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Newcastle United 2-0 Huddersfield Town: Miguel Almiron impresses on full debut

Miguel Almiron impressed on his first Newcastle start
Miguel Almiron was a constant threat to the Huddersfield defence, having a hand in the second goal and three shots on target himself

Record Newcastle signing Miguel Almiron's impressive full debut against Huddersfield shows he has "the right mentality" to succeed in the Premier League, says manager Rafael Benitez.

The Paraguay forward, who arrived for £21m from MLS side Atlanta United, helped Benitez's side ease past 10-man Town and move four points clear of the relegation zone.

After Newcastle missed several chances in the first half, striker Salomon Rondon swept in the opener 59 seconds into the second period.

Ayoze Perez drilled in the second, although Almiron could not add the goal his display deserved.

Huddersfield, who stay marooned at the bottom of the table, had skipper Tommy Smith sent off after 20 minutes for a high tackle on Almiron.

"Everything we have seen is what we were expecting from him," Benitez said. "Obviously, the defenders from the other teams will know him a little bit better now and it will be more difficult for him.

"But still, he is someone who is working really hard, so I think he can do well.

"Now he has to learn in the Premier League to understand what the physicality of the game means here, but I think he has the right mentality."

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Players' 'ambition' pleases Newcastle boss Benitez

Newcastle recorded their third successive Premier League win at St James' Park - for the first time since last April - to move up to 15th.

United boss Benitez's only gripe may be that they should have won by a more convincing margin against a Huddersfield side that managed only one shot on target.

Newcastle's Kenedy and Sean Longstaff both hit the woodwork in the final half-hour, while Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl produced some superb saves as the home side peppered the away goal with 29 shots.

Town have lost all four of their matches under new manager Jan Siewert and remain 14 points adrift of safety.

Almiron impresses on home debut

Excitement and expectation has accompanied Almiron's arrival on Tyneside, with the 25-year-old becoming their most expensive signing since former England striker Michael Owen joined from Real Madrid in 2005.

The Paraguayan was handed his full debut by Benitez after coming on as a substitute at Wolves earlier this month - and he did not disappoint the home fans with a sharp performance.

The £21m signing, who started on the left of a front three alongside Rondon and Perez, caused problems for the visitors with his pace, while showing enough trickery and awareness to suggest he will have a major impact at St James' Park.

Although he could not cap an impressive performance with a goal, he came mighty close.

Almiron hit the post in the 12th minute with a confident chip over Lossl, racing clean through following a nice passing move from the home side.

Two other first-half opportunities saw him almost open the scoring - an instinctive left-foot strike stopped low to his right by an alert Lossl and another that squirmed under the keeper before defender Chris Lowe hacked away from his goalline.

Almiron also played a key role in another of the game's pivotal moments, forcing a desperate lunge out of right-back Smith that left referee Kevin Friend reaching for the red card.

In the second half, he continued to pose problems for Huddersfield and it was unsurprising to see him receive a loud and standing ovation when he was substituted in the 81st minute.

"You saw today he can make a massive difference to us, he is a quality player," Perez said.

Newcastle ease to victory against Huddersfield
Newcastle attempted 29 shots at the Huddersfield goal (left graphic) - their most in a Premier League game since having 32 against Swansea in November 2012. The right graphic shows Miguel Almiron had three shots on target (green arrows) and one - when he hit the post - off target (red arrow).

Have Huddersfield improved under Siewert?

Huddersfield's time in the Premier League looks set to end in May after a two-season stay, barring an extraordinary - and on this evidence unlikely - turnaround in their form.

After defying the odds to stay up last season, Town's deficiencies - namely scoring goals - have been laid bare this campaign.

Town appointed 36-year-old Siewert, who like his predecessor David Wagner came from Borussia Dortmund's second team, last month and he started his reign by presiding over defeats to Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal.

While there were some positives to take against sides expected to beat them comfortably, Saturday's trip to a team also in the bottom six before kick-off provided little comfort.

This time their inability to cause any problems was created by playing with a numerical disadvantage for over 70 minutes.

Smith could have few complaints for seeing red, despite protesting his innocence and looking shocked when Friend sent him off, and from that point anything other than a Newcastle win looked unlikely.

Huddersfield's Tommy Smith sent off against Newcastle
Huddersfield's Tommy Smith is the first player to be sent off against Newcastle since Norwich's Bradley Johnson in January 2014 - a run spanning 155 games

"The red card broke our neck - before that we had the possibility of possession and chances. It changed the situation of the game," Siewert said.

"I don't want to complain about anything. I haven't seen the red card again - I have to see it and then make my mind up."

Town have now taken only one point in their past 14 league matches and it looks as though the extent of Siewart's impact in West Yorkshire will not be fully evident until next season - most likely in the Championship.

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Terriers will stay positive until the end - Siewert

Man of the match - Sean Longstaff (Newcastle)

Newcastle
While Almiron gave an eye-catching display, 21-year-old Longstaff was equally impressive in central midfield. The Newcastle-born player was heavily involved throughout and made the home side tick. He had 89 touches and made 75 passes, while he also curled a shot against the crossbar late on

Rondon making his mark at Newcastle - the stats

  • Newcastle have recorded a league double over Huddersfield for the first time since 1964-65.
  • Only two sides in Premier League history have picked up fewer points after their first 27 games of a season than Huddersfield this season (11) - Derby in 2007-08 (9) and Sunderland in 2005-06 (10).
  • Huddersfield's Jan Siewert is the ninth manager to lose his opening four Premier League matches in charge. The German is the first since Frank de Boer with Crystal Palace at the start of last season.
  • No side has picked up more red cards in the Premier League this season than Huddersfield (4, along with Everton and Leicester).
  • Salomon Rondon has been directly involved in 46% of Newcastle's 24 Premier League goals this season (7 goals, 4 assists).
  • In 21 appearances this season, Newcastle striker Rondon has equalled his best haul for goal involvements in a Premier League campaign. He has scored seven goals and provided four assists after scoring nine and making two in 34 games for West Brom in 2015-16.

What's next?

Both sides are back in Premier League action on Tuesday. Newcastle look for a fourth straight home league win when they host Burnley at St James' Park at 20:00 GMT, while Huddersfield aim to end their winless run when they play Wolves at John Smith's Stadium at 19:45.

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 12Dubravka
  • 22YedlinBooked at 27mins
  • 5Schär
  • 6Lascelles
  • 20Lejeune
  • 11RitchieBooked at 57minsSubstituted forKenedyat 68'minutes
  • 17Pérez
  • 14Hayden
  • 36Longstaff
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forAtsuat 81'minutes
  • 9RondónSubstituted forJoseluat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Dummett
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 15Kenedy
  • 19Manquillo
  • 21Joselu
  • 30Atsu
  • 41Woodman

Huddersfield

  • 1Lössl
  • 2SmithBooked at 20mins
  • 25M Jorgensen
  • 26Schindler
  • 15Löwe
  • 6Hogg
  • 7BacunaSubstituted forBillingat 69'minutes
  • 10Mooy
  • 42PuncheonSubstituted forHadergjonajat 24'minutes
  • 20DepoitreSubstituted forMounieat 76'minutes
  • 9Kachunga

Substitutes

  • 5Kongolo
  • 8Billing
  • 12Hamer
  • 16Grant
  • 24Mounie
  • 27Stankovic
  • 33Hadergjonaj
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
52,174

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamHuddersfield
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home29
Away3
Shots on Target
Home12
Away0
Corners
Home12
Away0
Fouls
Home11
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Newcastle United 2, Huddersfield Town 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Newcastle United 2, Huddersfield Town 0.

Foul by Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United).

Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt blocked. Chris Löwe (Huddersfield Town) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Philip Billing.

Foul by Kenedy (Newcastle United).

Elias Kachunga (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Joselu replaces Salomón Rondón.

Attempt missed. Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Sean Longstaff.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Chris Löwe.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Christian Atsu replaces Miguel Almirón.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Steve Mounie replaces Laurent Depoitre.

Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.

Attempt missed. Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabian Schär.

Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town).

Attempt saved. Kenedy (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Isaac Hayden with a cross.

Attempt missed. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.

Attempt missed. Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Isaac Hayden following a corner.

Attempt missed. Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kenedy with a cross following a corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Huddersfield Town. Philip Billing replaces Juninho Bacuna.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Zanka.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Kenedy replaces Matt Ritchie.

Attempt missed. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.

Foul by Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United).

Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town).

Attempt blocked. Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Florian Lejeune with a headed pass.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Chris Löwe.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) because of an injury.

Booking

Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Juninho Bacuna (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United).

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

Jonathan Hogg (Huddersfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Jonathan Hogg.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham27200755272860
4Man Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Watford2711793935440
8Wolves2711793534140
9West Ham27106113540-536
10Bournemouth27104133848-1034
11Everton2796123639-333
12Leicester2795133238-632
13Crystal Palace2786133135-430
14Burnley2786133148-1730
15Newcastle2777132434-1028
16Brighton2676132839-1127
17Cardiff2774162552-2725
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2745182661-3517
20Huddersfield2725201450-3611
View full Premier League table

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