This weekend’s fixture against Brighton had been seen as a potential relegation battle in the build-up. After Newcastle’s dismal run of form to start the season this game was a typical early season ‘six-pointer’.
Newcastle would have the first chance of the game.
Jonjo Shelvey won the ball back in Brighton’s third and quickly played in Ayoze Perez. The Newcastle forward’s strike from the edge of the box was pushed passed the post by Matt Ryan.
There were some concerned looks all around the ground in the 9th minute as Federico Fernandez clashed heads with Glenn Murray and both players immediately went down. Medical assistance was quickly called on to the field for Murray who seemed to come off worse from the challenge. Murray was carried off the pitch on a stretcher and was replaced by Jurgen Locadia in the 16th minute. Fernandez would continue, and the game was back underway after a lengthy delay.
Brighton took the lead in the 29th minute via a huge deflection which would take Jose Izquierdo’s volley passed Martin Dubravka. Shane Duffy headed the ball out towards the edge of the box following a corner and Izquierdo met the ball on the volley. His strike took a big deflection off Beram Kayal, who was accredited with the goal.
Much to the dismay of Newcastle fans the chance should never really have happened. Brighton were awarded the corner after Paul Dummett tackled March, but replays show the last touch clearly came off the Brighton man. Newcastle should have been awarded a goal kick, but instead saw themselves 1-0 down once again this season.
Muto had a chance to equalise later in the half. Shelvey dribbled into the Brighton box and eventually struck on his left foot. The effort was pushed away by Ryan but only as far as Muto who couldn’t get above the ball with his header which drifted over the net. Newcastle weren’t done there in the first half. Kenedy took the ball out of his feet and fired from almost 30 yards out. His strike looked like it might creep in under the bar but clipped the top of the cross bar as it went over.
Newcastle continued their offensive in the second half. The goal looked like it might come from a direct free kick in the 78th minute. Shelvey lined up to take it and his effort seemed to be bound for the top corner if it weren’t for a deflection from the wall. The ball was blocked towards the middle of the goal which made it an easier save for Matthew Ryan.
Brighton would continue to soak up Newcastle’s pressure and would come out with the 1-0 win. With this result, Brighton picked up their first away win in the Premier League since November last year. Meanwhile, Newcastle become just the fourth club in English top-flight history to lose all their first five home games.
Newcastle can take some positives away from the performance. The Magpies managed 68% possession and 27 shots to Brighton’s 8. However, you have to feel this will be of little comfort to the fans after another loss this season, which sees Newcastle hit the bottom of the Premier League.
Newcastle line-up: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy, Muto (Joselu 74’), Perez
Brighton line-up: Ryan, Bruno (Bernardo 68’), Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Jahanbakhsh, Stephens, Kayal, Izquierdo (Bissouma 80’), March, Murray (Locadia 16’).