Wijnaldum hits cracking quartet of goals as Newcastle smash six past Norwich
Holly Thackeray | October 18th
Newcastle United 6-2 Norwich City
- • Moussa Sissoko stars with three assists and a hand in five Magpies goals
- • Georginio Wijnaldum hits four fabulous goals to cement first PL win of season
- • Martin Olsson chips in with two assists for Norwich
- • Magpies in flying form ahead of next week’s Tyne-Wear derby, and rise off bottom to 18th in Premier League
Five first-half goals thrill Tyneside
Newcastle United blitzed mooted relegation rivals Norwich City 6-2 in a smashing rout at St James’ Park, to snatch a first win of the season, with supplier Moussa Sissoko and lethal goal machine Georginio Wijnaldum ruthlessly ruffling the Canaries’ feathers.
Newcastle were given early encouragement by the ponderous Canaries, dominating possession from the onset. A few probing attempts to mount an attack on the guests lacked finesse and a final ball, but the first breach of Norwich’s backline looked a long time coming.
In the 13th minute, summer signings Wijnaldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic combined for a lovely one-two on the edge of the Canaries’ area, but the ball fell to determined Sissoko, whose perfectly judged pass split the opposition defence to find eager Dutch dangerman Wijnaldum.
Obligingly, the composed ex-PSV Eindhoven attacker found himself one-on-one with John Ruddy and slid the ball deftly into the bottom left hand corner to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Yet, familiar complacency slipped into Newcastle’s play, as Robbie Brady’s vicious strike served as a warning shot, cannoning back venomously off the post. Steve McClaren’s side did not take heed, as Brady again figured, dangerously drawing right back Daryl Janmaat out of position.
The Republic of Ireland winger then coolly laid the ball off for Martin Olsson, who expertly picked out in-form forward Dieumerci Mbokani. In his first Premier League start, the Dynamo Kiev-owned dangerman did not disappoint, clinically dispatching to dent the hosts’ hopes and equalise around the 20th minute mark.
Just five minutes later, however, the Magpies magnificently pulled back in front, adeptly illustrating the frustrating Jekyll and Hyde performances of the St James’ Park side this season.
Deadly duo Sissoko and Wijnaldum were protagonists again, sparking the Toon Army back into life, with the latter’s terrific turn and floating cross again finding his determined Dutch receiver. Wijnaldum was similarly clinical, nodding home easily past a slow to react Ruddy, to make for a brilliant brace, though he was far from finished.
Spanish striker Ayoze Perez then made it three, with Sissoko again the catalyst, his burst on the counter causing Norwich to back peddle into their own box.
Nimble Perez was the benefactor of lung-bursting Sissoko’s smart work and, though his first attempt was blocked well by Olsson, a crisp second strike found it’s way through Ruddy’s legs.
The Toon Army’s joy was short-lived, however, as Norwich once again exploited nervy Newcastle down the flanks, with Olsson nabbing his second assist of the match. This time it was Nathan Redmond waiting unmarked and ready to smash home Norwich’s second with the side of his foot, to ensure a frenzied finish to the first half.
Canaries schooled in art of counter-attack
Former Magpie Sebastien Bassong almost bagged against his own club shortly after the break, but was denied his moment of glory as wily Wijnaldum also proved a hero at the other end, clearing the Cameroon international’s effort from a whipped-in Brady corner.
The tables initially appeared to have turned in the second-half, with Norwich applying the greater pressure. Yet, a Sissoko-inspired Newcastle proved efficient and ruthless again in a series of devastating counter-attacks.
Marksman Mitrovic got in the scoring act in the 64th minute, with midfield bulldozer Sissoko racking-up his third assist. The Frenchman was the epitome of a box-to-box midfielder, springing an attack after snatching the ball close to his own area, unleashing Perez before reclaiming possession to ping a pinpoint ball to lurking Mitrovic.
The Serbian striker chested down superbly before unleashing a stunning volley to make the scoreline an emphatic 4-2 in the Northeast outfit’s favour. Under a minute later, and Sissoko again helped create the fifth goal for Newcastle, his run crafting space for Janmaat to pump the ball into Norwich’s box.
Wijnaldum, again left criminally unmarked in a shambolic example of the demolished guests’ defending, nodded high to meet his compatriot’s cross and complete a heroic hat-trick. In such confident form, the majestic Dutchman then crowned his outstanding individual performance with a swerving strike to compound the Canaries’ misery and clock-up a quintet of goals.
While this rout of the Premier League new boys will lift Newcastle before their battle with Northeast rivals Sunderland, McClaren has much work to do on his defence, though can be content with an excellent attacking quartet of Mitrovic, Perez, Sissoko and Wijnaldum, who will be giving the Black Cats sleepless nights.
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