Given how much he has struggled since arriving from Hoffenheim in a club-record deal, there was something deeply satisfying and relieving when Joelinton bagged in the dying moments of Newcastle’s win on Friday night.
The Brazilian has endured a tough time at St James’ Park following his move, managing just six goals in 55 games before the Premier League game against Crystal Palace.
But even despite the return of Callum Wilson to the starting line-up, Joelinton kept his place in the team, and delivered a monstrous display to slightly ease some of the pressure on Steve Bruce.
The Magpies boss has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks over the side’s poor performances and results, with fans voicing their frustrations over the team’s negative style of play.
A switch to the 4-4-2 appeared to give Newcastle a bit more impetus going forward, and no-one came out of the game on Friday better than Joelinton.
The 6 foot 1 powerhouse was every bit of the battering ram Magpies fans were hoping when they shelled out big-money for him in the summer of 2019, and he ran the Palace defence absolutely ragged over the course of the 90 minutes.
As per Sofascore, he contested a mind-blowing 32 duels on the night, winning a whopping 15 of them, and he was so relentless in trying to do his part for the team – his tally of four tackles was the joint-second highest of any Magpie, whilst he also earned four free-kicks too.
And then of course he made the telling difference at the other end. He set up Wilson for Newcastle’s opening goal with a nice little reverse pass into the England international’s feet, whilst his hard work and endeavour were rewarded when his rather tame effort took a slight deflection and squirmed in. But make no mistake about it, if there was any luck involved in the finish, he fully deserved it.
What with all the pressure that was on Bruce’s shoulders before the game, Joelinton came up big for his manager, and at least for the short-term, has bought him some time.