Newcastle revival continues as Magpies end Burnley’s unbeaten run

Sean Longstaff’s first Premier League goal helped Newcastle secure a fourth successive win at St James’ Park to further ease their relegation fears and end Burnley’s unbeaten run.

The midfielder, whose form in recent weeks has seen him tipped to receive an England Under-21 call-up, struck after defender Fabian Schar had blasted home the opener from distance to hand the Magpies a 2-0 win to go with the one they collected against Huddersfield at the weekend.

That left Rafael Benitez’s men on 31 points, moving them above their opponents, who had not lost in eight league outings in 2019 before the trip to Tyneside, and perhaps more importantly within touching distance of safety.

They were good value for the points too on a night when the Clarets failed to hit the heights they scaled in beating Tottenham at the weekend.

Newcastle started on the front foot as they attempted to maintain the momentum of recent weeks, although, with Burnley also in good form, early chances were few and far between.

Miguel Almiron scuffed wide from distance after an 11th-minute exchange with Salomon Rondon and Jack Cork deflected a glancing Schar header back to goalkeeper Tom Heaton seconds later, but time and space were at a premium.

However, the game burst into life with 24 minutes gone when, with the visitors seemingly having all the bases covered, Schar strode into space and unleashed a venomous right-footed shot which flew in off the inside of a post with Heaton helpless.

Opposite number Martin Dubravka was able to intervene to prevent Burnley from levelling inside three minutes when he threw out a hand to turn away Chris Wood’s acrobatic volley from beyond the far post after the home defence had failed to deal with a long free-kick.

Sean Dyche’s men were enjoying their best spell of the half, but they fell further behind with six minutes of it remaining when Matt Ritchie’s cross was cleared only as far as Longstaff, whose defence-splitting pass had launched the attack, and he sent a downward volley into the far corner to make it 2-0.

Defender James Tarkowsi passed up a glorious opportunity to pull one back for the visitors on the stroke of half-time when he volleyed over from close range, and it was the hosts who headed for their dressing room in high spirits.

Burnley resumed in determined fashion as they launched a series of long balls at the Newcastle defence, but they were almost caught once again on the break within seven minutes of the restart when Ayoze Perez played Almiron in and saw Heaton make a vital one-on-one save.

Tarkowski headed over from a Robbie Brady corner – the Republic of Ireland international had replaced Dwight McNeil at the break – with the Clarets going for broke, but the Magpies gradually stemmed the tide.

However, they had to resist a late onslaught as the visitors attempted to utilise substitute Peter Crouch’s aerial prowess, but ultimately to no avail.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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