Newcastle 3-3 Brentford
Newcastle dropped to the bottom of the Premier League after an entertaining draw with Brentford, with Eddie Howe absent for his first game in charge.
The new head coach was forced to watch the game from his hotel room after testing positive for coronavirus on Friday, with assistant Jason Tindall directing the team from the sidelines.
But, as he settles into his new role a month after the club’s Saudi Arabian-backed takeover, he will have seen a game to offer him encouragement while also illustrating the size of his task to keep Newcastle in the top flight.
With the home fans signing Howe’s name from the first minute, Newcastle took an early lead when Jamaal Lascelles nodded in from Matt Ritchie’s corner.
But the lead only lasted 75 seconds as Ivan Toney took advantage of Karl Darlow’s mistake to fire in low against his former employers and celebrate in front of the Gallowgate End.
The 25-year-old, who was sold by Newcastle to Peterborough in 2018 after several loan spells, was twice close to scoring again, being caught slightly offside and then having a goalbound shot cleared off the line by Fabian Schar.
But Thomas Frank’s impressive team took the lead after 31 minutes when Sergi Canos’ back-post cross found fellow wing-back Rico Henry, who stabbed a shot past Darlow.
Eight minutes later, Joelinton brought the scores level again, curling into the bottom corner following the lively Allan Saint-Maximin’s cross, for his first goal of the season.
In a thrilling encounter, Brentford went ahead once more when substitute Frank Onyeka’s shot was deflected past Darlow via Lascelles, but Saint-Maximin rescued a point when he crashed in at the back post following a flowing move.
Despite the draw, Newcastle continued their worst start to a league campaign, falling to 20th after Norwich earned their second win of the season, while Thomas Frank’s Brentford ended a run of four top-flight defeats.