Newcastle United duked out a breathless 4-4 draw at home to Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.
It was a jab-jab thrust-thrust bout where each blow landed on their opponent’s glass chin. Playground kick-abouts have exerted more defensive discipline.
Luton twice fell behind to a pair of Sean Longstaff goals in the first half but roared back each to go in level at the break. Shortly after the hour mark, Luton found themselves with a 4-2 lead.
Kieran Trippier halved the deficit before the returning Harvey Barnes fired Newcastle level with 17 minutes of normal time still to play. Both sides had chances to snatch all three points but the spoils, eventually, would be shared.
How the game unfolded
Longstaff needed less than seven minutes to crank up the volume on Tyneside, crashing into the box to drill Trippier‘s cutback into the bottom corner.
The visitors didn’t wilt in the face of Newcastle’s commanding start. Gabriel Osho swiftly equalised for Luton midway through the first half, nodding in from a well-worked set piece after 20 minutes.
However, Luton’s eagerness to assert themselves with an aggressive press played into Newcastle’s hands. Aston Villa’s high line was repeatedly pierced by the Magpies’ jet-heeled frontline in midweek and Luton could soon relate. Anthony Gordon left Osho trailing in his wake on the break, firing off a shot that Thomas Kaminski parried to the feet of Longstaff. Just 121 short seconds after Osho’s equaliser, Longstaff restored Newcastle’s lead.
Eddie Howe’s side boasted the joint-best defensive record in the division last term. This season’s iteration is a limp imitation and has already shipped more goals. Ross Barkley speared through Newcastle’s soft centre shortly before the interval, driving Luton into the box before gobbling up Martin Dubravka’s spilt save.
The half-time interval didn’t take away any of the swash and buckle from both sides.
The jet-heeled Chiedozie Ogbene looked like he was playing on fast-forward while Dan Burn lumbered around in real-time. It took a lengthy VAR review to reveal that Burn’s tug on the speedster had continued into the penalty box. Carlton Morris converted his retaken spot kick, placing it into the same corner as his first effort which was too quick for the referee.
Elijah Adebayo, Luton’s hat-trick hero against Brighton, ensured that the Hatters racked up four goals for the second time in a week.
But Newcastle would not be muzzled. Trippier was nowhere to be seen when Adebayo finished off a swift…