Newcastle United continued their stunning start to the 2022/23 campaign with a victory over Chelsea at St James’ Park on Saturday evening, with that 1-0 triumph making it five wins in a row for the Magpies in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe’s side – who have lost just once in the top flight this season – have ensured that they will be in third place heading into the World Cup break following what was a hard-fought victory over the Blues, with that deserved win a marker of the remarkable turnaround that the former Bournemouth boss has overseen in the past year.
Just over 12 months on from the northeast side losing 3-0 at home to the Stamford Bridge outfit to maintain their winless start to the season, during Graeme Jones’ brief interim spell in charge, the Tynesiders were simply a different force this time around, having fearlessly taken the game to the west Londoners.
In what was a fiercely competitive encounter – illustrated by the frantic and ferocious end to proceedings in added time – a stunning strike from Joe Willock ultimately proved the difference, with the young Englishman netting for the second game running following his composed effort against Southampton a week ago.
For all the former Arsenal man’s quality, the star attraction was again teammate Miguel Almiron, with the Premier League’s Player of the Month for October helping to tee up the midfielder with an “outstanding” piece of play after cutting in off the right, in the words of Newcastle World’s Jordan Cronin.
The 28-year-old is “moving like [Lionel] Messi” at present, according to journalist Daniel Koranteng, with that assist the Paraguayan’s ninth league goal involvement of the season so far, having netted eight times heading into today’s encounter.
The diminutive speedster has simply looked reborn under Howe in recent times, with the former Atlanta United man’s all-round performance having been particularly eye-catching against Graham Potter’s side, notably recording a 90% pass accuracy rate from his 57 touches.
The £42k-per-week maestro also registered two key passes in total, while his defensive quality was also on display having won an impressive eight of his 12 total duels, further rubberstamping that the 47-cap menace is providing more than just goals at present.
Following yet another impactful performance, Almiron may well be wishing that there was no upcoming halt to proceedings, with the hope now for Howe and co that the fleet-footed forward can continue this explosive form when club action resumes at the end of next month.