Will Alexander Isak get Newcastle into the Champions League? – Premier League Hits and Misses | football news

Will Isaac’s return propel Newcastle into the Champions League?

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Free To Watch: Highlights of Nottingham Forest vs Newcastle in the Premier League

One has to wonder how high up the table Newcastle United would be now if Alexander Isak was fit for the whole season?

The Sweden striker, bought for £63million from Real Sociedad last summer, scored on his Liverpool debut in August before suffering a serious hamstring injury while settling in at St James’ Park.

That injury sidelined Isaac for the rest of 2022, missing 16 games in total, before he returned in January.

However, since regaining full fitness, the 23-year-old has begun to put in the type of performances we were seeing before his layoff, and following Friday night’s double at the City Ground, has four goals in his last two games. There are unions.

It looks like their manager Eddie Howe has decided to go with Isaac ahead of reliable frontman Callum Wilson for the run-in, and you can see why given his impressive scoring rate for the Magpies.

Isaac has scored six Premier League goals in just 10 appearances for the club this season, at an impressive rate of one goal every 115 minutes.
Richard Morgan

Leicester showed their quality in the second half

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Free to watch: Highlights of Brentford’s 1-1 draw with Leicester

The writing seemed to be on the wall for visitors to West London. Leicester’s first-half performance displayed their recent issues: a lack of cutting edge in attack and indecisiveness at the back.

But a wonderful team goal to equalize early in the second half was a reminder of the quality in this team. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was brilliant in midfield, making challenges, James Maddison did what he does best in the pocket, feeding a through pass into the box, and Harvey Barnes was dynamic and then deadly with his end .

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Brendan Rodgers threw both arms up in the sky in glee and relief. It was the kind of move he likes.

The goal put faith back in his team and, while there was no winner, which would have substantially boosted their standing in the relegation battle, they denied Brentford a shot on target in the second half to secure the result. Gave. This will go down as a positive step for a side that is definitely too good to go down.
peter smith

Brentford raise hopes

Brentford are unbeaten in 10 consecutive Premier League home games. They are level on points with seventh-placed Brighton in the race for Europe. Yet there was a sense of desperation throughout their draw with Leicester. It is emblematic of how Thomas Frank has raised the standards of this side.

Brentford have not won a game this season and again on Saturday they were unable to convert their extra time on the ball into a victory. Frank later admitted that the players ahead of him had failed to fire and perhaps this raised questions about the creativity behind him.

But in the first half he caused chaos in the Leicester box with his direct play and perhaps the drop-off in the second half can be attributed to toil in midweek.

Frank looked tired at his post-match press conference and perhaps the international break has come at a good time for Brentford, giving his mind and body a chance to freshen up for the final 11-game push, where they will would expect to strengthen themselves at least. higher league status.

“Yes and no, because I know what this group of players is capable of,” Frank said when asked whether his team had exceeded expectations. He and his team have ambitions but Brentford’s tremendous season must be appreciated in the larger perspective.
peter smith

Bournemouth’s soft underbelly exposed

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Free to watch: Aston Villa highlights against Bournemouth

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Confidence would have been high among the Bournemouth squad after impressive performances against Arsenal and Liverpool. They still have a chance of avoiding relegation – but a defeat at Aston Villa will be painful.

They were undone by a slow start to the game – Douglas Luiz scoring inside seven minutes – and a lack of concentration in the final quarter of an hour as Jacob Ramsey and Emi Buendia wrapped things up for Villa.

But for bits in the middle, Bournemouth often matched an Aston Villa side that looked up rather than down. The home defense needed to be quick and made some crucial interceptions, while Amy Martinez’s superb save from a Philip Billing free-kick was a timely reminder of their World Cup-winning pedigree.

Aston Villa simply looked like a high quality, clever team and they punished Bournemouth for their errors. The cherry defending set-pieces in particular certainly left a lot to be desired at times.

While big results and wins are important – as well as key memories for fans – it is the weekly grind of trips from teams like Aston Villa or Brentford, for example, that can make or break a season. You have to perform in each of them to have any chance of survival.

While Bournemouth’s soft underbelly was certainly exposed at Villa Park, he showed he has the quality to stay. They should now make good use of those positive things.
Charlotte Marsh

Gnonto is back on the team and making an impact

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Free to watch: Highlights from Leeds’ win against Wolves

Wilfried Gnonto was dropped to the bench for the games against Chelsea and Brighton, but after being restored to the starting line-up he was a difference maker for Leeds in a 4–2 win against Wolves. It was Gunto who set up the opening goal for Jack Harrison.

His cross made Harrison’s task fairly straightforward and it was the third time the winger had troubled Wolves despite scoring in only the sixth minute of the match. Allowed to vary his marker, the Italy international is a real weapon for Leeds.

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That freedom hasn’t always been there for Gunto. It had become so clear that it was up to him to make the team that he was garnering too much attention. Perhaps those two games out of the team helped because the Wolves weren’t ready to deal with him.
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wolves should pay attention to their mistakes

Julen Lopetegui pointed to the Wolves’ decision not to award a penalty for a foul by Junio ​​Firpo on Nelson Semedo, which also injured his right back, and he was astounded that the referee had asked him to go Leeds’ fourth goal was not overturned. Monitor.

The shirt tug on Adama Traoré was evident and with this much frustration so soon after missing a penalty for Nick Pope’s foul on Raul Jimenez at Newcastle, Lopetegui probably has a fair claim when he says the margins are going against his side. Are .

However, it is his own failures compared to those of the authorities that should be a bigger concern for the Spaniard. Despite conceding four at the other end, Wolves had enough openings against Leeds to get something out of this game but still lacked an edge.

He scored two, a 41-yard lob and a deflected shot, but it was the lapses that would last – Raúl Jiménez failed to find the net from inside the six-yard box, with Pablo Sarabia going wide on goal. It is going on too long now to expect this to turn around.

Such fizzling means Wolves have to be defensively solid to win matches – most of their wins this season have been 1-0. But once Craig Dawson was substituted in, organization was lacking. Bad in both boxes. It’s a combination that risks relegation.
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