Newcastle tops Bournemouth behind Rondon brace

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  • Rondon scores twice in 1st half
  • Lerma pulls one back before break
  • Magpies win second-straight

Salomon Rondon scored a pair of goals as Newcastle United won its second-straight match, this one a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Newcastle has won seven of its nine points in its last three matches, the last two wins, as the Magpies rise 14th with nine points.

Bournemouth sits sixth with 20 points. Jefferson Lerma scored the Cherries’ goal.

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Bournemouth wasn’t shy to start the match, with Jordon Ibe’s promising chance thwarted by a sliding Federico Fernandez.

But Newcastle opened the scoring when DeAndre Yedlin raced onto the end of a Mohamed Diame cross, cutting back for Rondon to score on the second of two bids on Asmir Begovic.

The Magpies were very much under siege for the next 20 minutes, with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka very busy.

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith pulled up with a non-contact injury in the run-up to a free kick, and needed a stretcher.

But Rondon struck again, rising high to latch onto a Kenedy cross and deliver a trademark goal.

Begovic stopped a point-blank shot from Kenedy just before halftime, and was called into action again when a Ki Sung-yeung free kick was nearly headed in by Fabian Schar.

Lerma headed a close-range effort home to make it 2-1 before the break, and Ayoze Perez almost answered toward the end of 8 minutes of first half stoppage.

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Perez cued up a sliding Ritchie effort that spun wide of the far post in the 63rd minute.

Ibe missed a bid to level the score in the 73rd minute.

Newcastle tested Begovic through substitute Christian Atsu in the 81st minute.

Ex-Magpie midfielder Dan Gosling thought he’d scored when Dubravka pawed a hard shot onto his path, but the Bournemouth man was offside.

Rondon came close to completing his hat trick in the 89th, but Begovic kicked it aside.

Newcastle top Watford, grab long-awaited win

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  • Magpies get first win
  • Watford allows first goal in 3 matches
  • Subs Ki, Perez combine for winner

Ayoze Perez’s second half goal was enough for Newcastle United to win its first Premier League match of the season and emerge from the drop zone with a 1-0 defeat of Watford at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

The Magpies now have six points, while Watford has 19 and sits eighth.

The win avoids the worst start in Newcastle history.

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The opening 10 minutes belonged to Newcastle, but the Magpies couldn’t maneuver inside the final third.

At the other end, Watford then won a series of corners but found Newcastle very willing to block shots and clog lanes.

Newcastle’s Mo Diame dribbled into space and ripped a shot that Ben Foster parried, and Watford dealt with his rebound cross.

Kenedy intercepted a Craig Cathcart pass but saw Adrian Mariappa slide to block his in-tight effort. Watford countered off the ensuing corner, but Gerard Deulofeu missed the far post.

Watford’s 12th attempt was its first on target, as DeAndre Yedlin helped allowed an Isaac Success shot saved by Martin Dubravka.

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The Hornets dealt with two Newcastle chances off a 46th minute free kick, and Matt Ritchie‘s ensuing free kick was blocked only to see the Magpies keep possession.

Roberto Pereyra hit the bar at the other end before Dubravka stopped his rebound effort.

The Magpies, however, broke through off a set piece, Perez nodding a Ki Sung-Yueng free kick past Ben Foster. The under-fire Spaniard plugged his ears in celebration, and it was 1-0 to Newcastle.

Newcastle came close to making it 2-0, but instead nearly lost their lead on a counter attack thanks to a poor pass from left back Paul Dummett.

Leicester City tops punchless Newcastle United

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  • Yedlin concedes penalty
  • Vardy converts from spot
  • Maguire heads Maddison corner home

Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire scored as Leicester City waltzed past punchless Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

USMNT back DeAndre Yedlin conceded a penalty for Newcastle, who was unlucky not to earn a chance of their own when Ayoze Perez was blocked by Maguire.

Leicester is now 7th, three points back of the Top Four, while Newcastle remains 18th with just two points.

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There were chances inside of five minutes for both teams, with Ayoze Perez’s shot blocked by Leicester and Kelechi Iheanacho grounding a shot to Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka.

Leicester had all of the play for the next 10 minutes, but Joselu had the next best chance when he dribbled toward the end line but the Spaniard’s indecisiveness and favor of his left-footed only led to a corner kick.

Mohamed Diame headed just wide from Christian Atsu‘s left wing cross in the 22nd minute.

Maguire, who was the force in stopping Joselu’s earlier chance, forced Dubravka into conceding a corner kick at the other end in the 28th minute.

DeAndre Yedlin conceded a 29th minute penalty, leaping to block a shot with his arm. Dubravka went the right way but couldn’t reach Vardy’s penalty kick.

Jonjo Shelvey thought he’d caught Kasper Schmeichel off his line from within the Newcastle half, but the Leicester keeper tracked back to slap down the effort.

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Ayoze Perez looked to have won a penalty on a Maguire block in the 50th minute, but perhaps his exaggerated reaction dissuaded a call from Simon Hooper.

Leicester City underlined the win with a James Maddison corner for Maguire to head past Dubravka.

Season Preview: Will internal turmoil bring Newcastle down?

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Newcastle at a glance:

Premier League (and old First Division) titles: 2 (last: 1959/60)

FA Cups: 5 (last: 1954/55)

League Cups: 0 (best finish: runners-up 1974/75)

FA Community Shield: 1 (1909/10, runners-up 5 times)

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Newcastle’s biggest enemy is itself, and this year might just be the year it brings them down for real.

Soccer’s Jerry Jones has taken flak for years as the Magpies slowly consume themselves from the inside out, yet Mike Ashley continues to trudge on stuck in his ways. No Premier League team would produce a bigger inferno upon relegation than Newcastle. Championship title winners just two years ago, Rafa Benitez has milked everything he can out of a paper-thin squad for the last two years, but if relegation becomes unavoidable, Newcastle’s biggest asset would most certainly walk, and the doom and gloom would spread like wildfire.

It’s somewhat surprpsing that relegation talk swirls after a 10th placed finish last year, but that’s the Benitez effect. The team continues to punch above its weight on paper, all thanks to their all-star manager. Yet the summer transfer window has been another one of frustration, and thus the fan unrest continues.

Can Benitez push the Magpies away from the bottom-tier maelstrom or will Newcastle be pulled into the unescapable cyclone?


Newcastle will finish away from the drop because…everything good Newcastle has stumbled upon the last two years has been attributable to Benitez. With the Spaniard around, most anything is possible. The defense is thin but talented, and the attack has promise. If Newcastle can avoid the injury bug, they can go places.

Newcastle will be relegated because…the squad is razor thin. Florian Lejeune is already out with an ACL tear, and if an injury leaves either Jamaal Lascelles or Martin Dubravka on the sidelines as well, the back line becomes swiss cheese. At the other end there’s a little more depth, but much of the creativity falls to Ayoze Perez, and an injury to the wrong place in that department could bring the team down as well. Mike Ashley hasn’t done enough this summer to instill confidence in fans.

Best possible XI:

———————Dubravka———————

——Yedlin—Lascelles—Schar——Dummett——

——Ritchie—Shelvey—Diame——Atsu——

—————Perez——————

—————Gayle——————

Transfers In: Yoshinori Muto ($12.4 million, FSV Mainz), Fabian Schar ($4.6 million, Deportivo La Coruna), Martin Dubravka ($4.6 million, Sparta Prague), Ki Sung-Yueng (Free, Swansea City), Kenedy (Loan, Chelsea).

Transfers Out: Aleksandar Mitrovic ($23.3 million, Fulham), Mikel Merino ($12 million, Real Sociedad), Chance Mbemba ($9.2 million, Porto), Matz Sels ($4.6 million, RC Strasbourg), Massadio Haidara (Free, Lens), Stuart Findlay (Free, Kilmarnock), Jack Colback (Loan, Nottingham Forest).

Ranking their offseason: C

Newcastle received nearly $25 million for Aleksandar Mitrovic from Fulham – a total that was basically a foregone conclusion for weeks, pending Newcastle securing his replacement in Muto – and promptly sat on it. While useful players have been brought in with Schar replacing the injured Lejeune and Dubravka likely to start in net, the team wasn’t necessarily improved in the transfer market, and the squad still has plenty of holes. If they go down, this transfer window will be largely viewed as a big reason why.

Star player: While Ayoze Perez is the lifeblood of the Newcastle attack, nobody is more important to this squad than Jamaal Lascelles. Newcastle resisted heavy interest for his services this summer, and they will be far better off for it. The 24-year-old has developed into one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, and was heavily considered for a spot in the England World Cup squad this summer. If anything happens to him, this squad will come crumbling to pieces, and he would likely leave if they are relegated.

Coach’s Corner: While Lascelles is the most valuable player, nobody is more important to this team than Rafa Benitez. Mike Ashley’s greatest accomplishment was convincing the Spaniard to commit to the club through the one season in the Championship, and it has paid off since. Still, Ashely does little to back his manager, and Benitez has not held back. After a 4-0 defeat to Braga in preseason, Benitez said, “The fans have to be concerned, we are concerned. I’m really worried.” Should the club misstep at all this season, Benitez would surely depart for a bigger club. He’s certainly earned the right.

PST Predicts: While much of this preview has been quite doom and gloom, Newcastle has enough prized possessions to stay up this season. The most concerning part of this offseason has to be the newly promoted clubs spending vast quantities of money to improve, but there should be enough teams worse than Newcastle to prevent the Magpies from suffering heartbreak. Just enough. They should finish around 15th in the table after quite the scare.

Video: Ayoze Perez stuns with back-heel strike in Newcastle training

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The Premier League season may be a few weeks away from kicking off, but Ayoze Perez looks to be in fine form for the Magpies.

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The Newcastle attacker scored a wonderful flicked back-heel during a recent training session with the club (below), potentially giving fans a preview of things to come this season.

Perez, 24, is entering his fifth season at St. James’ Park, and with goals like this, the Spaniard will have expectations raised even further under manager Rafael Benitez.