Newcastle United 2 Leicester City 1
- Jarred Gillett
Bruno Guimarães’ last-gasp winner handed Newcastle United a dramatic late victory over Leicester City on Sunday afternoon.
The Brazilian international’s diving header in front of the Gallowgate End in time added on at the end of the second half lifted the roof off St. James’ Park, wrapping up another superb display from the January recruit.
Earlier, Guimarães’ scrappy close-range leveller after 30 minutes had pulled Eddie Howe’s men back onto level terms after Ademola Lookman had finished off a well-worked corner routine to put the Foxes in front.
It was a pulsating first period on Tyneside but with chances at a premium after the break, it took until the dying moments for Guimarães to net his second of the day – his first strikes at St. James' in black and white – and seal a fine win for his side.
United were first to threaten at a sun-soaked St. James’, with Jonjo Shelvey testing Kasper Schmeichel with a knuckleball-style free kick from range. When a hopeful Fabian Schär pass caught the Leicester backline out Joelinton had a sight of goal soon after, but his left-footed attempt was always rising and didn’t trouble the Danish stopper.
After that, though, the Foxes began to assert their dominance in the middle of the park, with Youri Tielemans particularly impressive. The opening goal arrived on 19 minutes but it came from a set piece which was perfectly executed. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s low corner was flicked on by former Magpie Ayoze Perez and Lookman arrived unmarked, steering his shot underneath Martin Dúbravka in front of the Gallowgate End.
The visitors looked dangerous on the counter, even after Lookman’s goal, and Tielemans and Perez both tried their luck to no avail. But the balance of the contest shifted on the half hour after a lengthy VAR check. A United corner found its way to Guimarães at the back post, where the Brazilian international stretched in a bid to turn home the equaliser. Schmeichel smothered the attempt with his legs but the Magpies favourite was quickest to react, poking the ball over the line before the Foxes stopper could get his hands on it.
The check, which saw Jarred Gillett view the incident on the monitor, resulted in Guimarães’ goal – his first at home since his arrival from Lyon – being given, and it heralded a positive spell from the hosts. Chris Wood had a shout for a penalty turned down after a lunge from Caglar Soyuncu and Matt Targett forced a save with a powerful header, enabled by a terrific clipped pass from Guimarães.
A low ball across the six yard area from Perez after the restart could have brought a second Leicester goal had Lookman read the Spaniard’s intentions and gambled at the far post, and Brendan Rodgers’ side showed plenty of intent in the second half’s early exchanges. Dewsbury-Hall cleared the crossbar with a curling effort which served as another reminder of the threat posed by the Europa League semi-finalists.
Lookman then took too long to shoot after Perez’s neat through ball, allowing Emil Krafth to stick out a leg and poke the ball away, while at the other end Joelinton fired over after a swift break. The contest became stretched, with both sides looking to counter at pace, but a decisive touch in the final third continued to elude both teams.
Until, that was, added time. United’s winner owed much to a lung-bursting run from substitute Joe Willock, who carried the ball upfield at pace in yet another quick breakaway. He made it all the way to the penalty box and, with St. James’ holding its breath, his cross was met by the flying Guimarães. His header nestled in the top corner and he wheeled away, peeling off his shirt in celebration as Newcastle supporters toasted their new hero’s matchwinning moment on an afternoon to remember.