A sublime goal by Fabian Schar helped ease Newcastle United’s relegation worries as Burnley’s unbeaten eight-game Premier League run came to an end.
Schar set Rafael Benitez’s side on the way to a fourth win in six league games with an outstanding strike from around 30 yards which went in off the post.
Burnley, who have picked up more points in 2019 than leaders Liverpool, fell further behind when they failed to clear Matt Ritchie’s cross and 21-year-old academy graduate Sean Longstaff pounced for his first league goal for the club.
James Tarkowski wasted Burnley’s best chance when he fired over from inside the six-yard area.
Newcastle’s second successive win lifts them above Burnley into 13th in the table, seven points above the relegation zone.
Almiron the spark behind Magpies resurgence
There is still work to do for Benitez’s team to secure a third successive season in the top-tier but this was a performance full of positives.
United’s record signing Miguel Almiron was again the catalyst as he followed up hisfull debut at the weekendwith another dynamic display.
His explosive pace caused Burnley’s defence all sorts of problems and the Paraguay forward is winning over fans, who have been crying out for a new hero, with his attitude and never-say-die spirit.
After he was thwarted by Tom Heaton after beating the off-side trap, he responded with a smile and was given a standing ovation when he was replaced by Paul Dummett towards the end after running himself into the ground.
Longstaff, too, has a promising future at Newcastle.
After Schar’s exquisite finish set the hosts on their way, he showed great composure to double the lead from an acute angle.
“He is working hard, listening to staff and learning which is the main thing,” said Benitez about Longstaff.
“Having a young lad from the academy is a great example for people to follow. It is ideal for any club to have players through academy because they are cheaper and they give you more.”
Newcastle were in the relegation zone as recently as 12 January.
They are slowly edging away from danger but Benitez knows more performances like this are needed before they can relax.
Burnley fail to deliver on disappointing night
This was Burnley’s first league defeat since 26 December.
Anchored in the relegation zone two months ago, Sean Dyche’s side have transformed their season with eye-catching performances against Tottenham and Manchester United.
At St James’ Park, they fell below the standards they have recently set.
Although there was little Heaton could do to keep out Schar’s incredible finish, the defending for Longstaff’s goal was poor.
Tarkowski’s glaring miss just before half-time proved crucial, while Burnley’s players wanted a penalty when Matt Ritchie went into the back of Johann Berg Gudmundsson as he was about to shoot.
Dyche sent on 38-year-old Peter Crouch, who has scored against Newcastle with four different clubs in the Premier League, to try and pull a goal back.
Instead the former England forward picked up a yellow card.
Dyche hopes his side’s below-par showing was a blip rather than anything more worrying.
“Our performances have been good and we have earned the right to be where we are,” said the Burnley boss.
“We do have the odd game like this but it is a good reminder for the players.”
Man of the match – Fabian Schar (Newcastle)
Home comforts – the stats
- No side has picked up more Premier League points at home in 2019 so far than Newcastle United’s 12.
- After winning just two of their opening 11 home league games of this season, Newcastle have won four consecutive home league games for the first time since last April.
- This was the first time Burnley have lost a Premier League game with Tom Heaton in goal since August 2017.
- Newcastle have done a league double over Burnley for the first time since the 1954-55 top-flight campaign.
- Fabian Schar’s goal was Newcastle’s first to be scored from outside the box in this season’s Premier league from their 121st such attempt from outside the area in 2018-19.
- Aged 21 years and 119 days, Sean Longstaff is the youngest player to score for Newcastle in the Premier League since Rolando Aarons netted aged 20 years and 181 days against Spurs in May 2016.
Newcastle head to London on Saturday to face West Ham (17:30 GMT) while Burnley entertain Crystal Palace (15:00 GMT).