Newcastle ignited their quest for a top-half finish with a comprehensive 4-1 victory at Bournemouth that deepened the Cherries’ relegation fears.
Dwight Gayle punished Jefferson Lerma’s costly fifth-minute error to hand Newcastle the lead, and Sean Longstaff put the Magpies in complete control at the Vitality Stadium with an emphatic second on the half-hour.
The offside flag prevented Josh King’s header from halving the deficit in the first minute of the second half after Dominic Solanke’s deflected shot had struck the post.
Newcastle took full advantage of their reprieve as stunning goals from Miguel Almiron and Valentino Lazaro inflicted a crushing defeat on Eddie Howe’s side, who grabbed a late consolation through Dan Gosling.
Newcastle’s second victory since the restart lifts them up to 13th in the table, three points off Rafa Benitez’s points total last season with six games remaining, while Bournemouth drop below Aston Villa to second bottom due to their inferior goals scored record.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (5), Kelly (4), S. Cook (4), Ake (5), Smith (4), Brooks (6), Billing (4), Lerma (4), Danjuma (5), Solanke (5), King (6).
Subs: Mepham (n/a), L. Cook (6), Gosling (6), H. Wilson (6), Stanislas (5).
Newcastle: Dubravka (7), Krafth (7), Fernandez (7), Lascelles (8), Manquillo (7), S. Longstaff (8), Bentaleb (7), Shelvey (8), Saint-Maximin (9), Gayle (8), Joelinton (7).
Subs: Yedlin (6), Lazaro (8), Hayden (6), Almiron (8), Carroll (6).
Man of the Match: Allan Saint-Maximin
How Magpies piled pressure on Bournemouth
Having earned just a single point from a previous possible 18, Bournemouth were already low on confidence by the time a shambolic start dispelled any lingering Cherries belief.
Lerma had his pocket picked on the edge of the box by Longstaff, whose tackle diverted the ball into the path of Allan Saint-Maximin. His first-time pass set Gayle through on the goal, and the striker notched his 100th career goal to atone for Sunday’s gilt-edged miss in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City.
- Josh King returned and Lloyd Kelly made his first Premier League start as Bournemouth made four changes from the defeat at Wolves.
- Steve Bruce made seven changes from the FA Cup defeat to Man City, with Emil Krafth, Nabil Bentaleb among the returnees.
Philip Billing and Dominic Solanke passed up chances to draw Bournemouth level, and they were made to pay on 30 minutes as Saint-Maximin drove into the area and provided his second assist as Longstaff rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
Having failed to register a single effort on target in the first period Bournemouth nearly made the dream start to the second but were denied by the offside flag when King’s headed rebound was chalked off after Solanke’s deflected effort cannoned against the post.
But any hopes of a second-half Cherries comeback were extinguished on 57 minutes when Almiron gathered Saint-Maximin’s pass, shifted away from two defenders and found the top corner with a stylish finish.
David Brooks rattled the crossbar on the hour but Newcastle remained relentless in attack, as Lazaro raced in behind the Bournemouth defence to reach Jonjo Shelvey’s through pass and fired a stunning fourth past the beleaguered Aaron Ramsdale.
Lazaro was denied a quick-fire second by the crossbar before Isaac Hayden shockingly missed an open goal with the follow-up. But that, and Gosling’s close-range consolation, did little to dampen the Newcastle spirits as they cantered to successive away league victories for the first time since 2018.
What the managers said…
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe: “The positives are hard to find with that scoreline. I cannot sugar-coat the score in a massive game for us. The scoreline says so much. The early goal again, like it did against Palace, rocked us. You saw a team that were giving their all but were playing under the burden of the situation, that is something we have to clear very quickly.”
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: “Some football we played was arguably the best since I’ve been at the club. Fair play to the players, the ones that came in brought a freshness to us, that energy. I was delighted with how we played except for how things ended, but I’ll forgive them for that!
“Saint-Maximin is a joy to watch at the moment. He was a constant threat, played very, very well and he is providing that end product which we need.”
Opta stats: Magpies on the march
- Newcastle scored four goals in a Premier League game for the first time since May 2019, when they won 4-0 away at Fulham.
- Bournemouth have suffered 16 defeats in their last 21 Premier League matches (W3 D2), losing each of the last four in a row.
- Newcastle have won three consecutive away games in all competitions for the first time since November 2016 (four in a row) when they were in the Championship – as a Premier League side, it is their best run since November 2014 under Alan Pardew.
- Since joining the Premier League in 2015-16, Bournemouth have conceded more home goals in the competition than any other club (145).
- Newcastle are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games (W3 D2), their best run since going undefeated in their final six games of the 2015-16 season.
Man of the Match – Allan Saint-Maximin
Allan Saint-Maximin became only the third Newcastle player in the Premier League history to register three assists in a single game.
That impressive stat, coupled with a sensational all-round attacking display, were enough to land this award alone, but when you consider the feat came in the Frenchman’s fourth appearance in 11 days, it makes it all the more remarkable.
In Saint-Maximin, Newcastle not only have a player capable of tormenting defences but one who has shown he is capable of delivering a level of consistency the Magpies haven’t seen for years. With him in their ranks, the only way for Newcastle and Steve Bruce is up.
Bournemouth travel to Manchester United on Saturday at 3pm, while Newcastle host West Ham on Super Sunday at 2.15pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.