Fabian Schar and Sean Longstaff fire Newcastle United up the Premier League

It just gets better for Newcastle United – and Sean Longstaff.

By Miles Starforth
Tuesday, 26 February, 2019, 20:55
Fabian Schar, far left, celebrates his goal.

The club recorded a fourth successive Premier League home win at St James's Park tonight to move up to 13th in the Premier League.

And this time it wasn't Salomon Rondon who did the damage.

Longstaff and Schar – two players who weren't in the team during United's early-season struggles – were on target in a 2-0 win over Burnley.

Owner Mike Ashley will do well to remember that manager Rafa Benitez picked up Schar for a bargain £3million player – and that United's manager plucked Longstaff from the Academy last summer. Longstaff's strike was his first in the Premier League.

So it's not all about the money, though the cash spent on Miguel Almiron, signed from Atlanta United last month, looks like it was well spent.

Almiron, for the second game in a row, left the pitch to a standing ovation.

Sean Longstaff.

Benitez had made just one change, resting right-back DeAndre Yedlin and replacing him in the starting XI with Javier Manquillo.

Jonjo Shelvey, again, didn't even make the bench at St James's Park, with Longstaff and Isaac Hayden keeping their places and Ki Sung-yueng and Mohamed Diame among the substitutes.

The fact that Shelvey can't even get on the bench just shows how far the team has come in his absence.

Burnley arrived on Tyneside with an away record in 2019 only bettered by Manchester United, but Newcastle were to get the better of them on Tyneside.

Benitez again sent out his team in a 3-4-3 formation with Almiron to the left of Rondon, and the pace of Almiron, up against former Sunderland defender Phil Barsley, and the passing of Longstaff helped get a purposeful Newcastle on the front foot early in the game.

Then it happened. Javier Manquillo passed the ball to Schar on the right. The defender took a touch before unleashing an unstoppable right-footed shot from 30 yards which beat in-form Tom Heaton at his near post.

There won't be a better strike at St James's Park this season. It was a stunning, stunning goal.

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The strike surpassed Schar's previous effort, which had seen him run half the length of the pitch before rolling the ball home. Schar's later touches would be greeted with chants of "shoot" from fans.

Martin Dubravka stopped a shot from Ashley Barnes at the other end of the pitch, but Burnley struggled to maintain any kind of charge.

Then came a special moment for Longstaff, who started and finished a move to put Newcastle 2-0 up. Longstaff won the ball inside the Burnley half, and he was there to shoot into the far corner when Burnley only half-cleared Matt Ritchie's cross.

There was a chant of "Sean Longstaff, he's one of our own" in the wake of the midfielder's first Premier League strike.

There was more of the same from an unchanged United after the break. Almiron forced a save after a break forward which showed just how quick the midfielder can cover the ground.

Schar tried his luck with another effort from distance, but this time he couldn't keep his shot down.

Sean Dyche sent on Peter Crouch for the last 20 minutes, and Almiron and Longstaff left the pitch to standing ovations.

If Benitez's calculations are right, Newcastle, seven points clear of the relegation zone, are just two wins and a draw away from Premier League safety, and you wouldn't bet against them in any of their remaining fixtures in this form.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Perez (Joselu, 87), Longstaff (Diame 85), Hayden, Almiron (Dummett, 81); Rondon. Subs not used: Darlow, Ki, Yedlin, Atsu.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Bardsley, Mee, Tarkowski, Taylor, Cork, Hendrick, Gudmundsson, Barnes (Crouch, 71), McNeil (Brady, 46), Wood (Vydra, 83). Subs not used: Lowton, Hart, Ward, Gibson.

Goals: Schar 24, Longstaff 38

Bookings: Longstaff 22, Hendrick 60

Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)

Attendance: 48,323