Newcastle United were humiliated by Brighton & Hove Albion in their first home game of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
There was optimism in the air on Tyneside after the opening day victory at West Ham United, however in a tough week which saw most to the North East go under tighter COVID-19 restrictions, this game did nothing to brighten the mood.
Steve Bruce’s side were outclassed from the first minute until the last and gave themselves no chance against Graham Potter’s dominant side.
The nightmare start
A controversial penalty was given to Brighton after just three minutes when exciting youngster Tariq Lamptey was adjudged to have been fouled by Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin.
It looked as if Saint-Maximin had got a toe to the ball but Kevin Friend and VAR felt otherwise allowing Neal Maupay to step up and fire down the middle.
Just moments later Maupay was on target again as he tapped in Leandro Trossard’s cross from the right.
The goal was initially disallowed for offside but after VAR’s input the strike stood and the host had a mountain to climb.
It took Bruce’s men until the 28th to even get into the Brighton box but the visitors remained unthreatened as Callum Wilson was forced away from goal with no options in the box.
Things for worse when Saint-Maximin was forced off with an injury with 33 minutes gone. He was replaced by Ryan Fraser.
With no efforts of note for the home side, Brighton came close to a third which wouldn’t have been unjust after their dominance, however Karl Darlow got down well to deny the pacy Lamptey.
New half, same story
Despite the introduction of Miguel Almiron it still took time for Newcastle to threaten their opponents who were untroubled throughout the first 45 minutes at St James’ Park.
But Almiron did set up a chance for Jonjo Shelvey within the first ten minutes of the second period, however the midfielder’s effort was scuffed and went harmlessly wide.
Maupay was in search of his hat-trick and drew Darlow into a comfortable save with an hour gone.
The Seagulls then rattled the woodwork twice, firstly Aaron Connolly and then Trossard to save the Magpies from falling further behind.
Connolly would get his goal though with the final whistle looming.
He received the ball in a wide position before cutting inside and calmly finessing the shot beyond Darlow and into the bottom corner.
They were reduced to ten men as Yves Bissouma was punished for a high foot on Jamal Lewis is which could have seriously harmed the former Norwich City man but this was mere consolation for the Magpies who were woeful.
Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Lewis, Hendrick, Shelvey (Joelinton 72), Hayden, Saint-Maximin (Fraser 31), Carroll (Almiron 46), Wilson
Subs not used: Gillespie, Clark, Ritchie, Krafth
Brighton & Hove Albion: Ryan, Lamptey (Burn 57), White, Dunk, Webster, March (Lallana 78), Bissouma, Trossard, Alzate, Connolly (Jahanbaksch 89), Maupay
Subs not used: Steele, Veltman, Bernardo, Gross