NEWCASTLE: A stunning strike from Fabian Schar and youngster Sean Longstaff’s first goal for the club gave Newcastle United a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday.
Newcastle’s fourth straight home win moved Rafa Benitez’s team up 13th place, above Burnley, whose eight game unbeaten run came to an end.
Swiss defender Schar smashed a fierce drive from 28 metres off the inside of the post and past a helpless Burnley keeper Tom Heaton to put the Magpies ahead in the 24th minute.
Home keeper Martin Dubravka then did well to keep out a volley from in-form Burnley striker Chris Wood after a rare spell of pressure from the visitors.
Newcastle, whose record signing Miguel Almiron impressed again, went 2-0 up when local-born midfielder Longstaff reacted well after Burnley failed to deal with Matt Ritchie’s left-wing cross and drove low past Heaton.
Burnley defender James Tarkowski missed a great chance from close range shortly before the break but Sean Dyche’s side were well below-par and struggled to create chances in the second half.
It was a Newcastle performance, combining solid defensive organisation with just enough flair in attack, which showed exactly how they have been able to pull away from mid-season troubles at the bottom of the table.
“I am very proud. The players deserve a lot of credit, we knew it would be a tough game against a physical team,” said Benitez.
“We managed well in the first half and had control and then in the second half we had to defend crosses and long balls and we did it quite well.
“Still we could be better sometimes but overall it was a great performance and good team spirit. The fans appreciate that.”
Dyche conceded his side may have suffered from their exertions in their 2-1 win over Tottenham on Saturday.
“It was a really poor first half, a long way short of where we have been. I don’t want to be too critical we just didn’t have the fight we have had recently. Credit to Newcastle they played well,” he said.