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Season 2021-22
Brentford (h) Premier League


Saturday 20th November 2021, 3.00pm

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Accommodating





3 - 3





10 mins Matt Ritchie swung over a corner kick from the Newcastle right for the unmarked Jamaal Lascelles to rise highest to nod the ball down and into the Leazes End net from six yard out and in off the far post. 1-0

11 mins Sergi Canos took advantage of a block falling to him and hooked a pass to Ivan Toney. The former Magpie controlled the ball before hitting a powerful right-footed shot that Karl Darlow inexplicably got nothing behind. It took the slightest of touches off his knee that wasn't enough to keep it out.

Having received some low-level booing when first touching the ball earlier in the game, Toney's extended badge-fondling celebration in front of home followers prompted rather high levels of derision. 1-1

31 mins
A crossfield ball was received by Canos on the right and he stepped back inside Matt Ritchie before bending a left-footed cross to the far post. Rico Henry ghosted in and headed the ball down into the ground and into the net - Jacob Murphy fatally tempted into the middle. 1-2

39 mins Allan Saint-Maximin cut in from the left and jinked his way across the edge of the area before hitting a shot that was blocked by Mads Roeslev. That fell to Joelinton in the box and he took a touch before slamming a low left-footed shot into the corner of the goal from around 12 yards. 2-2

Half time: Magpies 2 Bees 2

61 mins A block went straight to Henry who somehow forced the ball past Jonjo Shelvey and Jacob Murphy as the challenged him together on the left corner of the United area. Substitute Frank Onyeka gained possession but his low curling shot was going wide until it hit Lascelles on the shin and pinged into the goal, Darlow completely helpless. 2-3

75 mins ASM prowled across the halfway line on the United left before playing the ball to Ryan Fraser on the opposite flank. The substitute clipped the ball to the far post, where Allan Saint-Maximin had continued his run and supplied a side-foot volley with his right peg to beat Alvaro Frenandez.

His celebrations included a somersault and balancing on the pitchside advertising, before throwing himself into the front row of celebrating supporters and having to be retrieved by team mates. He was booked. 3-3

Full time: Magpies 3 Bees 3

We Said

Assistant Head Coach Jason Tindall said:

"Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted. We wanted to win the game, and set up to win the game.

"I think there were a lot of positives to take from the performance though, especially from an attacking perspective and a physical perspective.

"We have a squad of exciting attacking players. On another day we win the game. It was a step in the right direction.

"We asked the group to play with a real intensity and to play on the front foot, and to attack and try to create chances. I think when you look back, the team had 23 shots on goal and nine shots on target, compared to Brentford’s four.

"I think there were a lot of positives to take, but we’ve obviously conceded three goals and we were disappointed with them. We’ll look at those collectively and individually, and we’ll need to put them right on the training ground.

"Once we’ve given the feedback to the players, all preparation and focus goes to Arsenal. Hopefully we’ll have Eddie back by then but we’re waiting on the doctor for that so it’s out of our hands."

On Eddie Howe's influence:

"During the game there was a direct link between him and Stephen Purches and he had a live feed so we could communicate with him.

"At 3-2 down we had a decision to make and in dialogue with Ed, those subs we made were jointly done.

"But Ed has to take a lot of credit for that, he's the manager and he makes the final call. Bringing on Ryan Fraser certainly made the difference for us and he played his part in the third goal for Maxi."


"We know what quality Allan’s got. He’s one of the best dribblers I’ve ever seen during my time in football.

"He can make a real difference. He put Brentford on the back foot everytime he got the ball. We know how important Maxi’s going to be for us throughout the season.”

On Joelinton (playing his 92nd game for the club):

"We’ve seen the quality he has. He’s going to be a big player for us.”

On his experience of the home crowd:

"It was incredible. Every time we have been here as opposition you can only admire it. Since we’ve been here we’ve been made to feel welcome and you can see how important the fans are to the team."

They Said

Thomas Frank said: 

"When you're leading twice, it's a little bit frustrating that you don't get three points. That's the frustration.

"When you score three goals in a Premier League game - home or away or in any game across the world - you need to be able to get three points.

(It is) very positive scoring three goals, very positive that we created a lot of dangerous situations and chances to have scored more.

"The big thing we need to improve from this game is we need to defend better."

Asked whether Eddie Howe's arrival had made a difference to the hosts:

"Yeah, 100%. Definitely more front-footed. Definitely much more aggressive in the pressure, and I think you saw the first steps of a team that wanted to play a bit more. That’s the most difficult thing to train and improve, and I think you saw the first signs.

"I’m pretty sure Eddie would say ‘we need to do a lot better’, not because it was bad, but I think he would say ‘there’s bits and pieces we need to do even better’, but you see very aggressive, very front-footed, and on the ball much more willingness to keep possession.”

Asked about his first visit to SJP:

The fans were unbelievable. Fantastic atmosphere. I think our fans did well. So a fantastic occasion, a fantastic atmosphere to be part of. What a game.”


Bees in Toon - all-time:

2021/22 drew 3-3 Lascelles, Joelinton, Saint-Maxmin (PL)
won 3-1 Clark, Gayle 2 (Ch)
2001/2002 won 4-1 Ameobi, Bellamy 3 (LC)
1992/1993 won 5-1 Kelly, Bracewell, Clark 2, Lee (D1)
1954/1955 won 3-2 Curry, Hannah, Mitchell (FA)
1947/1948 won 1-0 Woodburn (D2)
1934/1935 lost 2-5 Gallantree, Kelly (D2)

Full record against Brentford:
  P W D L F A
SJP 5 3 1 1 14 10
GP 4 2 0 2 4 6
League 9 5 1 3 18 16
SJP(FA) 1 1 0 0 3 2
GP 1 1 0 0 2 0
SJP(LC) 1 1 0 0 4 1
GP/BCS 1 0 0 1 0 1
Cup 4 3 0 1 9 4
Tot 13 8 1 4 27 20

Newcastle have now gone 12 Premier League games from the start of the season without a victory. Sheffield United's run of 17 without a victory in 2020/21 remains the worst opening sequence in the PL.

The only club to have failed to win any of their opening 12 PL games and avoided relegation were Derby County in 2000/01 - losing six and drawing the other seven of their first 13 games before winning.

The Magpies have now failed to win any of the opening six home PL games - their worst-ever run from the start of the season in that competition.

In points terms however it's equal to 2018/19, when five losses and one win gave them three points. This time round they've drawn three and lost three to reach the same total.

Jamaal Lascelles opened his scoring account for the season, extending his goal record in the PL to nine. Only two other central defenders have more to their name in that competition: Nicos Dabizas (10) and Steven Taylor (12).

Joelinton also collected his first goal of the season and now has seven in the PL - the same total as current Magpies Matt Ritchie and Fabian Schar. The Swiss-born defender is more prolific than the Brazilian-born attacker, 56 starts and 11 substitute appearances versus 61 starts and 19 off the bench.

Allan-Saint Maximin's third PL goal of the current campaign takes him up to nine in that competition. That draws him level with current colleagues Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles and old boys Tino Asprilla, Jermaine Jenas, Peter Lovenkrands and Charles N'Zogbia.

The last instance of a Newcastle player officially scoring for both sides in the same game was Andy O'Brien away at Peterborough United during an FA Cup tie back in January 2002. (we've failed to find an instance in the PL).

Lascelles has now been credited with three own goals during his 198 competitive games for United, the other two both coming during the 2016/17 Championship season, away to Preston North End and Nottingham Forest.

Brentford are the 49th different club to have faced us in the PL and this was the maiden top-flight meeting of the sides (United were in Division Two when the Bees enjoyed five full seasons in Division One between 1935 and 1947).

According to Opta, Ivan Toney hit the 50th Premier League goal against Newcastle scored by a player who had previously played for us in the PL.

We've struggled to break down that stat and asked them for clarification. What isn't in doubt is that over half of those 50 came from just four players: Andy Cole (11), Louis Saha (6), Craig Bellamy (5) and Les Ferdinand (4).

(Ex-Magpies Mick Harford, John Hendrie, Gavin Peacock and Patrick van Aanholt all subsequently scored against us in the PL - but hadn't played for us in that competition, so don't make that Opta stat.

Ivan Toney's last PL game at SJP also ended in a 3-3 draw, against Manchester United in January 2016. He appeared as an 85th minute substitute for the hosts.

NUFC last twelve PL seasons after twelve games:

2021/22 6 points, 20th (scored 15, conceded 27)
17 points, 14th (scored 16, conceded 21)
15 points, 11th (scored 11, conceded 18)
2018/19: 9 points, 14th (scored 9, conceded 15)
14 points, 11th (scored 11, conceded 14)
2015/16: 10 points, 17th (scored 13, conceded 22)
2014/15: 19 points, 5th (scored 14, conceded 15)
2013/14: 20 points, 8th (scored 17, conceded 17)
2012/13: 14 points, 12th (scored 13, conceded 17)
2011/12: 25 points, 3rd (scored 18, conceded 11)
2010/11: 17 points, 5th (scored 21, conceded 16)
2008/09: 12 points, 18th (scored 15, conceded 20)

PS: The absence of Howe from the game is by no means uncommon -even if the reason for it was (hopefully) unique.

Post-surgery recuperation saw Rafa Benitez miss a 1-0 win at Swansea City in 2017, while a heavy cold meant that Kevin Keegan stayed at home for United's 0-1 FA Cup loss at Blackburn Rovers in 1993.

Alan Pardew of course endured an enforced seven game stadium ban in the aftermath of the Meyler headbutt incident in 2014.

Back when games kicked off at the same time, bosses periodically missed their own game in favour of scouting transfer targets playing elsewhere, leaving the coaches/trainer/bus driver in charge.

Joe Harvey was sometimes said to have "motored off" somewhere, while Newcastle's season-closing 0-2 defeat at Old Trafford in 1989 was played without Jim Smith attending. And as late as 2001, Bobby Robson handed the reins over to Mick Wadsworth for a 1-0 home win over Leicester City while he "ran the rule" over Vitesse Arnhem striker Victor Sikora.

We're struggling to recall another instance where a manager was unable to witness his side's first game under him. Joe Kinnear's official bow at Everton in 2008 saw him banned from the dugout and confined to the stand due to an outstanding FA punishment (he ended up sneaking down the tunnel).


With head coach Eddie Howe confined to a Tyneside hotel room following a positive COVID test on the eve of the game, Newcastle failed to break their Premier League duck at the twelfth time of asking.

That's despite scoring the first goal for the fourth time in six home games, when captain Jamaal Lascelles got up to head home Matt Ritchie's corner.

The lead lasted just 75 seconds though, before old boy Ivan Toney lashed in a leveller abetted by Karl Darlow's flap. And United then fell behind when Rico Henry headed home from close range with the home defence all at sea.

Parity was restored before the break however, when Joelinton powerfully fired home at the Leazes End - and Toney was then well-placed on his own goal line to deny Callum Wilson from close range.

The second period seemed set up for a home win, but it was the Bees who regained the lead when a seemingly harmless shot by substitute Frank Onyeka cannoned off Lascelles and into the net.

Joint assistant head coaches Graeme Jones and Jason Tindall oversaw matters inside the stadium and made a double switch after consultation with Howe, Sean Longstaff and Ryan Fraser arriving as the back three were discarded. And it was a pinpoint cross from the right by the latter that set Saint-Maximin up to side-foot home a first-time shot for 3-3, amid great celebrations.

Sadly though there wasn't a fairytale finish; Maxi bringing the crowd to their feet on 82 minutes with an extended run into box and teeing up Joelinton; only for the otherwise excellent Brazilian to stumble when a routine strike would surely have made it 4-3.

Newcastle ended the day bottom of the table with six points - five adrift of the seventeenth position occupied by a Leeds United side who then lost their game in hand 24 hours later.

Victories are of course desperately needed - along with clean sheets- but it's now just one defeat in four games for a Magpies side radically better than they had been in their last game at Brighton. 

The next two home games against Norwich City and Burnley now assume even greater importance in terms of collecting points - but there were welcome signs of life for Howe here, certainly in terms of effort and spirit. If not the new manager bounce, then there was at least some spring in our collective step when attacking.

The defence though remains leaden-footed; this the third successive home game in which we've conceded three goals. As Brentford's boss commented afterwards, "when you score three goals you need to get three points.”

As a slightly shell-shocked Jason Tindall said in his post-match briefing, "we have a squad of exciting and attacking players." It's the mundane, competent defenders that appear to lacking though, along with a trustworthy custodian.

The return of Martin Dubravka now surely looms, while having begun his Magpies coaching career with part of his squad absent due to international call-ups, Howe must now try to solidify something from what he's got.

The continued absence of Paul Dummett brings the left back/wing back choice down to Cherries old boy Ritchie or unproven Jamal Lewis, while the ongoing omission of Federico Fernandez (unconvincingly explained by Graeme Jones recently) raises further questions. Might the failure of Isaac Hayden to snag a midfield berth see him come into consideration again as a centre half?

Hopefully the head coach will spend his enforced solitude over the coming days attempting to make sense of what he tuned in for today. Like his test, there were positives to be found. Howe-less then, but not hopeless.

Page last updated 14 September, 2023