Newcastle beat Bournemouth 2-1 on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of two goals by forward Salomón Rondón.
The match at St James' Park was a cagey affair in the opening minutes, with both sides displaying a determination to put their mark on proceedings but it was Newcastle who succeeded first through Rondón.
The striker scored his first goal for the club in the seventh minute, converting from close range after his initial strike was saved by Asmir Begović.
The goal injected some confidence into the home side's play and they enjoyed good spells of possession, which lead to their second goal. Kenedy's cross into the box set up Rondón, whose powerful header went into the top corner to strengthen Newcastle's dominance.
Bournemouth got a goal back in first half stoppage time through a header by Jefferson Lerma, but saw multiple attempts to equalise go wide in the second half, as the Magpies held on for the win that lifted them out of the relegation zone.
Key Talking Point
Talk about yet another vital result for the Toon Army at St James’ Park.
Newcastle’s win over Bournemouth was only their second of the Premier League season, and has undoubtedly given them a greater sense of belief after last week’s win over Watford.
The result will feel sweeter considering the Magpies were dragged back into the relegation zone by Cardiff City’s win over Brighton earlier in the day, and Rafael Benitez will challenge his side to continue this form after the international break, as they seek to prove their critics wrong.
Starting XI: Dubravka (6); Yedlin (7), Schär (7), Fernandez (7), Dummet (6); Ritchie (6), Ki Sung-yueng (7), Diame (5), Kenedy (7); Perez (6), Rondon (9*).
Substitutes: Hayden (5); Clark (6); Atsu (6).
It’s hard to look beyond the display of striker Rondon for Newcastle.
The Venezuelan scored two key goals, while his hold up play was excellent in helping the Magpies keep possession of the ball. Rondon’s physicality was also crucial, as he won 24 duels, made four clearances and could’ve scored a hat-trick in the last minute but for a good save by Begovič.
'Unproductive' is only a small summary of Mohamed Diamé's afternoon at St James' Park, where the Senegalese failed to put his stamp on the match from midfield.
He was mostly lethargic, giving the ball away and failing to compliment Newcastle's energy out of possession. Based on this evidence, manager Benitez may consider bringing in a more industrious and creative option for his side's midfield, as continuing with Diamé may expose them against better sides.
Key Talking Point
Two consecutive defeats certainly knock the stuffing out of Bournemouth, who were flirting with the possibility of finishing in a European spot come the end of the season.
Winning matches like the one at St James' Park was always going to be important if the Cherries were going to make that a reality, but it's looking likely that their good start to the season is going to be just that: a good start to the season.
Starting XI: Begovic (7); Smith (6), Ake (6), Cook (6), Francis (6); Ibe (6), Lerma (7), L.Cook (6), Fraser (8*); Brooks (7); Wilson (6).
Substitutes: Daniels (7); Gosling (7); Defoe (6).
Ryan Fraser added a sixth assist to his three league goals for Bournemouth so far, continuing his brilliant start to the Cherries campaign. The Scottish midfielder was his side’s main attacking threat and looked the likeliest to provide any hope for them getting back into the tie away from home.
Manager Howe will look forward to his star man returning from international duty unscathed, as he will remain key to Bournemouth’s targets this year.
On the flip side, Jordon Ibe struggled to make his creative presence felt on Bournemouth’s right wing.
The Englishman was barely visible in the match, making no dribbles at all and missed a big chance to put his side level in the 72nd minute, blazing a shot over the bar. He is certainly yet to show his worth to the Cherries after a £15m move from Liverpool two years ago.
Following a two week international break, Newcastle will continue their Premier League season away at Burnley, who they will face on Monday 26th November. The Magpies will boosted by their second win of the season and will be confident of getting more good results as they turn their campaign around.
Bournemouth, meanwhile, face a huge clash at home to Arsenal, their second meeting against a top six club in only three games.