Morecambe 0-7 Newcastle: £ 40million flop Joelinton bags brace – but fails to score from two yards for his hat-trick – as Steve Bruce’s men modest League Two hosts Carabao Cup
Joelinton first scored two goals in English football, one of which was a belter, but the £ 40 million striker’s night will be remembered as the best – or worst – for a miss.
In fact, it wasn’t even a miss, that would be a goal attempt. Instead, the Brazilian decided not to crawl into an empty net from two meters away, preferring to see if his mate’s cross would get into the post. It didn’t. Jacob Murphy’s delivery hit the woodwork, rolled down the line, and was cleared.
Joelinton looked around as if he were looking for a Russian linesman. All he found was an enraged Matt Ritchie who wondered why he’d missed the chance of a burglary.
Joelinton (right) and Miguel Almiron were both on target in the first half on Wednesday evening
But that’s Joelinton, a club-record purchase that Steve Bruce admitted last season was not a ‘goalscorer’.
He now has six goals from 48 appearances for Newcastle. It says a lot that two of them faced League One opponents here in the FA Cup and two more against League Two Morecambe.
To be fair, his second was a beauty, a running and diving ride from a distance that flew into the farthest corner. Deadly from 20 meters, not so smart from two.
He had previously opened the score with a 12-yard hook at five minutes before the brain faded into the goal mouth that left his teammates open-mouthed.
Joelinton opened the score for the visitors against Morecambe in the fifth minute
It betrayed his hunger – or lack thereof – for goals, and that has long been the criticism of the 24-year-old, a player whose best performance in a black and white shirt, bizarrely enough, remains a solid shift as a defensive left winger last year .
Perhaps a string of goals in the cups will restore the confidence that was clearly eroded during his torturous debut campaign. Or maybe scoring goals against EFL opposition is as good as it gets.
One player he can seek inspiration for is Miguel Almiron. He too had a rocky start after arriving as a club record of £ 21 million seven months ahead of Joelinton.
The £ 40 million Brazilian fired a dive from a distance that flew into the far corner
But the Paraguayan has been outstanding here and will certainly be back in Bruce’s starting XI for this weekend’s trip to Spurs after starting, somewhat surprisingly, from the bench in the first two Premier League games. Tellingly, Newcastle performed much better with him on the field in the second half of Sunday’s pitiful 3-0 defeat at home to Brighton.
Almiron laid on Joelinton’s first and added a second after rounding the goalkeeper and firing into the roof of the net in 20 minutes.
Murphy then smashed a blast himself after a ride from deep and he didn’t hurt his chances of getting involved at the top either.
The Premier League team scored five times against League Two kit before half-time
Joelinton made four in the half hour before home midfielder Toumani Diagouraga was subsequently sent off for a reckless attack on Sean Longstaff, who was lucky enough to escape a serious injury.
Isaac Hayden hit fifth in first half injury time and captain Jamaal Lascelles headed in from a corner after the break, before Ritchie’s deflected heel made seven.
Bruce fell to Andy Carroll in search of his first goal since rejoining the club 13 months ago, but no matter how he tried, his drought continues.
Morecambe midfielder Toumani Diagouraga was sent off for a strike on Sean Longstaff
Not that Newcastle needed any more goals, given their handsome advantage after that brutal first half.
It leaves them with only League Two Newport County to negotiate a place in the quarter-finals.
Joelinton will be the first name on the team sheet for such a match, and that will be until he starts scoring goals in the Premier League, be it from six feet or twenty.