Allan Saint-Maximin

Saint-Maximin proud to score first Premier League goal on mom’s birthday

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Newcastle United is reveling in another win, the Magpies claiming a point for the fifth time in six matches with a 2-0 win at Sheffield United.

Allan Saint-Maximin was richly rewarded for his effervescent season with a first Premier League goal, though it came in unexpected fashion.

[ RECAP: Blades 0-2 Newcastle ]

The dribbling wizard rose above his mark to head a Javi Manquillo cross past Dean Henderson for the first goal of the match at Bramall Lane, and he was quite happy to do it on a memorable day for his family.

“It’s special because I score with my head and I never think I can score with my head,” he said, via The Chronicle.  “I’m really proud because today is the birthday of my mother, and I score my first goal for my mother and I’m really happy to do that.”

Saint-Maximin has quickly become a fan favorite, and the Frenchman showed he’s ready with a joke, too, when noting midfield Jonjo Shelvey scored his team-best fourth goal of the season thanks to some decisive refereeing from Stuart Atwell and VAR.

[ MORE: Wilder enraged with VAR ]

“I’m happy for the best striker in Newcastle – four goals.”

Funny stuff from the man his manager Steve Bruce once described by saying, “He’s only 22 and he’s got more outfits than I’ve seen.”

Newcastle takes three points at Sheffield United

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Allan Saint-Maximin and Jonjo Shelvey scored goals and VAR made its presence felt as Newcastle United toppled Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Its Newcastle’s fifth result from six following a loss to Chelsea, while Sheffield United sees the end of its seven-match unbeaten run.

The Magpies pull into 11th place with 19 points, two spots below the Blades on goal differential.

Sheffield United meets Norwich City on Sunday, when Newcastle hosts Southampton.


Three things we learned

1. Blades make rookie mistake in VAR era: The linesman’s flag was raised when Andy Carroll flicked a header into the Blades final third, but Shelvey kept running onto the ball and referee Stuart Atwell allowed play to continue into the 1v1 chance between the midfielder and Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson. Shelvey passed around Henderson and into the goal, the backstop apparently spotting the flag and assuming the call. Big mistake, as VAR negated the linesman’s flag.

2. Bruce rewarded for lineup risk, and ASM breaks down the door: Manager Steve Bruce pulled the plug on big money striker Joelinton‘s automatic spot in the Starting XI, installing veteran center forward and hometown hero Andy Carroll in that spot. Carroll was solid with Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron on his flanks, and won the pivotal assist in the second half.

Saint-Maximin is either the league’s best dribbler or a fixture in the debate, but he’s been unable to find the back of the goal whether through fine saves or misfired shots. Raise your hand if you had 50-50 header for his first Premier League marker. Didn’t think so. If this busts down the door, look out.

3. Magnificent Martin deserves a rest: Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka was the biggest factor in the result, as the Slovakian national team goalkeeper was at his shot-stopping best. He was stopping all of the Olivers, with fine stops on McBurnie and Norwood in the first half and a well-controlled box in the second 45.

Man of the Match: Dubravka — Respect to Carroll, but the keeper made six saves on the night for a richly-deserved clean sheet.


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

A deflection off Miguel Almiron forced Martin Dubravka into a fine reaction stop in the sixth minute.

Newcastle then had the ball for a spell without real threat, as Blades’ Oli McBurnie’s curl wide in the 15th minute was the next moment of danger for either side.

The Magpies scored soon after, Saint-Maximin rising high to thump a header inside the post after Andy Carroll laid off for Javi Manquillo‘s cross.

McBurnie then forced an incredible save out of Dubravka when George Baldock sent a terrific cross into the heart of the box.

Almiron gave away a dangerous free kick in first half stoppage time, but Dubravka was again there for a two-handed parry of Oliver Norwood‘s rip.

VAR made its voice heard in the 71st minute, when it ruled that

Premier League Preview: Aston Villa v. Newcastle United

Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images
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Two teams having very different seasons meet Monday when Newcastle United heads to Villa Park to face Aston Villa (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Steve Bruce will lead his fortuitous Newcastle side against his former side, one he nearly led to Premier League promotion. The Villans have been a fun watch this season, but have not seen performances turn into points.

Villa has lost three-straight league matches, albeit against strong sides Liverpool, Man City, and Wolves, and after this face Manchester United, Arsenal, and Leicester City.

Newcastle is unbeaten in three, turning a Wolves draw into wins over Bournemouth and West Ham.

The Magpies are up to 14th and sit closer to fifth than the drop zone, while Villa is just a point clear of the Bottom Three despite some impressive performances this season.


Injuries/suspensions

Aston Villa: OUT — Jed Steer. QUESTIONABLE — Jack Grealish,

Newcastle United: OUT — Jamaal Lascelles, Sean Longstaff, Matt Ritchie. QUESTIONABLE — Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark


Probable lineups

Aston Villa: Heaton, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Guilbert, Nakamba, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, El Ghazi, Wesley.

Newcastle United: Dubravka; Willems, Fernandez, Schar, Dummett, Yedlin; Hayden, Shelvey; Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.


What they’re saying

Villa boss Dean Smith on playmaker Jack Grealish: “The fact he hasn’t got called up, we’ve spoken at length about that. He can’t control that but what he can control is he can keep performing, making sure he keeps the pressure on the people who have to make them decisions. He’s ready. He’s one of the fittest lads there, always doing extras after training as well. He’s fit and ready.”

Newcastle’s Steve Bruce on electric, eccentric Allan Saint-Maximin“He’s only 22 and he’s got more outfits than I’ve seen. He’s different and I’m sure at times he’s going to cause me a few problems. But in all of that, deep down, he’s a decent kid. He’s okay, a bit different, but we all have to manage these different individuals, and he’s certainly one. He likes an ear-ring. He gives me £100 every other day when he forgets to take it out! In that respect, I’ve got a few quid off him already. But he’s a good kid, he’s all right. The players like him. He’s daft, he’s off the wall and he’s likeable.”


Prediction

A Villa win could seem like a decent bet, but so do goals. And the way Newcastle has defended is feast or famine this season. We’re gonna go for goals, with Grealish, Saint-Maximin, Wesley, and maybe even Miguel Almiron on the score sheet. 2-2.

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 12

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Wolves are rising, Gunners misfiring, and Spurs just linking self-inflicted wounds as the Premier League club power rankings head for Week 12.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low


20. Norwich City — Just dreadful right now, and in dire need of healing over the break.
Last week: 20
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Watford
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 at Everton

19. Southampton — Minus-18 in goal difference, but that shrinks to minus-7 on the expected goals table, so perhaps just really unlucky right now?
Last week: 19
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 2-1 v. Everton
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 at Arsenal

18. West Ham United — It’s not talent. It’s not the manager. Something’s just foul in London.
Last week: 17
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 3-0 at Burnley
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Spurs

17. Watford — Not out of danger, not even close, but playing like a club that will find its way to safety.
Last week: 18
Season high: 17
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 2-0 at Norwich City
Up next: 10 a.m. Nov. 23 v. Burnley

16. Spurs — Unlucky again this week — Heung-Min Son could’ve had three against Blades — but unlucky is not comforting at all considering the expectations and talent in North London.
Last week: 14
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Drew 1-1 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Nov. 23 at West Ham

15. Aston Villa — Dean Smith has to be crushed that his overall decent performances have only equaled 11 points, just three more than 18th place.
Last week: 11
Season high: 8
Season low: 15
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Wolves
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Nov. 25 v. Newcastle United

14. Brighton and Hove Albion — A setback after a fine run, as the Seagulls were dominated by Manchester United. Mat Ryan was sensational in a losing effort.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Manchester United
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Leicester City

13. Bournemouth — Joshua King‘s missed header in stoppage at St. James’ Park was the story of their season. 4-4-4, and just not looking capable of being anything better than average.
Last week: 7
Season high: 6
Season low: 17
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Newcastle
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Wolves

12. Newcastle United — Remember the name Allan Saint-Maximin. Newcastle is 4-2-2 when the 22-year-old dribble wizard makes an appearance, and has one point from four matches when he’s unused or unavailable. Like Miguel Almiron, he hasn’t been finishing his chances, but he’s a handful and Newcastle’s most dangerous player since Hatem Ben Arfa (and, so far, no signs of off-field drama).
Last week: 15
Season high: 12
Season low: 20
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Bournemouth
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Nov. 25 at Aston Villa

11. Arsenal — Free Nicolas Pepe.
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 11
Last match: Lost 2-0 at Leicester City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Southampton

10. Crystal Palace — Consecutive understandable setbacks could turn to three with Liverpool coming to meet old pal Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Chelsea
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 22 v. Liverpool

9. Burnley — Never doubt Sean Dyche. We keep saying we won’t. Then we do. Then they produce a complete performance like the weekend’s 3-0 win versus struggling West Ham.
Last week: 16
Season high: 5
Season low: 15
Last match: Won 3-0 v. West Ham
Up next: 10 a.m. Nov. 23 at Watford

8. Everton — As much as Marco Silva‘s men have wasted the table’s softness, the Toffees are right in the mix for the Top Six.
Last week: 13
Season high: 5
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 2-1 at Saints
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Norwich City

 7. Manchester United — The walking boot is off Paul Pogba, who probably demanded its removal after United ran all over Brighton.
Last week: 9
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Brighton
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Nov. 24 at Sheffield United

6. Wolves — Unbeaten in seven league outings, and a sneaky bet for the Top Four-Six.
Last week: 11
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Aston Villa
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 at Bournemouth

5. Sheffield United — Right now we’re just admiring the Blades, but a win at Old Trafford after the break will make us really take a look at what’s possible for the newly-promoted club.
Last week: 5
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 1-1 at Spurs
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Nov. 24 at Manchester United

4. Leicester City — Doing the little things that make the difference, and could be in line for 15 more points before meeting Man City and Liverpool in back-to-back outings.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 10
Last match: Won 2-0 v. Arsenal
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 22 at Brighton and Hove Albion

3. Manchester City — Expected goals say City actually out-performed Liverpool on Sunday, but you have to finish your chances to win. Fine margins.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Lost 3-1 at Liverpool
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Nov. 23 v. Chelsea

2. Chelsea — Kante is back. Good luck with that, league rivals.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Won 2-0 v. Crystal Palace
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Nov. 23 at Man City

1. Liverpool — How good was Fabinho‘s hit to open the scoring v. Man City? Add in the fact that the Brazilian’s expected goals total for the match was .05, and it’s even more humorous. What’s deadly serious? The midfielder’s presence on the pitch has him
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 3-1 v. Man City
Up next: 10 a.m. ET Nov. 23 at Crystal Palace

Magpies come back to sour Cherries at St. James

Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images
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DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark scored to lead Newcastle United back from an early deficit, as the Magpies collected a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Magpies are now unbeaten in three and sit 11th with 15 points, one behind seventh place Bournemouth.

The Cherries goal came via Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson off a delightful training ground corner kick.


Three things we learned

1. Magpies defenders are attackers (again): Steve Bruce‘s Newcastle has seen seven of its last nine goals come courtesy of backs, and today it was Clark and Yedlin rewarded for following the ball to goal. Clark scored for the second-straight match while his American teammate joined Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles, and Jetro Willems on the score sheets this season. In game rife with harsh tackles and seedy moves, perhaps its fitting the backs made the difference.

2. Saint-Maximin a difference maker (also, again): Newcastle’s French wing wizard was again perplexing for a Premier League defense. While he still hasn’t found the required goals of his position, his passing, dribbling, and use of space remains upper echelon in the league. If he starts firing home, look out.

3. King butchers late chance: There should’ve been a late point for the visitors, but the Cherries long time finisher didn’t finish his chance. Joshua King was at the back ahead of Dubravka, who was a bit suspect all day, but couldn’t turn his header inside the far post with mere seconds to go in stoppage time.

Man of the Match: 


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The Cherries were very lively from the jump, and Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was called into action several times before the opener.

That’s when a clever short corner routine ended with Wilson’s goal, as the Liverpool loanee darted free of Jetro Willems to side-foot a shot inside the near post.

Newcastle took a second hit when captain Jamaal Lascelles was forced off with an injury.

The Magpies, oddly enough, then found the run of play and both Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton came close. Allan Saint-Maximin set up both players.

Saint-Maximin cooked Steve Cook to beat Aaron Ramsdale but smashed off the cross bar as the match approached the first half’s final five minutes.

That’s when the American beat the Bournemouth back line and VAR, Yedlin heading Saint-Maximin’s cross into a yawning cage from a back post position.

[ WATCH: Yedlin’s equalizer ]

Newcastle took its first lead when Willems’ back post cross was knocked down by Fernandez into the path of Clark, who just poked past Ramsdale for 2-1.

Ramsdale bailed out his backs on a 78th minute Saint-Maximin chance, catching the ball and watching Almiron miss the empty cage under duress.

The Cherries did good work to find an equalizer, but King’s late miss was a symptom of their sickness.