Allan Saint-Maximin climbed off the bench to inspire Newcastle to come from behind and beat Burnley 2-1.
Newcastle were deservedly behind to a Matej Vydra goal after a dire first half, but Saint-Maximin was summoned from the bench and crafted an equaliser for Jacob Murphy within two minutes of his arrival and then netted a brilliant winner.
The victory at Turf Moor lifted Newcastle six points clear of Fulham with a game in hand, and is a huge boost to their chances of survival.
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It also moves them to within one point of Burnley and drags the Clarets into the relegation scrap.
Newcastle made a slow start and deservedly fell behind on 19 minutes. Chris Wood was able to drive into the box and got beyond Ciaran Clark far too easily before pulling the ball back for Vydra to stab home.
The Magpies took some time to fashion a response, but had strong appeals for a penalty waved away on 39 minutes. After Dwight Gayle saw a shot saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Sean Longstaff went to nod home the rebound only for James Tarkowski to catch him with a high boot.
VAR took a look at what appeared dangerous play, but referee Anthony Taylor’s initial decision was allowed to stand.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce did not see fit to make any changes at the interval, but turned to Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson on 58 minutes.
Within a minute, the visitors were level - with Saint-Maximin driving into the box and sucking in defenders, which crafted space for Murphy to slam a shot into the far corner.
On 64 minutes, Saint-Maximin got himself on the scoresheet in brilliant fashion.
He picked the ball up 40 yards from goal and drove at the worried Burnley back line.
The Clarets did not engage the forward until he had advanced to the edge of the box; a slick turn of Tarkowski crafted the space required to slam a shot into the bottom corner.
The expected Burnley onslaught never truly arrived, albeit Newcastle defended their lead extremely well in the final 20 minutes to raise hope that they can complete the job and stay in the top flight.
TALKING POINT - MIC UP THE REFS
After a brilliant display from Saint-Maximin, Newcastle can forget about the penalty controversy. But it should be front and centre as it was such a baffling decision. Tarkowski did a decent impression of a UFC fighter to almost take out Longstaff’s eye. Referee Taylor looked like he had a decent view and felt it was not a foul, which is where VAR should step in to help. If there was ever an instance of dangerous play, this was it. It was not given, and it was not lost on Newcastle fans that later in the match - outside the area - Taylor gave a foul for dangerous play when Dwight McNeil went in high, arguably not as high as Tarkowski, on Longstaff. Give the officials microphones and broadcast the conversations with Stockley Park. Not everyone will agree on the decisions, but if we are given context it can only help.
MAN OF THE MATCH - (ALLAN SAINT-MAXIMIN)
The easiest decision to make. Bruce held his star man back for a second-half charge and while Newcastle fans were not happy when their side fell behind, the sight of the Frenchman coming on just before the hour raised spirits. He raised spirits of his team-mates too, and by crafting one goal and scoring another, Saint-Maximin went a long way to keeping Newcastle in the Premier League. The job is not done, but if Saint-Maximin can stay fit then the Magpies will surely do enough to stay up.
Burnley - Peacock-Farrell 7, Pieters 6, Tarkowski 5, Mee 5, Lowton 6, Gudmundsson 5, Brownhill 6, Westwood 6, McNeil 6, Wood 7, Vydra 8 - Subs: Mumbongo N/A
Newcastle - Dubravka 9, Murphy 6, Fernandez 6, Clark 5, Dummett 6, Ritchie 7, Shelvey 6, Longstaff 7, Almiron 6, Joelinton 4, Gayle 5 - Subs: Wilson 7, Saint-Maximin 10*, Hendrick N/A
16’ - CHANCE! Burnley win a corner and the ball is flicked on at the near post by Brownhill and Martin Dubravka parries away, in the melee that follows Paul Dummett catchesBen Mee who falls to the ground. Penalty appeals are waved away. Set pieces are sure to be a source of joy for Burnley.
18’ - GOAL! Burnley 1-0 Newcastle The hosts get their noses in front. Chris Wood picks up the ball on the edge of the box and drives towards the byline. He pulls the ball back for strike partner Matej Vydra who slots home. It's nothing more than Burnley deserved.
39’ - PENALTY SHOUT! Newcastle get forward and after Gayle’s shot is saved, Longstaff goes in to head the rebound in and goes down as Tarlowski catches him when clearing. That looks dangerous play all day long. It's not given, but if that was outside the area that would have been classed as a foul. Baffling stuff.
59’ - GOAL! Burnley 1-1 Newcastle Within a minute of the change, Newcastle are level. Saint-Maximin at the heart of it, as he drives into the box, draws in defenders and rolls the ball back to Murphy who rifles an excellent finish into the far corner.
64’ - GOAL! Burnley 1-2 Newcastle Saint-Maximin rifles Newcastle ahead. He picks the ball up 40 yards from goal and Burnley are frightened to death as they back off and back off. He engages Tarkowski in the box, turns onto his left foot and slams a low shot into the corner. What. A Turnaround.
90’ - CHANCE! ASM the architect again as he dashes past Tarkowski and pulls the back for Almiron, but the Burnley defender gets back to clear off the line.
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