Newcastle United 2-1 Leicester City: Guimaraes claims late winner for Magpies

Bruno Guimaraes said he wants to be a Newcastle legend after scoring both goals as the Magpies came from behind to beat Leicester and edge closer to Premier League survival.
Bruno Guimaraes said he wants to be a Newcastle legend after scoring both goals as the Magpies came from behind to beat Leicester and edge closer to Premier League survival.

The Brazilian midfielder cancelled out Ademola Lookman’s opener on the half-hour mark before the two sides played out a strangely subdued second half.

But in the fifth minute of stoppage time, a low cross by substitute Joe Willock deflected kindly for Guimaraes to snatch the winner with a diving header, which he said is the first headed goal of his career.

“What a feeling, what a game, the group deserved it,” he said. “To score two goals was brilliant.

“It was always my dream to play in the Premier League and I’m so happy for today. I want to be a legend here.”

Guimaraes was Newcastle’s first big signing under their new owners, joining from Lyon in the January transfer window for an initial £35m.

He has helped provide the impetus to push the Magpies towards safety and despite arriving as a defensive midfielder, the 24-year-old now has three goals from five Premier League starts.

“Goals weren’t necessarily one of the areas where we felt he would enhance us as a team, but he’s scored some key goals for us,” said Newcastle manager Eddie Howe.

“I’m really pleased with him today. I thought he was magnificent in every aspect, especially out of possession, because we struggled to get control of the ball for any large periods of the game.”

Guimaraes’ winner made it five straight home victories for Newcastle and he was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration.

The Magpies now have 37 points – 12 clear of the relegation zone and three behind ninth-placed Leicester, whose five-game unbeaten run came to a dramatic end.

“He’s an incredibly passionate individual,” Howe added. “He cares deeply whether we win or lose.

“I love that about him because you need players that wear their heart on their sleeve and are prepared to give you everything on the pitch. He’s certainly one of those.”

Foxes’ defensive frailties return

Leicester arrived on Tyneside buoyed by Thursday’s Europa Conference League win at PSV Eindhoven, which saw the club reach the semi-finals of a European competition for the first time. Manager Brendan Rodgers, though, made eight changes to freshen the team up.

The Foxes have struggled to defend set-pieces this season yet they opened the scoring with a training-ground routine of their own, Lookman’s eighth goal in all competitions this season capping a bright start.

Ayoze Perez superbly laid on James Maddison’s equaliser in Eindhoven and the Spaniard repeated the trick against his former club.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall drilled a corner low towards the near post, where Perez’s run put him in front of his marker and his deft flick with the outside of his right foot ran straight into the path of an unmarked Lookman. The forward’s low strike was too powerful for Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to keep out.

But the visitors’ Achilles heel was exposed again just 11 minutes later, from the very first corner they conceded.

Newcastle centre-half Dan Burn leaned his 6ft 7in frame over Daniel Amartey to head down Jonjo Shelvey’s inswinging delivery, before Guimaraes poked the ball goalwards from right in front of Schmeichel and then bundled in while both players were on the turf.

At first glance it looked as though Guimaraes had knocked the ball from the Denmark keeper’s grasp. However, the video assistant referee, Lee Mason, recommended referee Jarred Gillett looked at his pitchside monitor and replays showed the ball had been stuck between Schmeichel’s legs, rather than his hands.

Leicester have now conceded 17 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League this season – more than any other team.

That leveller lifted the hosts and they finished the first half on top, before Leicester dominated possession after the break with Newcastle still the more threatening.

But they failed to create any clear-cut chances until Burn sent a free header wide from a late corner, while Leicester substitute Kelechi Iheanacho went close at the other end.

Willock then burst down the left wing and into the Leicester box, where Guimaraes was rewarded for his supporting run by sending the home crowd at St James’ Park into raptures.