Miguel Almiron hits target again as Newcastle extend winning run against Burnley
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Miguel Almiron’s second goal in a week set Newcastle on their way to a third-successive Premier League victory as Burnley’s wait for a first top-flight win of the campaign continued.
Almiron’s sweet 14th-minute strike and Alexander Isak’s late penalty were enough to secure a 2-0 success at St James’ Park and extend the Magpies’ unbeaten run to five games in all competitions on an afternoon when they were utterly dominant.
But for the efforts of goalkeeper James Trafford and some sub-standard finishing as they failed to scale the heights they reached to put eight past Sheffield United last Sunday, the margin of victory would have been significantly more substantial.
For their part, the Clarets might have taken an early lead through Zeki Amdouni had it not been for Nick Pope, but they otherwise struggled to put the England goalkeeper’s goal under genuine pressure.
A Newcastle side with one eye on Wednesday evening’s mouthwatering Champions League showdown with Paris St Germain on Tyneside might have been behind within four minutes.
Full-back Dan Burn slipped as he attempted to collected the ball under little pressure and allowed Luca Koleosho to race away and square for striker Amdouni, only for Pope to make a fine save to keep his side level.
Koleosho was proving a real handful down the Clarets’ right in the early stages with the Magpies struggling for coherence, although Trafford needed two attempts to collect Isak’s skidding 11th-minute strike after Bruno Guimaraes had intercepted Connor Roberts’ ill-judged square ball.
Trafford was beaten, however, three minutes later when, after Kieran Trippier had dispossessed Aaron Ramsey, Almiron cut inside before curling an unstoppable shot across the keeper.
With the home side hunting in packs, Burnley were struggling to cope with their high press and Sean Longstaff fired just wide of the far post after Elliot Anderson and Isak had combined to wrestle the ball back.
The Sweden international should have doubled their advantage with 27 minutes gone after running on to Guimaraes’ first-time pass, but he took a heavy touch and although he forced the ball past the advancing Trafford, the off-balance frontman was unable to finish at the second time of asking.
Trafford kept Burnley in it 10 minutes before the break when he somehow managed to keep out the unmarked Anderson’s diving header and had to atone for his own error by denying the same man in stoppage time after his wayward pass had been picked off by Guimaraes.
Newcastle went close within seconds of the restart when Tripper’s powerfully-struck shot was deflected wide with Trafford having gone the other way and the visitors found themselves camped deep inside their own territory once again as the second half unfolded.
Anthony Gordon was enjoying the space afforded to him down the Magpies’ left, but it was Almiron and Trippier who caused problems down the opposite flank with 57 minutes gone, although Isak was unable to make contact with the England full-back’s teasing cross.
Burnley midfielder Josh Cullen saw a shot from distance blocked by Guimaraes 20 minutes from time, but Trafford had to field Gordon’s snapshot and then found himself staring down the barrel after the home side were awarded a 77th-minute penalty for Ameed Al-Dakhil’s clumsy challenge on Gordon.
Isak expertly sent Trafford the wrong way from 12 yards to seal the win with the minimum of fuss.
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