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A Controversial Penalty Propels Newcastle over Brentford

Newcastle’s Redemption at St James’ Park

In the hallowed precincts of St James’ Park, a once struggling Newcastle United found their revival. Under the watchful eyes of many, Eddie Howe’s side managed to break a disappointing streak, clinching a victory over an in-form Brentford side that had maintained an unbeaten run for seven consecutive league matches.

Callum Wilson’s penalty became the beacon of contention and discussion. After a collision between Brentford’s Mark Flekken and Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon, the referee didn’t hesitate to point to the spot.

A Tale of Two Managers

However, Brentford’s gaffer, Thomas Frank, offered a contrasting viewpoint in the post-match interview with BBC Sport. His observation? “We have a keeper clearly pulling out and a player cleverly letting his leg hang there,” he claimed. He went on to ponder on VAR’s decision-making, “I’m convinced that VAR would not have overturned the decision. But because it’s not clear and obvious, it’s too tight.”

Eddie Howe, in contrast, remained neutral, perhaps diplomatic, saying he “didn’t see” the incident that led to the penalty.

Wilson’s Moment in the Spotlight

Amidst this debate, there’s no denying Wilson’s impeccable prowess from the spot. A testament to his consistency, Wilson has flawlessly netted his past 11 penalties. Out of 17 recent appearances, he’s bagged 14 goals, an enviable record for any striker. After a streak like this, he’s likely to be the first name on the team sheet for the Champions League opener at San Siro.

The Early Brentford Threat

Brentford wasn’t without their moments. Aaron Hickey’s attempt early in the match forced a magnificent save from Nick Pope. Moreover, there was a notable gap in Brentford’s offensive lineup – the absence of Ivan Toney, serving a suspension, loomed large.

Howe’s New Hope

Eddie Howe has faced his fair share of scrutiny recently, but there were no overt signs of tension during the game. In a calculated move, Howe tweaked the lineup, making five strategic changes. However, it was the home side, particularly Bruno Guimaraes, who nearly broke the deadlock in the first half, but his header was thwarted by the agile Flekken.

Howe, after the game, commented on the nature of the win: “It was a bitty game for us. We had to get set-pieces right, crosses right and defensively I was very pleased.”

The Stats Breakdown

It was a tightly contested match, as stats reveal:

  • Possession: Newcastle 56% – Brentford 44%
  • Shots: Newcastle 9 – Brentford 11
  • On Target: Newcastle 2 – Brentford 2
  • Corners: Newcastle 8 – Brentford 3
  • Fouls: Newcastle 8 – Brentford 12

Final Whistle

All said and done, as the referee brought the match to a close, one thing was clear: in football, a game of margins, it’s often a single moment that can tip the scales. For Newcastle, this was a step towards resurgence. For Brentford, a chance to reflect and bounce back stronger.

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