Newcastle cruised to an impressive 5-1 win over Brentford at St James’ Park to stay within touching distance of the Premier League top four a quarter of the way into the new season.
In contrast to the first half of last term, the Magpies have been difficult to beat so far in 2022/23 – only Liverpool have defeated Eddie Howe’s side – but this was just a third league victory and a first pair of consecutive wins after beating Fulham a week ago.
South American stars Bruno Guimaraes and Miguel Almiron were again the heroes from a Newcastle perspective, although an Ivan Toney penalty that brought Brentford back into the game at 2-1 early in the second half briefly threatened to make it a more challenging afternoon.
The visiting Bees did actually have the ball in the net first, although Bryan Mbeumo’s name was struck off the score-sheet when VAR intervened with an offside call.
It was a set piece that set Newcastle on their way, with Bruno guiding a Kieran Trippier corner into the net midway through the first half. Not much more time had passed when Jacob Murphy doubled the lead, latching onto Callum Wilson’s ball around seven yards out.
Brentford piled on the pressure after the restart and Nick Pope made a good save from Mbeumo. The spot kick came when the ball struck Dan Burn’s arm in the penalty area and, after a lengthy wait for VAR to verify it, Toney calmly sent Pope the wrong way.
Bruno was immediately on hand to restore the two-goal cushion with the best goal of the game from outside the penalty area, while Almiron’s third goal in two games later extended Newcastle’s lead to 4-1 in the final 10 minutes.
To rub Brentford’s nose in it even more, an Ethan Pinnock own goal in stoppage pushed the score to 5-1 before the end.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!