Miguel Almiron

Newcastle comes back twice to draw West Ham

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Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron each scored equalizers as Newcastle continued its unbeaten Premier League run with a 2-2 draw against West Ham United at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio scored for the Irons, who move four points clear of the drop zone after its midweek win over Chelsea.

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The Newcastle point hampers its top eight hopes but runs its unbeaten league run to seven matches. The Magpies are 12th with 43 points.

NEWCASTLE – WEST HAM FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Almiron finds a home: Atlanta United fans will offer a “Well, duh?” when told that Newcastle playmaker Almiron is having a much better time finding goals and assists since a move from the wing to attack midfielder. The Paraguayan showed his nose for goal from close range in the first half on Sunday, giving him two goals and an assist since the restart. He also was often a left wing under Rafa Benitez last season, bright but without finish, and has been on the right an awful lot this season.

2. Few standouts for visitors: There’s no doubting the effort levels of West Ham’s opening scorer, and Antonio hassled the Magpies plenty on Sunday. The 30-year-old scored for the third time in his last six PL matches, his 30th goal in five Premier League seasons since a 2015 move from Nottingham Forest.

As for Soucek, the 25-year-old Slavia Prague loanee cleaned up a rebound off a corner kick when Declan Rice headed the service off the bar. Soucek’s been quite good, scoring against Chelsea at midweek and adding his second PL goal. Much of the Irons’ back line, however, was absent as were the three playmakers underneath Antonio (though that’s a bit harsh on Jarrod Bowen, who was dangerous very early in the match, and Aaron Cresswell grew into the game late).

3. Big Jonj delivers again: Forgetting for a moment that West Ham’s center backs allowed Shelvey and Gayle to work the 18 like a training routine on the second Newcastle goal, Shelvey is about to lead Newcastle in goals as a center midfielder. It’s Shelvey’s most productive offensive season in the PL since his first year at Swansea City and his six goals match a career-high despite

Man of the Match

Shelvey — The Magpies leading scorer (?!?) passed at 86 percent with three key passes and 8-of-15 long passes completed.

Newcastle - West Ham recap
Shelvey (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Newcastle – West Ham recap

A head-scratching play from Jamaal Lascelles allowed Antonio a back post goal in the fourth minute, West Ham getting off to a flying start from Jarrod Bowen’s cross.

Dwight Gayle stung a low free kick under the leaping wall that Lukasz Fabianski stifled in the 10th minute.

The Irons’ Declan Rice picked out Antonio at the back post a minute later, but Martin Dubravka caught the off-balance volley.

Almiron leveled the score line in the 17th minute, darting to the front post to convert an Emil Krafth pass following a dribble from Allan Saint-Maximin.

Fabianski was busy twice more in the next few minutes, a reaction save on a direct corner kick and a far less troubling effort from Saint-Maximin.

Bowen swept a great free kick into the mixer in front of Dubravka after the half-hour mark before forcing the keeper into a terrific save moments later.

Antonio put another header into Dubravka’s hands before halftime, Saint-Maximin answering with a shot saved by Fabianski.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Little used, Krafth was busy again at the restart as Newcastle earned a corner.

The second half was sleepy, perhaps both sides ready to accept the point.

It sprung to life moments after we typed those words, West Ham taking a lead for barely over a minute through Soucek’s finish of a Rice rebound.

Newcastle needed even less time to answer the second Irons goal, Shelvey working a 1-2 with Gayle in the middle of the Irons box before calmly slotting home.

Newcastle clobbers woeful, worried Bournemouth

Bournemouth - Newcastle recap
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Allan Saint-Maximin’s three-assist day helped Newcastle United punis poor Bournemouth with a 4-1 battering Wednesday at the Vitality Stadium.

The Magpies’ French revelation set up goals from Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff, and Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey cued up Valentino Lazaro for another in sending Newcastle to 42 points and 13th place.

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Dan Gosling scored late for Bournemouth, who is in big trouble. The Cherries’ goal differential now puts them bottom of the three sides on 27 points. The Cherries sit 19th with six matches to play.


Three things we learned

1. The stage belongs to ASM: There are few players in the league as clever and magnet-booted as Saint-Maximin, who finally got finishers on the end of his wizardry. Newcastle will struggle to keep hold of the 23-year-old, who has cast aside the character concerns that came with him from Ligue 1.

2. Bournemouth looks lost: The Cherries are only in the Premier League safety picture due to the horrid displays of teams around them. The four goals conceded weigh heavily on Eddie Howe’s men, who have to hope Watford, West Ham, and Villa all struggle and split points with each other down the stretch. Bournemouth’s last six games are no cakewalk: Manchester United, Spurs, Leicester City, Man City, Southampton, and Everton.

3. Almiron adjusted: Atlanta United’s Paraguayan export took some time to find his finishing touch in the Premier League. He looked bright but without end product for Rafa Benitez this year, then really struggled to start life under Steve Bruce. He’s looking the part again and scored his seventh goal in all comps this season.

That said, Bournemouth would’ve done well to challenge the ball here, yeah?

Man of the Match

Saint-Maximin. The Frenchman has completed more dribbles per game than anyone not named Adama Traore.


Bournemouth – Newcastle recap

The Magpies struck early when Gayle took a Saint-Maximin pass and finished with class inside the near post, a much harder finish than the sitter he missed against Man City in an FA Cup quarterfinal on Sunday.

It was 2-0 through Longstaff, who slammed home a shot from the heart of the 18 after Saint-Maximin dribbled the left side of the box into submission.

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Almiron was there for 3-0, taking the ball from Saint-Maximin and scoring a classy effort after dribbling into the box.

Lazaro’s first Premier League goal wads Newcastle’s fourth of the day, taking a Shelvey feed to punish Aaron Ramsdale.

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It could’ve been 5-0 when Nabil Bentaleb smashed the wood work and the rebound wobbled to an offside Isaac Hayden to pop over the bar

Ramsdale made a fine save on Andy Carroll in stoppage time to keep the line 4-0.

Bournemouth did not trouble Martin Dubravka until their stoppage-time goal, ex-Magpie midfielder Gosling pushing Ake’s flicked ball over the line.

Before that were five shots blocked with another five missing the target.

What we love about Newcastle

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up is Newcastle.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to take a closer look at the Magpies.


Alan Shearer: Internationally, Shearer is clearly the most recognizable player associated with the Newcastle United name and brand. Growing up just a couple of miles from St. James Park, Shearer returned to his home in a big-money transfer from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 and starred for his hometown club for the next decade. Including his time with Southampton, where he first went professional, and Blackburn Rovers, where he won a Premier League title, Shearer scored 260 league goals and 64 assists in 441 matches. Shearer retired in 2006 with more than 400 matches played for Newcastle, and more than 200 goals, and numerous records. His 260 league goals are by far the most of any Premier League player and his 206 goals for Newcastle is also a club record mark.

Newcastle United’s Alan Shearer celebrates his goal in front of the fans (Photo by Owen Humphreys – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Shearer, who has since gone on to manage the club briefly and move into television punditry on BBC’s Match of the Day, was honored with a bronze statue outside of the ground. It features the former England international in his oft-seen goal celebration, running towards the fans with his pointer finger held aloft in the sky.

DeAndre Yedlin: Just the second American-born player to play for the Toon (after Oguchi Onyewu had a loan spell in 2007), Newcastle took a chance on a young, speedy winger who was coming off a loan in 2015-2016 at arch rivals Sunderland. While things haven’t always been rosy and sunny at Newcastle for Yedlin, he’s clearly improved on the defensive and tactical side of the game, and it’s shown in U.S. Men’s National Team matches when he’s returned and been fit to play.

To date, Yedlin has made 125 league appearances for the Magpies. He’s also scored five goals, including this beauty last fall.

Miguel Almiron: Other than scoring boatloads of goals, like Alan Shearer did in his heyday, there’s nothing Newcastle fans love more than a hard-working player who happens to also possess incredible technical gifts as well. Enter Miguel Almiron. Although the Paraguayan international has struggled with his end-product, his lightning-fast runs down the channels have excited Newcastle fans since he joined the club in February 2019.

No matter what happens this season or in the future, Newcastle fans will always have his FA Cup double against West Bromwich Albion early in March.

St. James Park faithful: Through all the ups and downs, you can just about always count on the Newcastle fans showing up to support their team. Newcastle fans are considered among the most passionate around the globe, and it’s been quite a while since the club was contending for Champions League places. They’ve also had their fair share of hopes dashed, and have had to deal twice with relegation in the last 15 years. But they still fill up the 52,000-plus seat capacity at the beautifully-redesigned St. James Park.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Newcastle United fans display anti-racism banners during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Almiron salutes injured ex-Atlanta United teammate as Bruce praises star

Miguel Almiron
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Newcastle United got a big performance out of Miguel Almiron in the No. 10 role, and the Paraguayan used his star show to pay tribute to Josef Martinez.

Almiron and Martinez famously celebrated goals at Atlanta United by combining to make a heart with their arms, and Martinez has been linked with Newcastle in recent transfer windows.

Martinez tore his ACL this week, and Almiron celebrated one of his two goals in a 3-2 defeat of West Brom in the FA Cup by forming half of a heart from an ocean away.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

That part of the performance was lovely for MLS and Atlanta fans, but what Newcastle United fans and manager Steve Bruce love is Almiron’s promising performances now seeing end product.

“As I have said many times he has been a breath of fresh air,” Bruce said, via The Chronicle. “That little bit of confidence will hopefully do him the world of good.”

Almiron was a sparkplug last season for Rafa Benitez, but failed to get a goal or assist in 10 outings. This season, he waited 14 league matches for an assist and three more for a goal.

The FA Cup has helped him grow, as Almiron has added four goals to give him six in all competitions.

“He looked a top, top player tonight and we all know he can score,” Bruce said. “He just missed a few chances and then it ebbs away at you. One thing you can’t deny is the kid is a good player.”

Almiron still needs to produce more against PL competition, but his numbers are promising. He’s second on Newcastle with 43 tackles, and his 40 successful dribbles trail only wizard Allan Saint-Maximin (Stats via SofaScore).

It seems Almiron is ready for a breakthrough in league play, though the Magpies still badly need an engine in the midfield and a shuttler who sets up the playmakers. Steve Bruce has changed the club’s defensive formation to something more open, so this will be a good few weeks to track Almiron’s progress.

FA Cup wrap: Liverpool loses again; Almiron drives Newcastle win

Liverpool
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Previously impermeable Liverpool allowed three goals for the second-straight match in bowing out of the FA Cup in the fifth round.

Chelsea beat the Premier League leaders 2-0 at Stamford Bridge as one of two FA Cup matches on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Joining the Blues and Arsenal in the hat for the quarterfinal draw is Newcastle United. Sheffield United and Reading are in extra time at the Madejski Stadium, so check back for updates.

They don’t use a hat. They used to. Those were the days to be a haberdasher.

Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool

Liverpool has lost three in four in all competitions after an even match at Stamford Bridge.

Both sides turned to their depth after weekend disappointments, and Chelsea’s responded with a fine showing.

The opener came thanks to a series of Liverpool errors, Willian‘s hammered shot hitting Adrian square in the hands and finding its way over the line.

Kepa Arrizabalaga had a three-save sequence to keep it 1-0 at the break.

Barkley then seized on an unlucky Van Dijk flick and raced sixty yards past a sleepy Fabinho and cautious Joe Gomez to smash a rocket off the in-goal camera.

Pedro was denied 1v1 by Adrian before Olivier Giroud smashed off the bottom of the bar.

Liverpool brought on Roberto Firmino and James Milner in the 70th minute in a late bid to reverse the Reds’ fortunes. Mohamed Salah entered 10 minutes later, all to no avail.

Reading 1-1 Sheffield United (currently in extra time)

Hard-luck Blades striker David McGoldrick finally got his goal, the 32-year-old taking a Ben Osborn feed to make it 1-0. McGoldrick has an expected goal mark of more than seven in Premier League play, but had not found the net.

Reading leveled the score just before halftime through a George Puscas penalty. That was it for the goals in regulation.

West Brom 2-3 Newcastle United

Newcastle had several big chances early and were justly rewarded when Allan Saint-Maximin slipped Miguel Almiron into the box for a clinical finish past Baggies keeper Jonathan Bond.

Almiron made it a brace when Joelinton backheeled a pass toward the penalty spot for the Paraguayan’s sliding finish.

Valentino Lazaro got his first Newcastle goal within two minutes of restart thanks to a Bond error.

Longtime West Brom servant Matty Phillips pulled one back in the 74th minute off a Kenneth Zohore assist.

The Baggies took the slimmest of hopes from a pretty stoppage time connection from Kyle Edwards to Zohore, but a late penalty shout went unheard and the Championship-leading Baggies left the tournament.