Off to a winning start…

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At times it wasn’t pretty. At times, we looked a bit dodgy at the back – but a win is a win and 3pts from first game of the season is more than welcome.

There’s much work to be done – the likes of Trippier, Lamela and hopefully Alderweireld to come back. Harry will hopefully get his goalscoring boots back on (it’s still August!), but to grab a win on first day of the season is just what the doctor ordered.

For some reason, the Premier League have delayed introduction of VAR for another season, but thankfully Goal line technology is here to award Super Jan’s opening goal, which would never have been given by the linesman in days gone by.

Our advantage was short-lived as the hosts equalised just 149 seconds later, when Joselu headed in Matt Ritchie’s cross after being left unmarked six yards from goal (hopefully, defensive coaches will be working on this come Monday morning’s training).

Dele restored our lead, timing a back-post run to perfection to meet Serge Aurier’s wonderful cross with a textbook header past the home goalkeeper.

In the second half, our goal led a charmed life at times, with the woodwork coming to our rescue twice and Hugo making a superb save. Sissoko, largely ineffective, saw one glorious effort superbly stopped by the Magpie’s keeper and a late, great challenge from Super Jan helped prevent Newcastle sub Rondon grabbing an equaliser late on.

At times, our passing and movement looked excellent – sadly, the majority of time it was hard going – but, with a number of our World Cup stars not having much pre-season, it surely will get better – but there are 3 points in the bank and for now, joint top of the Premier League.


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