Newcastle splits spoils with Watford
Newcastle United overcame a second minute concession to draw wasteful Watford 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.
Will Hughes had Watford ahead, but Fabian Schar leveled the score line and both squads had to be bailed out by goalkeepers.
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Watford remains dead last with just one point through four matches, while Newcastle climbs out of the drop zone.
- Bruce’s men wobble early (again) -- For as many redemption songs were sung about Steve Bruce following the sturdy defeat of Spurs, his team again came out of the gates as if they thought the darn things were locked. Terribly sloppy, they conceded after 90 seconds and were lucky not to be down 2 or 3 by the time they equalized. Credit Bruce for the tactical changes that swung the tide, but a poor start.
- Hughes rewarded again -- The former Derby County prodigy has been the bright spot of Watford’s poor start to the season, and got his first goal of the season. Also of note: His wayward blonde beard. You do you, Will.
- Joelinton a menace -- You can see why Newcastle was tempted to break the bank for big Brazilian striker Joelinton, who scored in the win over Spurs and works harder than your typical center forward. Magpies supporters would probably trade a little bit of industry for classier control and finish, but hopefully that will come to the hopeful star. Given Newcastle’s formation, Joelinton may end up being the most fouled player in the Premier League (if they are whistled).
- Almiron still struggling -- There was more flair from Miguel Almiron, deployed in a more natural wide position, but he was again offside multiple times from a wide position, wasteful in dangerous attacking positions, and probably should’ve seen at least one yellow card for diving. Shades of his promising second half of 2018-19.
Man of the Match: Joelinton
Newcastle was down within 90 seconds of kickoff, Hughes played through with acres of space defy Martin Dubravka. 1-0.
Atsu found Miguel Almiron for a potential equalizer in the fourth minute, but the ex-Atlanta United man butchered his stomach settle and bounded it right to the keeper.
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The Magpies very much grew into the game from that point, with Isaac Hayden particularly influential and dangerous. His 59th minute rip was parried out for a corner by Ben Foster.
Watford was content to counter in the final half hour, and Dubravka made a terrific intervention to deny Isaac Success but conceded a corner.
Yoshinori Muto was played through by Joelinton after a fine tackle by the forward, but the Japanese striker could not find his angle.