Newcastle and Luton share eight goals in thriller

by 24britishtvFeb. 3, 2024, 9 p.m. 20
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Last updated on .From the section Premier League

Substitute Harvey Barnes marked his return from a long injury with a goal to rescue a point for Newcastle in an extraordinary eight-goal thriller against Luton.

The Hatters, however, were on level terms for just two minutes as Longstaff restored Newcastle's advantage after Thomas Kaminski parried Anthony Gordon's attempt into his path.

But Luton were far from done and equalised a second time before half-time, Ross Barkley firing home from five yards after the ball dropped invitingly at his feet following Martin Dubravka's save to keep out Alfie Doughty.

The visitors went ahead for the first time when skipper Carlton Morris scored from a retaken penalty after a review by the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled Dan Burn had fouled the impressive Chiedozie Ogbene.

It looked all over when Elijah Adebayo made it 4-2 less than two minutes later, but Kieran Trippier's first goal since August 2022 gave the Magpies hope before Barnes, in his first appearance since 24 September, drilled home to make it 4-4.

In one of the all-time great games of the Premier League era, Jacob Murphy missed a great chance to win it for Newcastle when he blazed over in the 85th minute before Ogbene was denied by Dubravka at the other end in the 98th minute.
• None Newcastle fans have your say here on performance against Luton
• None Have your say here Luton fans on your team's display against Newcastle

There was applause around the ground at the full-time whistle after an incredible game which saw Newcastle twice concede the lead and then come back from 4-2 down to secure a point.

Boss Eddie Howe will prefer to focus on the positives rather than his side's suspect defending, with the Magpies shipping another four goals after conceding three against both Manchester City and Nottingham Forest in their previous two home games.

And, amid the chaos, there were some pluses, not least the impact of Barnes and fellow substitute Callum Wilson - who came on for the injured Anthony Gordon who left the stadium on crutches - on their returns.

Former Leicester player Barnes showed his eye for goal has not diminished during five months on the sidelines.

The loss of Alexander Isak for "several weeks" is another setback in a season of injury woes for Howe, but the return of Barnes and Wilson will provide the Newcastle manager with optimism his side can finish the season strongly.

In addition, Trippier has more assists - nine - than any other player in the Premier League this season after setting up Longstaff for the first goal.

The Magpies were looking to build momentum after inflicting a first Premier League home defeat on Aston Villa in midweek.

Yet at the end of an incredible game, Newcastle were relieved to have secured one point.

"We are disappointed to have not grown stronger in the game," said Howe, who has overseen just two victories in the past nine top-flight games.

"We made some poor decisions defensively. When we went 1-0 up I don't think we handled it well until they equalised.

"I wanted us to grab control of the game but we didn't. That's the frustrating thing. In that moment we had a lack of confidence and then a real credit to the players for coming back because it is not easy to do."

Luton were well-backed at St James' Park - the early start to travel across the country in time for kick-off well worth the effort for their fans in the end.

Hatters boss Rob Edwards and his players stayed out on the pitch for several minutes after full-time to show their appreciation to the supporters who made the long journey north.

There is so much to like about Luton this season and their fighting spirit once again surfaced as they came from behind on two occasions before taking a firm grip on proceedings.

There will be disappointment for Edwards and his players that they could not hold out after stunning St James' Park by sweeping into a 4-2 lead just after the hour mark.

But Luton are showing spirit in abundance and, at times, are a joy to watch.

Everton's battling draw against Tottenham in the early kick-off meant the Hatters started this game back in the bottom three.

Yet they ended the day up in 16th - with a one-point safety cushion - after playing their part in an astonishing game.

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