What Bruno Guimaraes did after securing Newcastle United's Premier League status

On a day when a famous great escape was remembered, Newcastle United all but secured their Premier League status.
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Leicester City were beaten 2-1 at St James’s Park thanks to two goals from Bruno Guimaraes – and the club is now 12 points clear of the relegation zone with six games left to play.

Before the game, Wor Flags had paid tribute to the escape act masterminded by Kevin Keegan 30 years ago with a banner paying tribute to David Kelly, who scored a hugely-important home winner against Portsmouth.

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At the time, the club was battling relegation to English football’s third tier. This year’s relegation battle, a familiar fight to stay in the Premier League, is all but over after a remarkable turnaround under Eddie Howe, appointed head coach five months ago.

Howe had stressed before the game that there was still work do to this season before thoughts can turn to next season, and co-owners Jamie Reuben and Mehrdad Ghodoussi joined fans in waving flags before kick-off time in another big Wor Flags effort to get the team over the line.

Guimaraes, the matchday programme’s cover star following his full home debut last week, again spoke of his ambition to win the Champions League with Newcastle before the game.

And, thanks to Guimaraes, the club can start to look ahead to next season.

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United went behind to a well-worked corner in the 19th minute. Kieran Dewsbury-Hall’s kick was flicked on at the near post by former United forward Ayoze Perez to Lookman, who opened the scoring with a low shot through a crowded box. Martin Dubravka will have been disappointed that he didn’t stop the shot.

Bruno Guimaraes.Bruno Guimaraes.
Bruno Guimaraes.

Guimaraes was having a quiet game by his standards, but he was there at the right place, at the right time in the 30th minute to equalise, though his strike was initially disallowed for a foul on Kasper Schmeichel.

Guimaraes kicked the ball from under the goalkeeper, and the goal, the January’s signing’s first at St James’s Park, was given after a pitchside VAR check by referee Jarred Gillett.

Chris Wood had a penalty appeal waved away later in the half after he went down under a challenge from Caglar Soyuncu.

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An unchanged United pushed for a second goal after the break. Allan Saint-Maximin was trying hard to make things happen in the final third of the pitch, but he wasn’t able to test Schmeichel.

Miguel Almiron reacts during the game.Miguel Almiron reacts during the game.
Miguel Almiron reacts during the game.

Leicester had their own moments, and Newcastle had to defend well. Emil Krafth made a superb block as the hour-mark approached at the sold-out stadium. Howe replaced a flagging Miguel Almiron and Chris Wood with Jacob Murphy and Joe Willock in the 69th minute. Dwight Gayle was thrown on in added time.

And Guimaraes was there to head a winner from a deflected Willoock cross four minutes into added time.

Howe and his players lapped the field after the final whistle, and Guimaraes, having all but secured the club’s top-flight status, pumped his fists and threw his shirt to a young fan as he left the field.

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If anyone can help the club get back into Europe, it’s surely Guimaraes.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka, Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett, Shelvey, Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron (Murphy 69), Saint-Maximin (Gayle, 90), Wood (Willock, 69). Subs not used: Darlow, Dummett, Lascelles, Ritchie, Fernandez, Longstaff.