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Season 2022-23
Brentford (a) Premier League


Saturday 8th April 2023, 3.00pm

 Gtech Community Stadium


Programme: £4.00




1 - 2





(29 mins Ivan Toney penalty saved) 

45+1 mins: 
Mathias Jensen sent over an inswinging flag kick from the corner occupied by the travelling support and it reached Rico Henry on the front corner of the six yard. His header was off target, but a raised boot from Isak caught him on the chest. 

Home players surrounded the referee in pursuit of another penalty kick and Kavanagh was belatedly invited to view the footage and rubber stamp the spot kick award, which he did so with a facial expression of clear doubt. Despite having had a perfect view of the incident it looks from the footage as if he claimed to be unsighted.

Toney's penalty was into the same side of the goal as before, but this time high enough to get it over the diving Pope. 0-1

Half time: Bees 1 Magpies 0

54 mins: A passing move that began with Kieran Trippier down the United right on the halfway line involved Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes - the latter threading a precise ball back out to Trippier on the touchline opposite the Brentford box.

His forward pass was picked up by Joelinton - whose turn infield took Ben Mee out of the picture - and United's number 7 bore down on goal. Taking a couple of touches and narrowing the angle, he looked to be trying to find Wilson at the back post, but instead saw the ball cannon off the right instep of goalkeeper David Raya and into his own net. 

It was correctly noted as an OG; the second of the season in our favour, the second from a cross  by Joelinton and the second credited to a Brentford player; Ethan Pinnock the culprit at SJP. 1-1

61 mins: A Brentford clearance to the halfway line was reached by Jensen, who was promptly robbed by Bruno. His short first time pass found Joelinton and he had time to push it to Wilson, lurking to the right of the box between two defenders.

Carrying the ball infield, United's number 9 laid it off to Alexander Isak, whose sweetly struck first-time right-footer flew into the net beyond the grasp of Raya. 2-1

Full time: Bees 1 Magpies 2

We Said

Eddie Howe:

"Today is a huge moment in our season. We needed incredible character to come back like that and we have proved time and again that we have the energy and fight in us.

"It was a very tough game. It was very physical, as we knew it would be. We suffered in the first half. But second half, what a response from a group of players that have played three games in six days. They were asked to dig really deep for the result but responded really well.

"I have only seen one replay (of the second penalty). I thought it was harsh. I thought the handball on Callum was also harsh, but that is just my opinion.

"We changed things tactically (at half time). Sometimes that can give you a lift in itself. We knew we were desperate for the result and threw caution to the wind a little bit. 

The players responded well physically, even though we were a little bit fatigued from the week we have had: that is down to the characters we have."

On fielding a front pairing of Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson:

"The thinking behind getting Alex and Callum together was pretty obvious really. I just think we needed more of a focal point in the game. We needed the ability to run in behind because, for whatever reason, that wasnít happening in the first half. 

"That was the thinking behind putting those two players together, and I have to say, I thought they linked so well. They really combined together and gave us a totally different look.
Theyíre two quality players. 

Can they play together every week? Tactically, probably not. But can they play together in a game like this? Absolutely. We don't want to force it and the team suffers, we want it to be to the benefit of the team. Today was the right time and they caused them no end of problems."

On Anthony Gordon's reaction to being taken off:

"Iíve got no problem. Anthony is a passionate boy. He wants to do well, but there was seconds left on the clock and we wanted to get Matty (Ritchie) on because Anthony was holding his ankle.

"He just needs to control his emotions in that moment, but there are no problems."

On Allan Saint-Maximin:

"I donít think itís serious with Allan. He didnít feel 100% during the West Ham game, so we decided to scan him. It wasnít a clear injury, but we decided to scan him and it revealed a very minor problem with his hamstring. We knew pretty much straight away he wasnít going to be available for this game.

"Iím guessing slightly, but itíll maybe be a couple of weeks. Itís nothing too serious, although it was a big blow because of the form Allan has been in. But again, we back the strength of the squad."


They Said

Thomas Frank said:

"I feel for the players. They gave everything. What an effort. We asked them to be aggressive, to win second balls and to take care of the ball. In the first half, wow! Totally on top. Could easily have been 3-0. Missed penalty and narrow offside. That is the fine margins not going our way. 

"In the second half, two moments changed the game. The first where Joelinton makes a good action but is fortunate to get the shot in off David Raya's legs when there was no pass. Then a great finish from Alexander Isak - a £63m striker.

"It is almost a law of statistics the one day he (Ivan Toney) would miss a penalty. Unfortunately, that happened today. More, I want to praise the mentality and focus and composure. That is second to none. He was a threat throughout the game.

"We definitely had initiative and energy to come back and get more than a well-deserved draw. We deserved something from the game. It is because we are doing so well that the expectation rises, especially from us. 

"We feel disappointed we got nothing from the game. Sometimes you have to out it into perspective - that we have lost twice at home and went toe to toe with a really good team.

"When thereís a penalty a lot of teams need to have strategies to put a different taker on the ball first so he gets all the abuse, and the right taker doesnít get the abuse. 

"Maybe we should look into that, in general. Because when the decision is made, rightly or wrongly, why not have it as a man-to-man duel, keeper and striker, instead of all that mental bit? Thatís just a question Iíd like to ask.

"I donít think thatís why he missed. But every single time someone wants to get into Ivanís head. Weíve experienced it before. I think it the first time was against Norwich, Tim Krul, heís always very active on the taker. So we took Ivan away.

"But I think it should be the other way round. It shouldnít be the need to think about a strategy. I think we need to think about sportsmanship in the game. I know the game management bit, but I think we need look into the dark arts of football. Where is the sportsmanship?

It's unclear whether Frank classifies his top scorer's match betting habit as a dark art...)

"Should referees be more aware of it? Yes, I think so. Every single time we have had a penalty, someone has tried to get inside Ivanís head and referees need to be aware of that.

"It wasnít why he didnít score today because the law of statistics says that one day he would miss one. Today the ball moved just before he took the penalty so maybe there was a bit of doubt that affected him, so it took a lot of mental strength for him to put the second one in the back of the net.

"Today we were deliberately more active towards the fourth official because we knew that Newcastle have that strategy. Jason Tindall always speaks in the fourth officialís ear throughout the game and we needed to be aware of that.

"We went toe-to-toe with Newcastle and did to them what no other team has done this season. We missed a penalty, had a goal disallowed or a marginal offside and could have been 3-0 up at half-time.Ē


Magpies @ Bees - all-time:

2022/23 won 2-1 (PL) OG (Raya), Isak
won 2-0 (PL) Joelinton, Willock
2020/21 lost 0-1 (LC)
2016/17 won 2-1 (Ch) Gayle, Murphy
1992/93 won 2-1 (D1) Kelly, G.Peacock
1947/48 lost 0-1 (D2)
1938/39 won 2-0 (FA) Clifton, Mooney
1934/35 lost 0-3 (D2)

Eddie Howe
returned his win percentage back up to 50%, with 28 wins from 56 PL games. Only Sir Bobby Robson and Kevin Keegan (first spell) won half or more of their top tier fixtures.

(Speaking of managers, both Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness both lasted exactly 56 PL games in charge of United, exiting with 19 and 16 wins respectively - something to remember the next time that you see either pontificating on TV about Wor Eddie....)

Newcastle turned a half time deficit into a full time advantage for the first time since trailing 0-1 at the break at Burnley in April 2021, but winning 2-1. The most recent PL game in which they went behind but won was the 2-1 success at Nottingham Forest last month.

Today was the fourth time this season that United trailed at the break in the PL, after Wolves (a) (0-1/1-1), Liverpool (h) (0-2/0-2) and Manchester City (a) (0-1/0-2).

The Magpies have 48 goals from 29 PL games - the most since notching 56 in the 2011/12 season.

Top scorers 2022/23 - top three:

Miguel Almiron 11
Callum Wilson 10
Alexander Isak 8

Having scored his first half dozen goals from 12 yards or less, Alexander Isak has now netted from outside the box in his last two games. His eight PL goals take him one ahead of Matt Ritchie, level with Bruno Guimaraes and one shy of Jamaal Lascelles.

Nick Pope has now faced four penalty kicks in the PL this season, all of them taken by former Magpies. Two goals have been scored from that quartet - both by Ivan Toney:

Ivan Toney Brentford (h) scored
Aleksander Mitrovic Fulham (h) disallowed
Ivan Toney Brentford (a) saved
Ivan Toney Brentford (a) scored

With four away games to play and just two losses recorded so far, the most defeats away from SJP Newcastle can incur is six - which would be the smallest amount since 2003/04 (five). That figure of five is the lowest number of away defeats we've ever suffered in the PL, recording that on three occasions (1996/97, 2001/02 and 2003/04).

Away win number seven edges United closer to their PL record of nine, while their 24th and 25th away goals puts them nearer to their record tally on the road of 34.

Newcastle have won each of their last three away games, achieving that feat for the second time this season. Before that, they hadn't done so in any top flight campaign since 2001/02. They last managed four in a row during the 1996/97 season. 

27 points away from SJP represents United's biggest total since attaining that in 2011/12.  

PL win number 15 this season is the largest total since the Magpies reached that in 2013/14.

The Magpies have a 100% win record clad in the blue and gold change kit, at Tranmere Rovers (LC), Fulham, Spurs, Southampton (PL), Southampton (LC), Nottingham Forest and Brentford. 

United have now recorded three PL win doubles this season, successfully taking six points from Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Brentford. They have the opportunity to notch up another six.

Newcastle remain unbeaten in London in the PL this season, following victories at Fulham, Spurs, West Ham and Brentford and draws at Arsenal and Crystal Palace. A visit to Stamford Bridge on the final day of the season remains. The last time they managed that was in 1996/97 (five games).

This was Newcastle's first non-televised game of 2023 in any competition and the first since the 0-0 home draw with Leeds United on the last day of 2022. Their last 3pm PL away KO was the 4-1 win at Fulham in October 2022, another pleasurable afternoon on the banks of the Thames. 

Newcastle are only the second team to beat Brentford on their own ground in the PL this season after Arsenal, 3-0 winners here in September. The Bees have won seven and drawn six at home.



An imperious strike from Alexander Isak gave Newcastle their third victory in just seven days, regaining third place after Manchester United had fleetingly occupied it earlier on Saturday.

United's second victory of the week in the capital was achieved in rather different circumstances to that at West Ham on Wednesday however; Eddie Howe's side recovering from a
one goal deficit at half time to make it five wins on the bounce.

That disadvantage could have been worse, with the Bees awarded two penalties in the opening 45 minutes after having seen an earlier effort disallowed after VAR confirmed an offside by Ivan Toney. 

A Magpies side with Isak and Joe Willock in for Callum Wilson and the hamstrung Allan Saint-Maximin were clearly unsettled by the hosts, who were without a win in their last three matches but beaten just once at home all season - by Arsenal. 

Brentford came close to an early opener when Ivan Toney fired across goal and within eight minutes the former Magpie had tucked home a rebound off Nick Pope from close range. Not for the first time in this game though, VAR watcher Darren England would intervene to guide indecisive referee Chris Kavanagh from his remote viewpoint at Stockley Park - some ten miles away.

England belatedly decreed that Toney was offside - replicating Paul Tierney's decision earlier in the season, when the striker was illegally positioned as Bryan Mbeumo thought he'd put Brentford ahead in the 10th minute of the corresponding game at St. James' Park.

Newcastle failed to heed this early shot across the bows though, the game continued scoreless until the 29th minute, at which point a
Brentford surge down their right was halted when Dan Burn charged down Hickey's forward in the opposition half. 

The left back was stranded upfield when home substitute Mathias Jorgensen looped a pass down the flank to Kevin Schade and he outpaced Fabian Schar before heading into the box and looking up, with three colleagues arriving for a pass.

Enter Sven Botman, who unceremoniously unloaded the on-loan Freiburg forward and was cautioned along with conceding a penalty
that even Kavanagh couldn't fail to see.  

Previously perfect in the Premier League from 12 yards, Ivan Toney took the spot kick but could only trundle it along the ground in the direction of Pope, who dropped to his left and gathered easily.

The game restarted at 0-0 - but Newcastle conspicuously still struggling to create any dangerous moments at the other end and Isak noticeably isolated up front.

Two minutes before the interval and all eyes were on England again, a high boot from Isak catching Rico Henry on the chest, as a corner came over. The outcome was another spot kick, this time after Kavanagh checked the screen following a ludicrously long delay for VAR. Clear and obvious, really?

Toney kept his nerve to confidently fire home and send his side in ahead; Howe responding by leaving both Jacob Murphy and Sean Longstaff in the dressing room, Anthony Gordon and Wilson appearing.

What followed was an upturn in effort similar to the period that followed United going ahead against Wolves at Gallowgate last month, with continual pressure brought to bear on the opposition goal.

Two early corners were cleared before Dan Burn's shot was blocked and Kieran Trippier's ball to Joelinton saw the Brazilian hare in from the right and the ball end up in the back of the net via the Brentford goalkeeper.

Both Willock and Gordon then saw crosses cleared before Wilson cut in from the right flank and teed up Isak for his screamer a central spot from the edge of the area - a goal fit to win any game.

Wilson then thought he'd added a third within five minutes following a Trippier corner, but saw that ruled out for handball by VAR. Although there did seem a lack of enthusiasm in celebrations by both players and fans, it was another questionable decision given the footage that emerged.

The Bees did belatedly respond and after putting one chance wide, Tony saw Pope reach his header on 80 minutes. Wilson fired wide during injury time, before fellow replacement Elliot Anderson missed a glorious chance to bag his first Toon goal - firing weakly at Raya when clean through.

There were to be no late goals at either end though; team and fans celebrating at full time in now familiar style, with even the home boss applauding as he passed on a post-match lap of the pitch.

In the middle of both the onfield entourage and the 21st dressing room victory photo of an incredible season was Anthony Gordon - captured on social media reacting badly to his manager after being substituted but soon back in the fold; a storm on the touchline proving to be a storm in a teacup.

Even by our recent standards this has been an incredible seven days for Howe and his side; nine points and nine goals and a trio of slack-jawed opposition managers silenced. At the point of the season that we routinely begin to founder we've seemingly got our second wind - Joelinton in particular prospering since his enforced two match absence and the strikers back in the groove. Anything seems possible.


Page last updated 15 May, 2023