Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace highlights

Miguel Almiron lights up St James’ Park

Miguel Almiron has fond memories of this meeting. The Paraguayan international finally scored his first goal for Newcastle against Palace in December 2019. Perhaps nothing will top that blow, but Almiron’s latest goal against the Eagles will certainly bring it closer.

As good as Bruno Guimaraes’s ball from above was, in the 32nd minute Almiron still had plenty to do as he shook off Tyrick Mitchell and took a serene touch before expertly selecting the top left corner with a stunning finish. . It was Almiron’s first goal for Newcastle in over a year and you could see how much it meant to the striker as he took off his shirt and jumped into the crowd to celebrate with the fans.

Almiron’s future may have been in jeopardy not too long ago, but the 28-year-old has taken a chance since Ryan Fraser limped off against the Wolves and is literally fighting for his future, even facing Wilfried Zaha in a point. More than anything, though, Almiron is playing with a new belief and fans recognized that when they gave the striker a standing ovation when he was replaced by Joe Willock at the end.

Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring a goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace
Miguel Almiron of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring a goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace

Encouragingly, for Eddie Howe, this was the most threatening open game Almiron and Newcastle had seen for a while after the Magpies’ earlier reliance on set pieces. The scoring load has certainly been shared since Callum Wilson suffered a nagging calf injury in December and Newcastle found a way to win without their number nine, which was not the case in the previous era. In fact, Almiron became the 11th different player to score for Newcastle since Wilson left against Manchester United nearly four months ago.

Nobody will like to play Newcastle at home

It is a sign of how far Newcastle have come that Eddie Howe became the club’s first manager since the great Sir Bobby Robson to win six successive Premier League games at St James’ Park. Fittingly, Howe reached that milestone against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.

Vieira, after all, will have remembered facing Sir Bobby’s side at this very ground as an Arsenal player and not since those days in 2004 had St James been a fortress like this. Vieira may have insisted “we know how strong they are at home” ahead of Palace’s trip to Tyneside, but nothing could have prepared his side for what was to come.

It was another special night under the lights at St James’ and Wor Flags kept the stadium abuzz with another impressive display before kick-off, including a tribute to Allan Saint-Maximin at the Gallowgate End. Jonjo Shelvey, who listens to Local Hero on the way to games, said on the eve of this game that “words can’t explain it when the fans are shooting” and they certainly were on Wednesday night.

The fans helped Newcastle cross the line once again during some nervous moments in the second half and, amazingly, Howe has scored 25 of his 35 points to date at St James’ Park.

Bruno Guimaraes returns to steal protagonism

Bruno previously sat out the trip to Spurs earlier this month after a long trip back from South America, where he was on international duty, but it’s hard to imagine the influential midfielder leaving the team any time soon. Certainly there was no danger of Bruno being left out of this game at least after man-of-the-match displays against Leicester City and Wolves.

Bruno may have required treatment for a back problem at half-time last Sunday, but tellingly, it was the Brazil international who rushed 82 yards to the death to win his team the game against Leicester because he was so desperate to get all three points. Bruno was fatigued even before that late sprint, but you can see why Howe didn’t want to take the 24-year-old out. Similarly, despite such a quick turnaround, Bruno will have been one of the first names on the team sheet again on Wednesday night.

There were no goals this time, after that brace against Leicester, but Bruno’s latest display was yet another reminder of what the mid-season signing was bought for. Howe wanted his team to have ‘a little more control’ and ‘express themselves’ more on the ball against Palace and Bruno was instrumental in that. In fact, it was Bruno who opened Palace in the 32nd minute with an impressive overhead ball, which Miguel Almiron expertly finished off, and you can bet Yasir Al-Rumayyan was watching.

Palace became so frustrated with Bruno that, at one point, after getting rid of Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher, the latter resorted to hacking the mid-season signing. However, it did little to deter Bruno, who quickly rose to his feet as the entire stadium chanted his name.

Bruno Guimaraes impressed again
Bruno Guimaraes impressed again

Yasir Al-Rumayyan sees a very different Newcastle

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, non-executive chairman of Newcastle, was involved in this game, the first at St James since Cambridge United inflicted a giant FA Cup carnage. Clearly a lot has changed since that humiliating defeat last January when Newcastle were 19th in the league.

Eddie Howe won’t admit it until it’s mathematically so, but Newcastle are safe after pulling 15 points clear of the relegation zone. In fact, instead of looking over their shoulders, the Magpies are now just one point outside the top 10, which would have been an unimaginable prospect even just a few weeks ago.

There have been times in recent years where Newcastle’s form has slipped once safety has been all but guaranteed, but the stakes are still high in these final games of the campaign for these players. Howe even had a side with him in a training session the morning of the game as he continued to pressure them.

While Howe will want his team to finish as high up the table as possible, which is great motivation in and of itself, the team is also playing for its future with just five games remaining in the season. Having capitulated during their last trip on the road, at Spurs, these players will be desperate to keep this winning streak going at Norwich on Saturday.

Homeowners won’t have an easier deal to make this summer

It’s easy to see now why Newcastle signed Matt Targett on loan, but aston villa’s invaluable contribution on loan in the death against Leicester City last week perhaps summed up why Howe wanted the left-back, who is as good defensively as he is going forward. . Not only did Targett stop James Justin masterfully and decide not to settle for a goal kick and a point at death last Sunday; The 26-year-old then managed to quickly pick out Joe Willock in the build-up to Bruno Guimaraes’ late winner.

Targett looks back on his prime after a spotty first half of the season with Villa and the defender hopes to extend his stay at Newcastle. With Newcastle and Villa already agreeing a fee of around £15m, the Magpies won’t have an easier deal to make this summer.

However, while Howe said he was “very pleased” with Targett ahead of this game, the Newcastle boss stressed that “there are still games to play this season and opinions to be fully formed”. That felt like a reminder to Targett, who has been one of Newcastle’s most consistent players in recent months, that nothing has been decided and those words were another incentive for the left-back to continue to impress.

Targett did exactly that against Palace on Wednesday night. In addition to handling the deceptive Michael Olise, who was substituted in the 40th minute, Targett also posed an offensive threat with his passes from behind and his set pieces.

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