Newcastle returned to winning ways after a hard earned 1-0 win over Brentford ahead of the Magpies Champions League return next week.
Here are five things we learned from this match.
Wilson ready for the big moments
A day after signing a one-year contract extension to stay at the club through 2025, Callum Wilson was rewarded the starting role over Alexander Isak in the game versus Brentford. Kept quiet in the first half, Wilson grew into the game in the second half, as did the entire team, and stepped up to the spot to score the opening goal of the affair in the 64th minute of the game. With Newcastle competing in four competitions this season, and with two in-form centre-forwards at his service, Eddie Howe will be relying on both Wilson and Isak to step up in the big moments.
Harvey Barnes’ promising first start
After signing from Leicester City in the summer for £39m, Harvey Barnes had only amassed 90 minutes of football in Newcastle’s opening four Premier League games. Eddie Howe opted to start Barnes alongside Anthony Gordon on the day, and Barnes certainly showed glimpses of the player he can become under Eddie Howe’s guidance. The England international made the left flank his own in the first half, causing problems for the Brentford back line with his darting runs into the box and ability on the ball. Barnes was substituted in the 82nd minute after a largely quiet second half performance, but certainly showed promising signs of the player he will be under Eddie Howe at Newcastle.
Botman a huge miss for Magpies
Despite Sven Botman returning to the back four that made up the Premier League’s joint-best defence last season, Newcastle’s defensive woes, which have seen them concede seven goals in four games, remained apparent versus Brentford. The away side had the better chances in the first half, exploiting the holes in the out of form Newcastle defensive back line, finding themselves in key scoring positions more than once. While Brentford failed to capitalise on their first half chances, the Magpies must rediscover their defensive form if they are to compete on all four fronts this season.
Geordie faithful ready for Newcastle’s UCL return
Newcastle will welcome Champions League football back to St James’ Park for the first time in two decades in three weeks’ time against French Champions PSG. While Eddie Howe’s men may not match up favourably versus the Parisians on paper, one thing is certain; the Magpies will have the twelfth man behind them in the form of the Geordie faithful. There was not a silent moment in the stadium on the day versus Brentford, and with the return of Europe’s premier club competition to Tyneside this season, St James’ will be as loud and as hostile as ever. Indeed, in a group comprised of PSG, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan, many fans will be sceptical of Newcastle’s involvement in the competition come the knockout stages. One thing is for certain, with the fortress that is St James’ Park, Tyneside will not be an easy place for their European opponents to pick up points.
Brentford definitely one to watch for rest of campaign
Despite ultimately losing on the day, Brentford showed their class versus Newcastle. Although the loss was the Bees’ first of the season, Thomas Frank will certainly take away some positives from his side’s visit to Tyneside. Brentford were in the game until the end, and certainly had the chances to score themselves. In the absence of Ivan Toney, the strike partnership of Bryan Mbuemo and Yoane Wissa have garnered all the plaudits, scoring six of Brentford’s eight goals between them. The pair once again looked bright, with the 20-goal void left by Toney seemingly becoming less of an issue with each passing match. Frank’s side have already shown this season they have the ability and desire to compete with the Premier League’s top teams and a push for the European places should not be ruled out.