Bruno Guimares scored twice including a late-arriving header in stoppage time as Newcastle United powered past slumbering (or in need of slumber) Leicester City 2-1 at St. James’ Park on Sunday
Guimares answered Ademola Lookman’s first-half goal and Newcastle held firm without the ball against a Leicester side who’d staged a Europa Conference League fight with PSV Eindhoven earlier this week.
That gave Eddie Howe’s plan to hit Leicester on the counter more and more danger as the match wore on, and the Magpies led a vicious counterattack down the left side deep in stoppage time that ended with Guimares pounding a header home in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The Magpies move 12 points clear of the bottom three and just three points back of ninth-place Leicester with six matches left. The Foxes have two matches-in-hand but the top half is a realistic target for Newcastle while this loss essentially means Leicester’s only route back to Europe is by winning the Conference League.
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Newcastle vs Leicester final score, stats
Newcastle 2, Leicester City 1
Scorers: Lookman (19′), Guimares (30′, 90’+5)
Shot attempts: Newcastle 16, Leicester 8
Shots on goal: Newcastle 7, Leicester 2
Possession: Newcastle 31, Leicester 69
Three things we learned from Manchester United vs Norwich
1. We’re going to talk about Bruno (no, no, no): Sorry, I have three kids. Songs. Anyway, Newcastle’s resurgence is way more than Bruno Guimares — and we’ll get into that later — but the Brazilian midfielder’s arrival on Tyneside is a little bit of everything that Newcastle’s new ownership needed. He’s a level of player they hadn’t bought in some time relative to his age and status, and also positionally fills a hole the club has had for even longer. Anyone who can remember Newcastle purchasing Georginio Wijnaldum, Yohan Cabaye, or Moussa Sissoko will be reminded of the club’s former status (though Sissoko and Wijnaldum were a bit too green). Bruno’s goals have been fantastic but also grimy and now timely. He’s a player who will want to see Newcastle bring in more “Brunos” this summer to stick around, but there’s not much fear there.
2. Eddie Howe, man: His time at Bournemouth ended poorly and Eddie Howe seemed unlikely to leave the south coast unless it was for Champions League football. But money and a project talk and while no one at Newcastle is thinking, “Thank goodness Unai Emery said no,” Howe has done a sensational job. The changing of center forward bust Joelinton into midfield menace Joelinton is enough for a resume, but Howe’s also had the patience to work through some issues with out-of-form players like Ryan Fraser and the guts to sit longtime stalwarts Jamaal Lascelles and Federico Fernandez on the bench. The scary thing? If Chris Wood was anywhere near his Burnley aerial best, Newcastle might already be top half.
3. All of Leicester’s eyes on Europa Conference League: You get the feeling that Brendan Rodgers has been thinking, “Get Fofana healthy and let’s cross our fingers for a European return to Europe” for some time. Injuries and schedule congestion have crushed the Foxes this season and centerback Wesley Fofana is good enough that had he stayed healthy, the club might’ve been able to stay in the top seven pictiure. Sunday’s loss means all rational expectations of a return to Europe rest on AS Roma and then either Marseille or Feyenoord. Ready the chihuahuas, Brendan.
Man of the Match: Bruno Guimares — They’ve been waiting for this… and so has he. What a young player.