Despite implementing changes to his lineup, Eddie Howe witnessed Newcastle United dominate Crystal Palace on Saturday. In a continuation of their pre-international break form, Newcastle secured a resounding 4-0 victory at St James’ Park, overpowering a previously strong defensive Palace team.
In preparation for their Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, Howe’s squad showcased an impressive performance, with several key players standing out. On Match of the Day, club legend Alan Shearer highlighted three specific players.
Shearer specifically commended Kieran Trippier, Jacob Murphy, and Sean Longstaff. Murphy and Trippier received praise from pundit Paul Merson as well, primarily due to their effective coordination down the right flank, which resulted in the first goal.
Nonetheless, Shearer emphasized the significance of Longstaff’s contribution as well. He noted, “The team’s performance was exceptional today across the field, but the right-hand side, featuring Murphy, Trippier, and Longstaff, was particularly outstanding. They thoroughly outperformed Crystal Palace down that side, with Tyrick Mitchell receiving little assistance.”
Shearer went on to highlight the remarkable synergy and understanding between the three players, their impeccable timing of runs, and the quality of their crosses into the box, all of which led to numerous scoring opportunities. Approximately 50% of their offensive efforts were channeled through the right-hand side.
Despite Miguel Almiron’s strong performance against Paris Saint-Germain, he is likely to vie for a starting role against Dortmund. Howe has openly expressed his admiration for Murphy’s dependability and initiated him in the Champions League campaign, starting with the match against AC Milan.
With Harvey Barnes sidelined due to injury, Anthony Gordon is expected to start on the left, creating additional options on the right. The situation has evolved to the point where the choice between Murphy and Almiron as starters may not matter significantly, as Howe has coached both players to a level where they can make a genuine impact. This development would have been hard to anticipate just a few years ago.