In what can only be described as the perfect example of that well known football term “a game of two halves” both teams played their part in a highly entertaining game of football.
Brentford certainly has the better of the first half as the away team found themselves pegged back by a well-organized and resourceful Brentford side playing some exquisite football who seemed like they could carve open the Magpies defence at every given opportunity.
It was fast and furious and Newcastle’s back line was struggling to handle the pace and power of former magpie Ivan Toney and his striking partner Kevin Schade on loan from Bundesliga side SC Freiburg and it was no surprise when Toney had the ball in the back of the net after eight minutes; only to see his effort chalked off by the VAR official Darren England. After an extended period of deliberation Toney was deemed to be in an offside when he got on the end of a cross to head the ball past a despairing Nick Pope.
Brentford continued to take the game to their opponents and their relentless endeavour, helped by a very much off the pace Newcastle midfield paid dividends in the 29th minute when the ever-dangerous Schade was brought down in the area by Botman and Brentford were awarded a penalty.
Up stepped Toney and while the Brentford supporters were no doubt already celebrating as he placed the ball on the spot having a record scored 24 consecutive penalties his casual and somewhat unorthodox style for once let him down as he side-footed the ball into the chest of a not so much diving as falling Nick Pope.
It was another reprieve for the Geordies as the visiting supporters chanted Pope’s name while lamenting in traditional fashion the despair of the penalty taker.
However, their joy was short lived when in the 43rd minute that man Darren England once again intervened from his seat at the VAR headquarters when he was the only person to think that an attempted clearance from Isak was infact a high boot on Rico Henry; sending referee Cavanagh over to the touchline to see for himself on the VAR monitor.
His decision was penalty and again up stepped Toney; this time lifting his spot kick beyond Pope.
At half time coach Eddie Howe made two changes; replacing Murphy and Longstaff with Wilson and Gordon and the changes seemed to re-energise the visitors and shake them from their first half slumbers.
Within six minutes the first half deficit had been turned into a 2:1 lead as first Raya deflected a Joelinton effort into his own goal and then Isak scored with a shot from the edge of the box.
Newcastle were now in the ascendency both in terms of possession and commitment as time after time their tenacity paid off in the middle of the park as Guimaraes and Joelinton became more influential and but for another intervention by the VAR official this time denying Wilson after his turn and low shot found the back of the net only for the goal to be ruled out for a dubious handball against Wilson in the build-up.
Brentford did rally in the final 10 minutes and Toney was unfortunate to see a glancing header well saved by Pope, but Newcastle held out and but for some poor finishing the score could have flattered them further had first Guimaraes then Wilson not fluffed their lines in the final minutes.
This fifth straight Premier League put Newcastle United back up to third place, level on points with Manchester United who had earlier beaten Everton 2:0 in the lunchtime kick off, For Brentford however have won only one of their last five league games; a mini slump that their coach Thomas Franck will hope to put a stop to when they visit Molineux next Saturday to face a Wolverhampton Wanderers fresh from their win over Chelsea. Newcastle United are next in action back on the road on the same day with a visit to Villa Park, the home of Aston Villa.