A TALE OF TWO STRIKERS AT THE BEES
NEWCASTLE returned to the top of the Championship but the headlines will likely be dominated by absent strikers.
West Ham target Scott Hogan was an unused substitute for the hosts while the league’s top scorer Dwight Gayle was forced off with an injury after only half-an-hour of the game.
Brentford looked toothless up front without their main man and Newcastle’s season may well depend on how long Gayle is out for.
The injury forced a change to a more direct style of play and although it paid off it was far from convincing. Brentford’s poor finishing was their downfall.
Ayoze Perez took a while to get going but in the end showed he was a class above anyone else on the pitch, epitomised by his inch-perfect cross for Murphy’s winner.
It was a scrappy game in which Newcastle just about coped, managing to win without playing anywhere near their best – the sign of true champions.