Liverpool striker describes club’s support for Muslim players during Ramadan

NEWCASTLE: With strong emotions and the survival of the Premier League, for some, on the line, Newcastle United game-changer Callum Wilson showed the coolest face at Turf Moor to send Burnley to the Championship and pursue the meteoric rise of the Magpies.

A brace either side of half-time took the United striker’s personal tally to eight goals for the season, and Newcastle’s points to 49, the best since 2011/12, when the team Alan Pardew narrowly missed qualification for the Champions League.

And it’s up, rather than down, that Eddie Howe can look, as his side finished the campaign in 11th place, a remarkable feat given they were bottom when he was handed over the reins by the majority owners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

A second-half Clarets rally threatened a survival bid as Maxwell Cornet scored, but it was not to be for the hosts, and the second tier awaits.

With so much at stake for so many on the final day, albeit with the exception of a few million dollars in prize money for the Magpies, head coach Howe couldn’t be faulted for his pre-game selection at Turf Moor.

Fabian Schar was only able to make the bench following his header against Arsenal, after just two days away from the Benton training grounds. Club captain Jamaal Lascelles came to cover.

Elsewhere, Kieran Trippier was started, his first since February, in place of Emil Krafth, who himself had the misfortune to miss after a fine run in form.

The atmosphere was electric, but the home side looked nervous – and it showed in their play, as United took absolute control from the start.

Dan Burn and Lascelles fended off all Burnley direct balls, their Premier League trademark, while Sean Longstaff showed his dominance in the middle.

United were forced into a first-half rejig as Joelinton left with what looked like a pretty nasty leg injury – and that could well end any immediate call-up from the Brazilian national team for the player. Newcastle of the season.

Nineteen minutes was enough for Wilson to come to the party, albeit as wreckers of hope for survival.

Trippier’s expert delivery put Burnley’s backline at sea and, as Longstaff looked ready to nod in the danger zone, Nathan Collins inexplicably raised his fist – in an act only on a day like this- Ci can inspire – to strike away.

After a quick look at the VAR monitor, the referee pointed the spot and Wilson, who did everything but score against Arsenal, made no mistakes from the spot, sending Nick Pope the wrong way.

This strike popped a balloon for Burnley, one they would struggle to fill.

The loss of Joelinton had seen a slight adjustment from the usual 4-3-3 to a more unusual 4-2-3-1, and while Miguel Almiron fell into impressive pockets of space the home side began to gain a foothold . .

However, on the hour mark, their task, which had been so difficult before, became much more difficult as Wilson and United made it two-nil.

A break down the left from the unusually calm Allan Saint-Maximin, normally red against the Clarets, saw him cross for Wilson at the far post.

In total control, it would be reminiscent of United leaving the door open for the opposition.

And just nine minutes later, Cornet cracked to cut the deficit, after Martin Dubravka parried his initial effort.

Cue an onslaught, as Lascelles and Matt Targett were forced to clear the goal line.

Injuries and goals at Leeds, however, took that game away from Burnley, and it also dampened the bite of their own game as United ended up seeing it off with minimal fuss.

With the three points, United finished the season just outside the top half of the Premier League on goal difference.

No one could have foreseen this. A battle to beat the gout seemed certain, a destiny already mapped out. But in the end, it wasn’t even close.

As one chapter ends, a new one begins, ready to be crafted by Howe and his players, who will no doubt be stronger in terms of quality in August, when the 2022/23 campaign kicks off.

Comments are closed.