Newcastle United have picked up where they left off after the international break with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Newcastle United welcomed club football back to Tyneside with a bang as they eased past Crystal Palace at St James’ Park. The Englishmen ran riot in front of goal as Jacob Murphy, Anthony Gordon, Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson all found the net.
Sandro Tonali’s involvement was the main talking point before the game and the Italian featured in the second-half as he was introduced to a standing ovation and plenty of support. The midfielder led the lap of honour at full-time with a decision on a possible ban for betting expected soon.
Here are the moments you may have missed from Newcastle’s impressive win.
Four shows of Tonali support
The ‘Forza Tonali’ flag was the only display on offer in the Gallowgate End before the Crystal Palace win, with Newcastle fans showing their unequivocal support for the embattled midfielder. With Tonali on the bench for the Premier League clash, the first glimpse supporters got of him during the game was when he emerged to warm up with Alexander Isak and Paul Dummett midway through the first-half.
Instantly the supporters in the Leazes End stood and applauded as the 23-year-old basked in the acclamation. Tonali would eventually receive even more praise when he was introduced off the bench after the interval, with almost the entirety of St James’ Park on their feet to welcome him into the fray.
Once the full-time whistle sounded, Tonali shook hands with the Palace players before taking part in the customary lap of honour with his team-mates. As the remaining supporters sang his name, Eddie Howe asked Tonali to go to the front of the group as he waved to the stands.
“He’s going through an incredibly emotional time and the supporters reacted how I hoped they would,” Howe said at full-time. “I could feel the love between him and them and that will do him the world of good, he’ll feel much better.”
Hodgson’s pre-match reflection
Long before most of the players arrived, Roy Hodgson stood in the middle of the pitch and took a moment to appreciate St James’ Park. The Palace manager’s father, Bill, was a lifelong Newcastle supporter, which may explain why the Londoner was taking such a keen interest in the ground.
Hodgson has been full of praise for Newcastle in recent days, praising the club and the passionate fanbase, as he showed his admiration for the team and the region. “They have such incredible support,” he told reporters in south London on Friday.
“Newcastle is very much a one-city team. All they care about is Newcastle United and that puts a lot of pressure on the coaches and players to produce a winning team and that’s exactly what he [Howe] has done so hats off to him.”
Brazilian superstar finally arrives
Earlier this year Newcastle were casting their eye over a number of young, Brazilian stars who have been impressing in South America. Matheus Franca is one of those who was on their list.
Newcastle were linked with the 19-year-old before Crystal Palace beat the Magpies and a host of Premier League rivals to Franca’s signature. The £26m teenage sensation signed in the summer but only made his first Eagles performance on Saturday afternoon after finally overcoming recent injury struggles.
Franca came off the bench for Palace in the 70th minute when they were already 4-0 down. A tricky Premier League debut for the youngster who is destined for a big future in England.
“We think he is going to be a big player for Crystal Palace Football Club,” Hodgson said at full-time. “But he’s just stepped through the door and he’s only recovered from injury ten days ago.”