Although Newcastle United stretched their unbeaten Premier League run to 17 games away to Bournemouth on Saturday evening, the overriding feeling from that 1-1 draw will likely be one of frustration for manager Eddie Howe, with the Englishman having seen his side begin to stutter of late.
For all the jubilation of reaching the Carabao Cup final – following a 24-year absence from Wembley – the Magpies have now won just one of their last six top-flight games, having hit something of a sticky patch since the turn of the year.
This latest stalemate saw the Tynesiders pegged back early on as Marcos Senesi prodded home at the back post midway through the first half, before Miguel Almiron ended his recent scoring drought to net his tenth league goal of the season just before the interval
It was, however, the Cherries who came closest to sealing all three points after the break, with it requiring a crucial, goal-line intervention from Kieran Trippier to deny the home side at the death.
That moment of “unbelievable” defending from the 32-year-old, in the words of journalist Josh Bunting, epitomised what was another standout showing for the full-back on the day, having yet again proven himself something of a hero for Howe.
How did Trippier play against Bournemouth?
The former Tottenham Hotspur man has proven a truly astute capture for the northeast side since his £12m arrival from Atletico Madrid just over a year ago, with the experienced asset having been a “revelation” at St James’ Park, according to talkSPORT pundit Simon Jordan.
Also described as a “game-changer” by club legend Alan Shearer, Trippier has been a true leading presence for Newcastle in recent times, having taken on the armband in place of usual skipper Jamaal Lascelles so far this season.
That importance was laid bare yesterday as a result of his influential display against Gary O’Neil’s men, with the one-time Burnley ace having impressed throughout the encounter, not just as a result of his vital piece of defending late on.
Although the £100k-per-week machine did lose possession on 37 occasions in that all-action display, that was seemingly a marker of his desire to make things happen for his side, having racked up an impressive haul of three key passes, while also supplying 16 crosses in total.
The 115-touch ace was a typically reliable figure defensively having notably won three of his four aerial duels and made two tackles, with that ensuring that Trippier was also awarded a 7.6 match rating, as per Sofascore – the joint-highest of any player for either side.
The 40-cap rock was also lauded by the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder, who suggested that he had ‘kept the team going’ with his relentless display down the right flank, while most importantly ensuring that two dropped points did not become three.
As for Howe, it seemingly illustrates the progress that he has made of late that a draw now feels like something of a defeat for his side, albeit with the woes of the clubs below them in the table ensuring that the Magpies are still well-placed in the Champions League qualification race.
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