Newcastle have been outclassed at Brighton and maybe essentially the most damning indictment for Steve Bruce’s aspect is that this was no nice shock. Just one level separated them from Brighton earlier than kick-off however the gulf was evident all through their insipid 3-0 defeat on the south coast. The scoreline was emphatic however it nonetheless managed to flatter Newcastle, so determined was their efficiency in such a giant sport.
That they had solely 34 per cent of possession which might not have been terminal for his or her hopes had they been capable of trend some type of counter-attacking sport to alleviate the strain, however that by no means actually materialised. Newcastle mustered just one shot on course. They did strike a put up via Ryan Fraser early within the second half however that solely led to Brighton going up a gear.
Maybe Newcastle have been unfortunate that each one three of the house aspect’s objectives have been glorious, a trio of really marvellous finishes that would hardly have been extra out of character with their wasteful season in entrance of purpose. However Brighton deserved it for the endeavour so absent of their opponents’ sport.
Adam Lallana, the injury-prone 32-year-old playmaker working in a deeper position in midfield, might need been susceptible had Newcastle pressed him. We are going to by no means know. Lallana was afforded the liberty of the Amex Stadium. Choosing passes for enjoyable, he was untroubled all through.
The place do Newcastle go from right here? The sensation is that the ever unpopular proprietor Mike Ashley won’t really panic till they drop into the relegation zone and, for all their issues, Bruce’s group, with no win their final 5 matches, stay two factors forward of Fulham with a sport in hand.
However the writing is unquestionably on the wall except one thing modifications. Accidents in assault have left Newcastle utterly impotent and they don’t look stable sufficient on the again to limp over the road with out scoring. Fulham have work to do to overtake them however counting on outcomes elsewhere solely highlights the paucity of ambition on Tyneside. A dismal evening for Newcastle. A dismal season.
What a time to money in your anticipated objectives. After thrashing Aston Villa in a goalless sport, shedding to Crystal Palace regardless of dominating, earlier than being overwhelmed by the identical scoreline towards Leicester having led for nearly an hour, Brighton lastly produced the consequence to match the efficiency at dwelling.
The forwards have been criticised, and rightly so, however there have been some beautiful finishes on the Amex Stadium to take the sport away from Newcastle. Leandro Trossard discovered the far nook from distance earlier than Danny Welbeck did the identical. Neal Maupay’s volley might need been even higher.
Maybe the margins have been finer than the consequence suggests given the outrageous high quality of the ending and the truth that Fraser had hit the put up when just one purpose separated the perimeters early within the second half. However this was the type of victory that Brighton had been hinting at delivering all yr.
Graham Potter has needed to face up repeatedly, stressing that his group would persist with their ideas, hold passing that soccer and that the wins will come. This was vindication and now that it has occurred, would not all of it appear so apparent? Brighton are a superb group, far superior to Newcastle.
They simply needed to present it. Now they’ve and the concern of relegation retreats from their ideas. With a bit extra luck and a tweak or two in the summertime, they needn’t discover themselves on this place once more. And simply as effectively. Enjoying like this, the Premier League can be poorer with out them.
It has been a bruising week for Patrick Bamford. Having hobbled off with a hip harm throughout the stalemate with Chelsea, the Leeds striker was ignored by Gareth Southgate forward of England’s 2022 World Cup Qualifiers later this month.
However the 27-year-old dusted himself down from that disappointment to offer a well timed reminder of his qualities, scoring his 14th Premier League purpose of the season and offering the help for Raphinha’s successful purpose in Leeds’ 2-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
When requested if his worldwide omission had offered additional motivation, Bamford informed Sky Sports activities: “It was at the back of my thoughts a little bit bit, I assume. It all the time offers you a bit extra hearth in your stomach.
“Each participant who will get referred to as up absolutely deserves it. There’s lots of people who might have thought they’d get referred to as up and are barely dissatisfied, however I’ve simply bought to maintain doing what I am doing. I must hold placing my identify in rivalry for the Euros.
“In the beginning of the season, in the event you’d have informed me I would be linked with England, I would have mentioned ‘you are bonkers’. So I feel I’ve come a good distance and I am unable to be too upset because it’s one thing I wasn’t dreaming of at the beginning of the season. It is a type of issues that I am going to nonetheless hold working in the direction of.”
Bamford has scored in every of his final 4 league appearances towards Fulham, making him the primary Leeds participant to attain in 4 straight league appearances towards a single membership since Luciano Becchio did so towards Middlesbrough from 2010.
The striker admitted afterwards he did effectively to final 76 minutes given his situation – not helped by a knock sustained to the knee throughout the opening interval – however Marcelo Bielsa was proper to take no probabilities. Whereas worldwide recognition nonetheless awaits Bamford, his worth to Leeds has been established for a while.
A lot of Fulham’s season has been outlined by defensive frailty. They shipped far too many objectives early within the season, which has in the end left them two factors from security with eight video games left to play.
After the arrivals of Tosin Adarabioyo and Joachim Andersen in October, issues on the again improved dramatically – however glimpses of the early-season Fulham have been again.
The 2 centre-backs had their struggles on Friday – neither had been on the membership in a 4-3 defeat to Leeds earlier within the season. Adarabioyo made eight clearances within the first half, with no different Fulham participant making greater than three, however he was overwhelmed too simply for Bamford’s opener. He might arguably have completed extra for Leeds’ second too.
Andersen scored a fantastic equaliser – the place Leeds confirmed some chaotic defending themselves – however can not profess to have had his finest sport in a Fulham shirt.
Former Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer informed Sky Sports activities: “There are defensive frailties there. They’ve conceded 38 objectives up to now this season they usually’ll be dissatisfied with each the objectives tonight. Tosin would not make the last-ditch problem for Raphinha’s purpose that you simply want out of your centre-half. He went together with his fallacious foot. He wanted to make that block.”
It in the end felt like a step backwards for Fulham. They’d have been brimming with confidence heading into the Leeds sport after current outcomes, however regarded nervous and have been unable to essentially impose their sport on Leeds.
Three factors would have taken them out of the underside three for the primary time since December 20, however they missed a giant alternative with solely a handful of video games remaining. Scott Parker now has two weeks to search out that final push for Premier League survival.
Kevin De Bruyne got here off the bench to seal it however the truth that he was there in any respect may supply the most important clue as to why Manchester Metropolis’s quadruple hopes are real looking no matter Pep Guardiola could be saying publicly to downplay his group’s possibilities of an historic accomplishment.
Everton held agency for 84 minutes till Ilkay Gundogan nodded dwelling the breakthrough purpose however maintain agency is about all Carlo Ancelotti’s aspect have been capable of do. Metropolis pushed they usually probed, taking part in with a powerful mixture of urgency and persistence. It helps that this squad appears so recent.
Phil Foden regarded vibrant from the outset however then this was solely his third begin within the final seven. Raheem Sterling had been drafted in for this one after seeing solely 20 minutes of motion within the earlier three matches. Sergio Aguero, Joao Cancelo and John Stones have been unused subs right here.
Guardiola is conserving his large squad hungry and the rotation is so common, the video games so large, that the whole squad know that they may all have their moments within the subsequent few months. Historical past beckons. It’s an achievement made all of the extra potential by the depth at Manchester Metropolis’s disposal.
Carlo Ancelotti appeared happy to concede defeat to the “finest group on the planet” having stored Manchester Metropolis at bay for 84 minutes, however not all Everton followers will really feel the identical.
“I’m happy as a result of we competed effectively towards the most effective group on the planet on this second,” mentioned the Italian, however even the world’s finest groups have off days, and this was trying like Metropolis’s for giant durations of Saturday’s quarter-final.
If you understand an avid Everton fan, you’ll understand how a lot cup competitions imply to the supporters. Approaching 26 years since their final piece of silverware – too lengthy for a membership of Everton’s dimension – 14 groups have received a trophy since, and 6 of these will not be even at present within the high flight. Lengthy-suffering Everton followers need their day within the solar.
Ancelotti will argue Everton did all they may. Sitting again within the first half, they’d registered simply 17 passes to Metropolis’s 209 after 25 minutes, and the plan to chunk on the counter and amplify set-pieces nearly labored.
It’s also simple to say Metropolis regarded sub-par, when Everton’s exhausting work made them look that method. If Ancelotti’s aspect had gone for the throat, they could have been hit earlier.
However Everton didn’t commit males within the second half, and Ancelotti’s first sub got here 87 minutes in, three minutes after Metropolis’s opener, too late within the view of many. It felt extra like a missed alternative than an outclassing, whether or not or not Metropolis are the most effective group on the planet.