Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United would have proved a lot of people wrong regarding Newcastle United.
The Magpies were resolute in defence, and only offered the Red Devils one clear opportunity which was wasted by Harry Maguire on their way to all three points.
That hasn’t been the problem so far this season though, with their attack taking some criticism with the limited amount of opportunities they create in games.
Steve Bruce will have been delighted on Sunday though, with the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin bringing a whole new dimension to his side, helping create chances for players around him.
Despite that victory, ESPN pundit, Alejandro Moreno, has still tipped Bruce’s men to be relegated from the Premier League this season alongside Norwich City and Watford.
“Have you watched this team play?” he said on ESPN’s YouTube channel.
“Spirit is not enough to keep you in the division, you’ve got to have a little bit more than that.”
“This team cannot create opportunities, they’ll defend just enough, but they can not create opportunities”
“Even at home, they play defensive, even against teams that are in their same category, they’ll drop off and just withstand pressure and hopefully they get a goal from somewhere.”
“I think their luck runs out this year.”
Bruce will surely be relishing the opportunity to prove pundits wrong with their predictions that Newcastle will get relegated, and Sunday’s win over Manchester United is definitely a step in the right direction.
The Magpies have only been averaging 9.5 shots on goal per game so far this season [WhoScored] but had 12 efforts against the Red Devils, and looked much more threatening in the final third.
Should Bruce be able to use the latest three points as a catalyst for the rest of the season, Newcastle could easily survive the drop come the end of the season.
With players such as Saint-Maximin returning to full fitness and the likes of Dwight Gayle and Andy Carroll providing support to Joelinton, Moreno could be made to go back on his prediction, with things finally looking up in the North East.