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Newcastle: Joelinton was the unsung hero vs Manchester City

Newcastle United battled hard to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign with a 3-3 draw against Manchester City at St. James’ Park.

The Magpies got off to a poor start as Ilkay Gundogan fired in the opener in the sixth minute, finding space between Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schar in the box to score past Nick Pope.

They rallied brilliantly as they took the game to City and eventually found the equaliser before the half-hour mark as Miguel Almiron bundled the ball in from Allan Saint-Maximin’s teasing delivery.

Callum Wilson completed the turnaround before half-time with a sensational touch around Ruben Dias and finish to make it 2-1.

Kieran Trippier made it 3-1 with a stunning free-kick but Erling Haaland quickly produced an answer with a fine finish after a knock-down at the back post.

Bernardo Silva then levelled the score at 3-3 after Kevin de Bruyne played a signature defence-splitting pass to cut open the Toon backline.

Newcastle dug in and battled hard to ensure that they came away from the game with a point on the board, with Pope making two timely catches towards the end of the match.

Saint-Maximin dazzled throughout the game with his silky skills and direct running down the left wing – creating two goals – but the real hero of the piece for the Magpies was central midfielder Joelinton.

The £80k-per-week machine was “everywhere” for the Magpies and The Athletic’s Chris Waugh summed his performance up by dubbing him “dominant” at half-time.

He was constantly closing down City’s defence and midfield and this resulted in him making a whopping six tackles and interceptions in the match, whilst also making one block and two clearances.

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Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson celebrates with Joelinton

How many 2021/22 Premier League goals did Newcastle score?

To put that into context, Bruno Guimaraes and Joe Willock equalled the above statistics from Joelinton by combining their defensive contributions.

The former Hoffenheim man disrupted City’s attacks and forced them to rush their passing at times, which allowed other Newcastle players to step in and win the ball back.

In possession, the 26-year-old completed 23 of his 26 attempted passes and created two chances – including one ‘big chance’ – and this shows that he had the composure to deal with the ball in spite of City’s quality and dominance in the match.

His play in and out of possession gave Saint-Maximin the opportunities to run with the ball and create problems and that is why his all-round display benefitted his team on and off the ball.

Therefore, he was the unsung hero of the match and Eddie Howe will surely be delighted with the midfielder’s performance in the middle of the park.

Article title: Newcastle: Joelinton was the unsung hero vs Manchester City

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