Newcastle 3-3 Brentford: Player ratings from a six-goal thriller at St James' Park

Saint-Maximin celebrates drawing Newcastle level
Saint-Maximin celebrates drawing Newcastle level / George Wood/GettyImages

Newcastle played out an enthralling 3-3 draw with Brentford on Saturday afternoon for Eddie Howe's first game in charge of the hosts - which he was forced to watch from afar.

Influenced with an urgency befitting the ushering in of a new era, Jamaal Lascelles glanced a corner in off the post to give the Magpies the lead in the 10th minute.

However, in an increasingly bonkers first half, Brentford hauled themselves level within 67 seconds. While Newcastle were still celebrating life under new management one of their former players, Ivan Toney, dovetailed with Bryan Mbeumo on the edge of the box in a partnership that ran Newcastle's back-three ragged.

Passing up a myriad of chances to clear the ball, Toney was found in all kinds of space inside the penalty area, firing a low equaliser which scuttled under Karl Darlow.

Brentford may have been facing the only team in England's four professional tiers without a win this season, but the Bees had lost four Premier League games on the spin themselves coming into the content.

Yet, there was scant sign of any confidence lacking as the visitors began to rack up opportunities. Rico Henry capitalised on that spell of pressure by scampering onto Sergi Canos' looping cross shortly after the hour mark.

Allan Saint-Maximin's influence had largely been limited to surges from his own half and shot from distance. However, his 39th-minute attempt of the latter bounced fortuitously to Joelinton in Brentford's penalty area. The burly Brazilian took an assured first touch before crisply drilling Newcastle back into the contest.

In stark contrast to the enthralling mayhem that built to a crescendo in the opening 45 minutes, Newcastle and Brentford made a thoroughly staccato start to the second half. The hosts proved the first to blink as, much like Toney's opener, multiple Magpies were too weak in the tackle. Henry wrestled the ball to substitute Frank Onyeka whose shot deflected off Lascelles to put Brentford back in the lead after an hour.

The introduction made by the combination of coaches in Newcastle's dugout and the manager isolating from a distance also proved decisive. Ryan Fraser, a former favourite at Howe's Bournemouth, swung a devilish ball into box, completing a long-range one-two with Saint-Maximin who volleyed in with 15 minutes to play.

While Newcastle desperately flung bodies forward in search of that long-awaited win, the gaps at the back grew to chasms which Brentford, try as they might, couldn't take advantage of.

Here's how both sides rated on the day...

Newcastle player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles celebrates Newcastle's opener against Brentford / George Wood/GettyImages

Karl Darlow (GK) - 4/10 - Horribly slack when faced with Toney's opener but didn't let that mistake overtly affect him thereafter.

Fabian Schar (CB) - 5/10 - Drafted into the team to exploit his progressive passing range, Schar was more preoccupied in his own box before limping off.

Jamaal Lascelles (CB) - 4/10 - Ensured Howe got off to the perfect start but didn't exactly marshal the backline to best maintain their lead.

Ciaran Clark (CB) - 6/10 - Won his individual duels for the most part but was spared the brunt of Brentford's aerial focus.

2. Wing-backs & midfielders

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey was showered with praise by his new manager Eddie Howe before facing Brentford / George Wood/GettyImages

Jacob Murphy (RWB) - 3/10 - A dumbfounded gawk crept across Murphy's face as he turned to see Henry nodding in Brentford's second goal. Similarly underwhelming when trying, and failing to tackle the same player in the build up to Brentford's third.

Joe Willock (CM) - 4/10 - On just his second Premier League start since September, the summer marquee signing did little to suggest he should earn another berth in the next XI.

Jonjo Shelvey (CM) - 4/10 - Failed to live up to the praise lavished upon him by his new manager.

Matt Ritchie (LWB) - 5/10 - Regularly threatened from his consistent set piece delivery.

3. Forwards

Joelinton (RW) - 7/10 - Bounding around at either end of the pitch with undiluted enthusiasm, Newcastle's record signing was rewarded with a rare goal but could have had more.

Callum Wilson (ST) - 6/10 - Squandered an early sight of goal and had an effort cleared off the line but uncharacteristically faded from the match.

Allan Saint-Maximin (LW) - 8/10 - Grew into the contest as his hurdling runs increasingly started further up the pitch. The star of this Newcastle side.

4. Substitutes

Ryan Fraser (RWB) - 7/10 - Within five minutes of football under Howe (from a distance) Fraser rediscovered the creative touch that served him so well at Bournemouth.

Sean Longstaff (CM) - N/A

Brentford player ratings

5. Goalkeeper & defenders

Allan Saint-Maximin, Mads Roerslev
Mads Roerslev trying to keep tabs on Allan Saint-Maximin on his Premier League debut / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Alvaro Fernandez (GK) - 5/10 - Left helpless for each of the well-taken goals that zipped past him.

Mads Roerslev (CB) - 6/10 - On his first Premier League start of the season, the 22-year-old endured a mixed afternoon in a spirited battle with the Saint-Maximin.

Pontus Jansson (CB) - 6/10 - Bailed out by his keeper when an own goal loomed in the second half.

Ethan Pinnock (CB) - 7/10 - Made a crucial, last ditch sliding tackle on his rhyming namesake Willock in the first half.

6. Midfielders & wingbacks

Sergi Canos (RWB) - 7/10 - Opening his assist count for the season with a brace, the former forward was more 'wing' than 'back'.

Saman Ghoddos (CM) - 5/10 - Eager to scurry into Newcastle's box as one of the multiple mustard shirts Brentford flooded forward at any given opportunity, but without delivering a telling intervention once in there.

Christian Norgaard (CM) - 6/10 - Orchestrating Brentford's play when on the ball, the midfield anchor had a tougher time stemming the tide flooding the other way.

Vitaly Janelt (CM) - 4/10 - Struggled to exert an influence on proceedings.

Rico Henry (LWB) - 7/10 - After a pair of goals in 132 appearances for Brentford, their increasingly adventurous fullback made two in as many games on Saturday.

7. Forwards

Bryan Mbeumo (ST) - 7/10 - The Robin to Toney's Batman, Mbeumo delivered an obligatory shot off the post as well as linking telepathically with his strike partner.

Ivan Toney (ST) - 8/10 - Adding to the ballooning list of former players to have haunted Newcastle, Toney managed to force and execute a goal-line saving clearance in the same half while tormenting Newcastle's backline.

8. Substitutes

Frank Onyeka (CM) - 7/10 - Whether or not he will be officially credited with Brentford's third goal, Onyeka added a forward thrust that forced it.

Charlie Goode (CB) - N/A

Shandon Baptiste (CM) - N/A