Irishman inspires Newcastle to victory over Bournemouth
Bournemouth 0 Newcastle 1
Rob Elliot played through the pain of thigh trouble to secure Newcastle's first away win in 10 months in an edgy 1-0 victory at Bournemouth.
The United goalkeeper thwarted the dominant hosts with a string of fine saves, handing manager Steve McClaren his first win on the road.
Ayoze Perez's sucker-punch strike secured the points for Newcastle, who only produced that solitary shot on target at Dean Court.
Newcastle rode their luck en route to their second Barclays Premier League win of the campaign, and their first away victory since a 3-0 triumph at Hull City on January 31.
Elliot pulled off at least five crucial saves to frustrate Eddie Howe's creative but toothless Bournemouth - and that after remaining a doubt right up until kick-off.
Newcastle took teenage academy keeper Brendan Pearson to the south coast, and the 18-year-old even warmed up just in case Elliot's injury worsened again.
McClaren did not need to call on the youngster, however, as Elliot eased Newcastle's goalkeeping woes with Tim Krul and Karl Darlow sidelined.
Bournemouth laid consistent siege to his goal in a one-sided first-half, only to turn around trailing to the visitors' solitary strike.
Josh King and Matt Ritchie will kick themselves for weak finishes, while Adam Smith fired just over with the goal at his mercy.
Elliot's best save of the half came from Dan Gosling's far-post header - the 29-year-old stopper cementing his inspired showing with a smart point-blank save.
Bournemouth should have easily capitalised on Newcastle's midfield misalignment and defensive disarray - instead McClaren's men rode their luck and grabbed the lead.
Aleksandar Mitrovic's flick opened the space for Georginio Wijnaldum to play in Perez, with the Spain forward toe-poking home.
Adam Federici ought to have kept out the tame effort, but Newcastle's battling horde could hardly have cared less.
The second half opened in exactly the same vein as the first, with Elliot again denying the hosts.
Ritchie raced onto a dangerous cross to head goalwards, only for the Newcastle goalkeeper to tip over the bar.
Gosling fluffed another effort to continue the trend and then Junior Stanislas blasted wildly over the bar in acres of space.
Chancel Mbemba barged Andrew Surman off the ball in the box just past the hour, but referee Lee Mason waved away Bournemouth's penalty calls.
After so many half-chances and missed opportunities, the hosts' heads finally dropped, leaving the tie to peter out somewhat.
A curiously-high tally of six additional minutes rallied Bournemouth slightly, but still Newcastle clung on for a victory to boost their bid to ease away from the relegation zone.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
Alan Shearer @alanshearer
14 corners to 0. 17 efforts to 2. 69% possession . 0-1 result. It's not about stats and playing well. It's about winning. #BOUNEW #MOTD
Adam Federici: 4 (out of 10)
Simon Francis: 6
Dan Gosling: 6
Andrew Surman: 7
Harry Arter: 5
Charlie Daniels: 6
Adam Smith: 7
Joshua King: 5
Junior Stanislas: 5
Sylvain Distin: 6
Matt Ritchie: 7
Lee Tomlin (for Stanislas, 73): 6
Yann Kermorgant (for King, 73): 6
Tokelo Rantie (for Arter, 80): 6
Rob Elliot: 9
Fabricio Coloccini: 6
Paul Dummett: 5
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5
Moussa Sissoko: 6
Vurnon Anita: 5
Ayoze Perez: 6
Chancel Mbemba: 5
Daryl Janmaat: 5
Cheick Tiote: 5
Aleksandar Mitrovic: 6
Papiss Cisse (for Mitrovic, 63) 5
Florian Thauvin (for Perez, 77) 6
Kevin Mbabu (for Anita, 92) 5
Rob Elliot. The Newcastle goalkeeper played through the pain of hamstring trouble to produce the day's pivotal performance. The 29-year-old somehow kept Newcastle in the match despite Bournemouth's consistent dominance.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
After somehow soaking up everything Bournemouth had to throw at them, Newcastle launched their only tangible attack of the match - and Ayoze Perez poked the winner past a stunned Adam Federici.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Junior Stanislas and Josh King started for Bournemouth with Eddie Howe fielding a starting XI that could float between 4-5-1 and 4-3-3. Newcastle remained unchanged from the line-up that drew 0-0 with Stoke at home, with goalkeeper Rob Elliot pressed into service despite carrying a thigh injury. Teenage academy keeper Brendan Pearson made the trip and warmed up with Elliot and replacement Freddie Woodman, but was not needed in the end.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Ayoze Perez might have poked home the winning goal, but the 22-year-old Spaniard needs to cut out the play-acting. Twice the Spain Under-21 star threw himself to the turf to indulge in a spot of needless writhing in false pain.
WHO'S UP NEXT?
Swansea v Bournemouth, November 21 (Premier League)
Newcastle v Leicester, November 21 (Premier League)
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren was honest in his assessment of the game and told BT Sport: "Sometimes football just cannot be explained.
"We've played so well recently, great performances, great football, not got the results and not scored goals and today we couldn't play football. It was like a hot potato.
"One bit of quality, great football to get the goal, a little bit more of that and we would have been comfortable, but we just caused our own problems today.
"Credit to Bournemouth they kept coming and coming. They played with intensity, created great chances and we worked hard for our luck, we've not had it in recent weeks, we had it today but we'll take it."
McClaren was pleased with goalkeeper Rob Elliot, who proved his fitness as he pulled off a string of fines saves to deny the hosts.
He added: "No (risk) really. We were worried after last week's game but he had trained the last couple of days.
"He was magnificent and that's what you need, not all the time can you go away and play the good football you want to play, sometimes you have to dig in and sometimes you have defining moments and they are usually blocks, headers and saves and we had two great saves that kept us in the game and got us the win."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe admitted his team could not have done much more to take something from the game.
He said: "We were playing a good side like Newcastle and they got in our box twice in the whole game.
"We penned them in and had good chances and we just haven't taken them.
"I've told them to keep the faith, keep doing what you're doing because if we keep performing like that and creating as many chances as that in a game, we'll win games - there's no doubt about it."