Newcastle United 3-3 Brentford: Magpies drop to the bottom of the Premier League in the first game of the Eddie Howe era
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Newcastle United kickstarted their life under new management with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Brentford, in a game in which new head coach Eddie Howe – who is currently self-isolating – will see as two points dropped as they remain winless in the Premier League.

Newcastle took the lead in front of a sold out St James' Park after 10 minutes courtesy of a Jamaal Lascelles header, but Ivan Toney equalised against his former club almost instantly.

Brentford looked like they were heading into half-time with the lead when Rico Henry headed The Bees back in front, but Joelinton's left-footed strike ensured The Toon went in level.

Against the run of play, Thomas Frank's men edged in front once again when Frank Onyeka's attempt took a wicked deflection off Lascelles and found its way into the back of the net.

Newcastle ensured they went away with a point courtesy of a side footed volley from Allan Saint-Maximin 15 minutes from time, but it was not enough to stop them from dropping to the bottom of the top-flight table.

Story of the game

Newcastle's plans for this game were thrown into chaos last night after new boss Eddie Howe tested positive for COVID-19.

It meant that Graeme Jones – who was interim head coach before Howe arrived on Tyneside – found himself in charge once again, this time alongside fellow assistant Jason Tindall.

Fitting of the 'new manager bounce', Newcastle started the game at a frantic pace and had the first corner of the match in their name after just 18 seconds.

It came to nothing, but The Magpies kept plucking away early on – and were inches away from taking the lead.

Joelinton won the ball back in the top-right corner of the pitch and played a cross onto the head of Callum Wilson, whose effort whistled just past the post.

But seven minutes later, The Magpies' early pressure paid off and they found themselves in front.

Matt Ritchie delivered a high and looping corner ball that found the head of captain Jamaal Lascelles to give Newcastle an early lead.

To say their lead was short lived is an understatement, as Brentford went straight down the other end and equalised almost immediately.

The Bees lumped it long from the restart, Sergi Canos won the ball in the Newcastle half and played it wide to Ivan Toney who on his return to St James' Park – courtesy of Karl Darlow fumbling the ball through his hands – pulled Brentford level.

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It took Fabian Schar clearing the ball off the line to stop Toney from notching his brace minutes later – but Brentford had the advantage on Tyneside shortly after. 

Canos – who already had an assist to his name – broke down the right-hand side and played a wicked delivery to the back-post towards an unmarked Rico Henry, whose header crashed into the roof of the net to give Thomas Frank's men the lead.

Although it looked like Brentford would head into the interval of this match – that was played purely like a game of basketball – with the advantage, The Magpies managed to get back on level terms.

Allan Saint-Maximin worked space down the left-hand side and managed to get a shot away on the edge of the penalty area. His shot fell into the path of Joelinton who made no mistake with his strike, which  was low and hard into the bottom-left corner to ensure The Magpies had their equaliser.

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Newcastle came close to going in front just before the break – and Toney was forced into defensive duty as he cleared an effort from Callum Wilson off the goal line.

Saint-Maximin saves Magpies from defeat after going behind again

Compared to the first 45 minutes the second half was a bit of a slow burner, but Newcastle were the ones pushing for the third goal.

They had a few half-chances before Saint-Maximin had a massive opportunity go begging as he – once again – tricked his  way into a goalscoring position before taking aim, but his shot flew just wide of Alvaro Fernandez's goal.

With the St James' Park crowd fully behind the team and The Magpies continuing to press for the lead, it looked like at this point that only one team would go on to win the match.

But that changed, very quickly.

Brentford broke down the left through Henry and bundled his way past Jacob Murphy before the ball fell to substitute Frank Onyeka, whose shot took a massive deflection off Lascelles and totally wrongfooted Darlow, giving The Bees the lead for the second time in the match.

It was beggar's belief that Newcastle found themselves behind, but they once again got themselves back on level terms 14 minutes after they fell behind.

Ryan Fraser had an instant impact off the bench as he curled an audacious cross towards Saint-Maximin at the back post who volleyed home with the side of his boot. 

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Saint-Maximin was a nuisance throughout, and just a few minutes after he had scored, he should have had an assist too.

The tricky Frenchman left Canos in his wake on the centre circle and drove ferociously towards the Brentford goal – he picked his head up and played in Joelinton to his right.

All the Brazilian had to do was shoot, but he elected to cut inside and the chance went begging. That was the golden chance to win the game. 

Opportunities to for either side to snatch all three points were few and far between after that chance, but the most clearcut came the way of Wilson, but he lashed his effort over-the-bar.

Despite Newcastle fans being off their feet three times, they once again failed to win – and with results going against them, they drop to the bottom of the Premier League.

Starting XI's

Newcastle: Darlow; Lascelles, Schar, Clark; Murphy, Willock, Shelvey, Ritchie; Joelinton, Wilson, Saint-Maximin. (3-4-3)

Brentford: Fernandez; Roerslev, Jansson, Kinnock; Canos, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbeumo, Toney, Ghoddos. (3-4-3)