Newcastle United claim vital win at Brentford on Eriksen’s return
Newcastle United claimed a fourth win in five 2021/2022 English Premier League (EPL) games on Saturday with a crucial 2-0 victory at 10-man Brentford.
The win allowed them to pull away from the relegation zone.
Brentford were up against it from the moment Josh Dasilva was sent off in the 11th minute and Newcastle United took full advantage with Joelinton heading them in front.
Joe Willock made it 2-0 after a Newcastle United counter-attack shortly before half-time.
Brentford barely threatened the Newcastle United goal and even an emotional debut appearance for Christian Eriksen as a 51st-minute substitute could not spark a response.
Eriksen, who joined as a free agent in January after his contract with Inter Milan was cancelled, was making his first competitive appearance since collapsing eight months ago.
He had collapsed as a result of a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020.
In the end it was a cruise for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United whose goalkeeper Martin Dubravka did not have a serious save to make until well into stoppage time.
Newcastle United moved above sliding Brentford into 14th place while the London side’s eighth defeat in nine games left them in 15th place.
Brentford are now only three points above the 18th-placed Burnley who have three games in hand.
With Eriksen being named on the bench by manager Thomas Frank and pleasant spring sunshine beating down, the mood amongst the home fans was buoyant before kickoff.
But their best-laid plans were in tatters when Dasilva’s attempt to shield the ball from Newcastle United’s Matt Targett resulted in him catching Targett high on the shin.
Referee Mike Dean initially gave Dasilva a yellow card but after being invited by the VAR to check a monitor he rightly upgraded it to a straight red.
Newcastle United wasted several chances to take the lead with Chris Wood heading straight at Brentford goalkeeper David Raya from Ryan Fraser’s teasing cross.
Fraser swung in another great delivery in the 33rd minute, Joelinton made no mistake, heading powerfully past Raya.
Brentford tried to respond as half-time approached and forced a couple of corner-kicks.
But from the second the ball broke loose and Fabian Schar’s superb pass set Willock clear to rifle a shot into the roof of the net.
Newcastle United were untouchable in the second half even after Eriksen came to replace fellow Dane Mathias Jensen in a bid to conjure some magic.
The 30-year-old playmaker was given a rapturous reception from all around the stadium as he ran on.