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Newcastle: Joelinton was the main man against Leicester

Newcastle United strengthened their grip on a place in the top four of the Premier League as they beat Leicester City 3-0 away from home on Boxing Day.

Eddie Howe’s men are now second in the table, having played two more matches than Manchester City, and are seven points clear of Manchester United in fifth.

The Magpies enjoyed the perfect start to the game as Joelinton won a penalty in the second minute of the match. He was fouled by Daniel Amartey in the box and Chris Wood stepped up to rifle the ball down the middle of the goal to make it 1-0.

Miguel Almiron then doubled the lead in the eighth minute as he played a one-two with Bruno Guimaraes before gliding through the Leicester back four and slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

It was 3-0 before half time as Joelinton powered in a header from Kieran Trippier’s corner in the 32nd minute, towering over a Leicester defender to beat Danny Ward from six yards.

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First up, who scored Newcastle's first goal of 2022?

Whilst Almiron caught the eye with his ninth Premier League goal of the season, the main man for Howe’s side was the Brazilian midfielder Joelinton.

The £85k-per-week gem lined up on the left of a front three, instead of in his box-to-box midfield role, and provided physicality, skill, and enthusiasm in the final third.

Has Joelinton been Newcastle's POTS?





Despite starting in an attacking role, Joelinton was a monster out of possession as he constantly put pressure on the Leicester defence and midfield in order to win the ball back for his side.

As per Sofascore, he won ten individual duels – more than any other Newcastle player – and made three clearances, one block, three interceptions, and one tackle, whilst only being dribbled past once. These statistics show that he was a monster off the ball as he bullied the opposition and played a key role in the side executing an excellent press to consistently win possession back in good areas.

He also completed 93% of his attempted passes and two of his four attempted dribbles to go along with his superb header and a piece of skill to win the penalty off Amartey. This shows that he made a big contribution in the final third when the Magpies did win the ball back, as he played a crucial part in two of the goals.

Therefore, the Brazilian was the main man for Howe. It was a phenomenal performance on and off the ball from the left wing position with the gem proving pivotal to what they wanted to do during the game, winning the ball high up the pitch and then punishing Leicester with quality in possessions.

He certainly deserves praise for his display – even if he is not as easy on the eye as Almiron.