Many onlookers might have anticipated Newcastle United would soon be contending for honours with the backing of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, but few could have imagined the rapid rate of their improvement.

Just months removed from a Premier League relegation battle, Newcastle are through to the EFL Cup final and in position for Champions League qualification.

Yet this Newcastle team have not enjoyed their relative success to this point by playing in the same manner as Kevin Keegan's open, entertaining and erratic side of the 1990s.

Eddie Howe this week described Newcastle's class of 2022-23 as working "within the Kevin framework", but their best attributes go back further to their roots.

"Fortiter defendit triumphans" – triumphing by brave defence – reads Newcastle upon Tyne's motto. So effective was Newcastle's title-winning defence in the early 1900s, marshalled by captain Bill McCracken, the team's offside trap brought about a change in the rules.

When Sean Longstaff's double took the Magpies to a first final since 1999 against Southampton, it was not the only long wait ended in Tuesday's semi-final; Che Adams' riposte was the first goal Nick Pope had conceded since November 6 – also against Southampton.

Pope's sequence of 10 consecutive clean sheets in all competitions – the longest by a Premier League goalkeeper since Edwin van der Sar's run of 12 in 2008-09 – did not stretch to an 11th match, but his 16 for the season are the most in Europe's top five leagues.

Even including three goals conceded this season by Karl Darlow and Martin Dubravka, Newcastle have shipped just 15 in 27 matches, the fewest across the continent.

The best defence in Europe has been vital to Newcastle's progress.

Balanced back line

The Magpies' defensive record is even more impressive when considering only minutes in which Howe has used what is clearly now his strongest back four.

Sven Botman started the season on the bench, while both he and Fabian Schar were rested for Newcastle's sole league loss at Liverpool.

Botman is yet to taste defeat in 18 Premier League appearances, although he did play in an FA Cup reverse at Sheffield Wednesday when Schar was absent.

Of players in the top five leagues, nobody has played more minutes in all competitions this season without losing than Schar (2,055).

When Schar and Botman have been on the pitch alongside Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn, Newcastle have conceded only seven goals in 1,878 minutes – or one every three games.

Adams' stunner was the first first-half goal Newcastle had conceded since August 28, with that staggering stingy sequence still ongoing in the Premier League. At 16 matches, it is tied for the third-longest such run in the competition's history.

That statistic explains why Newcastle have trailed for just four per cent of the time the ball has been in play in their Premier League matches this season – the lowest rate in the competition.

There is a great balance to this back four. Schar, with his 1.4 interceptions per 90, is an aggressive, front-foot defender, while Botman tidies up behind. On the left, Burn is happy to tuck in as a third centre-back, allowing Trippier to get forward on the opposite flank and average 10.5 crosses per 90.

All four are dominant in the air – even the diminutive Trippier – and a big, powerful Newcastle side have won 55.6 per cent of their aerial duels this season, trailing only Manchester City (57.0 per cent) and Real Madrid (56.4 per cent) in that regard.

'The best in the world'

If there is one area in which the Newcastle defence is lacking, it is pace – but that is where Pope comes in.

His 27 keeper sweepings – measured when a goalkeeper anticipates danger and rushes off his line to either cut out a pass or close down an opponent – are the most in Europe.

And Pope's ability to read the game is especially impressive given how little he sees of the action.

Playing behind that mean defence and rarely involved in Newcastle's build-up play, Pope averages 30.6 touches per 90 – roughly half as many as Yann Sommer's Europe-leading 60.8. He faces only 3.0 shots on target per 90.

But when those chances do come, Pope intervenes unlike any other goalkeeper across the top five leagues. His 83.8 per cent save rate is the best of all keepers to make 10 or more starts in all competitions.

In the same group, only Kepa Arrizabalaga is preventing goals at a greater rate, according to expected goals on target data. Pope's saves have prevented 6.1 goals.

Despite a costly gaffe in his most recent England outing against Germany in September, Pope is one of only five keepers across Europe to start 25 club games this term without committing an error leading to a goal.

Bruno Guimaraes' recent description of his team-mate as "the best goalkeeper right now in the world" was perhaps hyperbolic, but the data does not disagree.

Defending from the front

Pope has already earned more clean sheets this season than he ever did in a single campaign at former club Burnley, but he and his defenders have been helped hugely by the way Newcastle set up, easing the pressure that was a constant presence at Turf Moor.

Some neutrals have not been quite so enthused by Newcastle's style of play, which has yielded six goalless draws in the Premier League – twice as many as any other team.

A high-profile 0-0 at Arsenal, in which Newcastle defended doggedly, established a narrative that this team are adverse to front-foot football.

However, Mikel Arteta recognised after that stalemate: "It is not the way they play. They have not set up like this against anyone else."

Newcastle's expected goals total of 33.7 is the fourth-highest in the Premier League this season, and their attacking intent usually forces opposition teams back, crucially keeping the ball away from their own goal.

The Magpies' attacks start 42.7 metres upfield on average, deeper only than three teams, and that high line – aided by Pope's sweeping style – contributes to Newcastle allowing the fifth-fewest opposition touches in their area, 21.2 per game.

Pope is a standout performer, but this incredible defensive effort has been achieved as a team.

If it can continue, so can a club-record 15-game unbeaten top-flight run and dreams of silverware and Champions League qualification between now and the end of the season.

Kieran Trippier signed an extension to his Newcastle United contract on Friday, as the England defender compared Eddie Howe's Magpies to Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

The 32-year-old was a LaLiga winner with Simeone's industrious Atletico team before making the switch to Newcastle in January 2022, becoming the first major signing of the club's new Saudi-led ownership era.

He and Newcastle have enjoyed a strong year, fending off relegation worries last season before soaring up the Premier League table this term, sitting third and winning the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton 1-0.

Tripper's new deal means he is adding 12 months to the deal he signed when arriving at St James' Park.

It is a reward for helping Newcastle keep 12 clean sheets in 20 Premier League games this season, conceding a league-low 11 goals so far.

Trippier recognises parallels between the teams coached by Howe and Simeone.

The former Burnley and Tottenham full-back told the club's official website: "With Simeone it was crazy in the way we trained, the way he was obsessed with keeping clean sheets, and I think here it's a similar mindset. We need to stop goals going in. I think we've showed this season how difficult we are to play against."

Trippier said there was never any doubt he would commit to an extended stay on Tyneside, believing he and the team are only going to keep improving.

"I think I'm playing the best football of my career here at Newcastle," Trippier said. "We're challenging for a cup and a good position in the league, and it's a bright future ahead for Newcastle."

Asked about working with Howe, Trippier said: "I feel like he's brought an extra level out of me this season.

"You only need to look from last season, the position we were in before the takeover happened, how many goals we were conceding, and the progression that we've made in a year and a bit.

"It's massive progress, but we're only halfway through, and we know how relentless the Premier League is, so we need to stay focused because we've got some massive games coming up."

Head coach Howe said Trippier's new deal was "a fitting reward for the season he's had", describing him as "outstanding both on and off the pitch".

Marcus Rashford joined Erling Haaland in being nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Month award for November and December after a strong run of form for Manchester United.

With the 2022 World Cup necessitating a seven-week break for elite club football, performances from either side of the tournament contributed towards the nominations.

Having scored three times during England's campaign in Qatar, Rashford hit the ground running on his return to club football by claiming a goal and an assist against Nottingham Forest before netting the winner at Wolves in United's final game of 2022.

Rashford – who was named Player of the Month in September – will face fierce competition for the award from Haaland, who scored four goals in four games for rivals Manchester City either side of the World Cup break.

Casemiro joins his United team-mate Rashford on the shortlist after helping Erik ten Hag's resurgent side win three of their four games throughout November and December.

Meanwhile, leaders Arsenal have strong representation from two nominees, with captain Martin Odegaard on the shortlist after recording six goal contributions (three goals, three assists) during this period – the most of any Premier League player.

Bukayo Saka is also in contention after netting in the Gunners' crucial victories against West Ham and Brighton and Hove Albion over the festive period.

Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier, Brentford defender Ben Mee and Fulham's Joao Palhinha complete the eight-man shortlist for the prize, which will be awarded next week.

Gareth Southgate's decision to remain as England manager has left his players "absolutely delighted", according to Kieran Trippier.

The former Middlesbrough boss considered walking away from the post he has held since 2016 after his side were edged out in the World Cup quarter-finals by France.

With a semi-final appearance at Russia 2018, and a runner-up finish at Euro 2020, there had been questions over whether Southgate could depart before the end of his contract, which runs through to Euro 2024.

The subsequent confirmation he is staying has been positively received by his players, with right-back Trippier indicating the 52-year-old has the full backing of the squad he took to Qatar 2022.

"We are all absolutely delighted about it," Trippier told the i newspaper. "From the moment he first took charge until now, we've taken great huge steps.

"Players want to play for England, they know what it means to put the shirt on. He's a great man manager, and I think all the lads would say that.

"Speaking for myself, I'm delighted that he's staying on, and I know that all the rest of the players are too."

After a difficult time that saw England relegated in the Nations League prior to the World Cup, Southgate initially said he required time to think over his future before recommitting.

Trippier believes England are continuing to progress, pointing to the spirited performance against France as a sign of growth.

"I think we have moved forward, for sure," the Newcastle United full-back added. "You see the freedom the players had to attack, and you just have to look at the France game. I thought we were brilliant.

"We have taken huge steps. It was another learning curve for us, but we move on now."

England will begin a possibly thorny Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with games against reigning European champions Italy and Ukraine in March.

England defender Kieran Trippier heaped praise on the "unbelievable" Jude Bellingham after he played a starring role in the Three Lions' 6-2 hammering of Iran in their World Cup opener.

Bellingham came straight into England's starting XI for the clash at the Khalifa International Stadium on Monday, with Gareth Southgate somewhat catching fans off-guard by naming an attack-minded team.

Their attacking mentality certainly paid off, as did the selection of Bellingham, who opened the scoring just past the half-hour mark with a fine header after a trademark late run into the box, making him England's second-youngest World Cup goalscorer of all time.

While that was the only goal or assist the 19-year-old recorded, Bellingham also played a part in the build-up to Raheem Sterling making it 3-0, and he also released Callum Wilson when the Newcastle United striker set up Jack Grealish's late tap-in.

Bellingham offered drive and purpose to an England midfield often criticised for being too negative, and Trippier was full of admiration.

"Bellingham is an unbelievable player for such a young age," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"He is playing at such a high level and he is not afraid. He's got to keep his feet on the ground and keep performing at a high level, like I know he will."

Bukayo Saka also caught the eye for England, scoring two very well-taken goals.

With Bellingham and the Arsenal man both netting, it was the first time in World Cup history that England had two players aged 21 or younger score in a single game, and the impact of the Three Lions' youngsters left Trippier thrilled.

"I'm delighted for them, getting the first goals in the first game," he continued.

"They've all worked so hard. They have great experience for such a young age. Now, it's just about expressing themselves and enjoying it, that's the most important thing.

"I'm 32 years old, and I'm enjoying every game. If I'm playing or not, I will always be ready."

England are next in action against the United States on Friday. Iran face Wales the same day.

Callum Wilson left Newcastle United's 4-1 win over Southampton as he was feeling unwell, rather than due to any injury that might have hurt his World Cup chances.

Wilson has emerged as a potential option for England in Qatar after recovering from a fitness concern earlier in the season to score six goals.

But in front of watching Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate at St Mary's on Sunday, Wilson was withdrawn at half-time.

The striker had shown no obvious sign of discomfort before the break, yet his injury history prompted worries of a setback that would stop him playing for his country. Dominic Calvert-Lewin was injured for Everton on Saturday.

However, Newcastle coach Eddie Howe confirmed there was no long-term issue behind Wilson's substitution, with the striker having revealed earlier in the week he was battling a cold.

"Callum wasn't that well in the week and felt light-headed and dizzy, so that's why he came off," Howe told Sky Sports.

"It was a joint decision. He didn't feel he had the energy needed and it was an easy decision to replace him with Chris [Wood], who came on and got the job done."

Kieran Trippier had gone down late in the first half for Newcastle. An injury to the right-back would have represented a major blow for Southgate, who may already be without Reece James and Kyle Walker.

But Trippier stayed on as Wilson was replaced by Chris Wood with Newcastle 1-0 up through Miguel Almiron's eighth goal of the season.

The Magpies number nine was scarcely missed, as Wood netted a rare goal for the second and Joe Willock grabbed the third. Newcastle have had a league-leading 12 different scorers this season.

After Romain Perraud replied for Southampton with a minute to play, Bruno Guimaraes completed the scoring in stoppage time.

It was the fourth time Newcastle have scored four or more in their past seven matches – as many as across their prior 226 top-flight outings – and took them above Tottenham into third ahead of Sunday's late kick-off between Spurs and Liverpool.

Do you want to head into the World Cup break top of your fantasy league? Well, you're running out of time!

This weekend will be the penultimate round of games before a Premier League hiatus for Qatar 2022, with real-life teams aiming to get themselves in as strong a position as possible ahead of the Boxing Day resumption.

On the fantasy football front, given how tricky and unpredictable everything is likely to be after the World Cup, this is arguably a vital couple of weeks.

That's where Stats Perform hopes to help. They have delved into the Opta numbers to identify four players who appear smart choices beyond your obvious picks such as Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne.

Danny Ward (Everton v Leicester City)

This might sound like a rogue choice given he conceded 22 goals in Leicester's first seven league games this term, but the Foxes have improved defensively of late.

That's highlighted by the fact Ward has kept clean sheets in four of his past six appearances in the Premier League, with no one matching that figure since the start of October.

In his first seven games, Ward let in 4.7 goals more than he should have according to Opta, but his goals prevented since stands at 1.0 – he's certainly turned his form around.

Kieran Trippier (Southampton v Newcastle United)

Obviously, the trick to picking defenders in fantasy football is choosing those who are likely to keep clean sheets and also able to offer a threat going forward – Trippier is marking himself out as the ideal candidate.

Since his first Newcastle game in the Premier League, he is one of just five defenders to reach five goal involvements and contribute to at least seven clean sheets. Trippier's also played the fewest minutes of those players.

Six of those clean sheets have been kept this season, with Newcastle's defensive solidity impressing pundits, while his 31 chances created is a Premier League-high for defenders, highlighting his attacking threat.

Leandro Trossard (Wolves v Brighton and Hove Albion)

It's been a peculiar season in general for Brighton, though Trossard's form has been one of few constants.

The Seagulls will hope that last weekend's battering of their former manager Graham Potter's Chelsea side will bring momentum, and that could see Trossard – arguably in the former of his Premier League career – become even livelier.

After all, only four players have more goals (seven) than the Belgian this term, with his record of a goal involvement every 126 minutes roughly twice as good as his previous best over a full campaign (one every 255 minutes).

Callum Wilson (Southampton v Newcastle United)

Eddie Howe has attracted a lot of praise for making Newcastle sound defensively, but they also continue to possess a potent attacking unit and Wilson is central to that.

Not only does he have eight goal involvements to his name this term (six scored, one assisted), Wilson's record of one goal every 117 minutes in the Premier League in 2022 (936 minutes) is his second-best return over a calendar year in the top flight after 2015, when he only played 543 minutes.

He travels to Southampton with huge confidence, having had a hand in three goals against Aston Villa last time out, the first time he's managed that in over two years.

Reece James has added to England's World Cup concerns after sustaining a knee injury during Chelsea's Champions League clash with Milan.

The full-back appeared to jar his knee as he competed with Theo Hernandez for the ball in the 56th minute of the showdown at San Siro.

Although he got to his feet and continued, James subsequently went down again while chasing Rafael Leao six minutes later and was replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta.

The 22-year-old is the latest England right-back to sustain an injury, with Kyle Walker recovering from groin surgery while Trent Alexander-Arnold was withdrawn at half-time during Liverpool's defeat by Arsenal on Sunday due to an ankle complaint.

It has long been a position of real strength for Gareth Southgate's side, but Kieran Trippier may be the last remaining fit option if James faces a period on the sidelines.

The Three Lions launch their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21, while they also face the United States and Wales in Group B.

Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland scored as Manchester City came from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw in Sunday's Premier League thriller with Newcastle United.

The reigning champions had started their latest title defence with back-to-back wins without conceding and took a fifth-minute lead at St James' Park through Ilkay Gundogan.

However, Miguel Almiron levelled up with a goal awarded after a VAR check and Callum Wilson had Newcastle – themselves still unbeaten – in front prior to half-time.

Kieran Trippier's stunning free-kick put Newcastle further ahead, but Haaland pulled one back and Silva equalised soon after to ensure the points were shared.

Newcastle had kept back-to-back clean sheets but were caught cold early on, with Gundogan left in plenty of space to control Silva's clipped pass and fire home.

Kevin De Bruyne was twice denied by Nick Pope, though Newcastle levelled up when Almiron met Saint-Maximin's cross with his thigh and bundled past Ederson.

After Almiron's celebrations were cut short by an offside flag, a VAR check determined Joao Cancelo had kept the Newcastle attacker onside and the goal was allowed to stand.

The hosts led by the interval through Wilson's well-taken strike past Ederson following more good work from Saint-Maximin.

Pope produced a fine fingertip stop to help Haaland's shot onto the post early in the second half, shortly before Trippier's sublime 30-yard free-kick found the top-left corner.

City gave themselves hope thanks to Haaland's volley after anticipating Rodri's knock-down inside the box.

After Haaland uncharacteristically missed a one-on-one chance, City were back on level terms when De Bruyne cut open Newcastle's defence and Silva calmly slotted past Pope.

That set up a tense final 25 minutes, in which Trippier was shown a red card for a cynical challenge on De Bruyne before the decision was downgraded to yellow, though there was to be no winning goal.

Newcastle United's owners are glad they were snubbed by Unai Emery as they now hope Eddie Howe can be "the next Alex Ferguson" at St James' Park.

Having sacked the unpopular Steve Bruce in October – one match after the club's takeover by a consortium backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund – Newcastle identified Emery and Howe as leading candidates for their head coaching role.

Emery was approached first, only to back out, leaving Howe to take charge of a struggling team threatened with relegation.

Gradually, Howe has turned the tide on Tyneside, with Newcastle entering Saturday's match at Brentford on an unbeaten run that spans six league matches and more than two months. They are the only top-flight team without a single defeat since Christmas Day.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Athletic, Newcastle director Mehrdad Ghodoussi said chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan wanted Howe "from day one".

And Al-Rumayyan's fellow board members are now convinced Howe was the right choice.

In the same interview with The Athletic, Amanda Staveley, Ghodoussi's wife and business partner, said: "It would have been wrong [to appoint Emery].

"We made the right decision with Eddie. He's come in, no airs or graces, no ego, and we're there to support him. I've really grown to care a great deal about him and his coaches.

"We talk to Eddie multiple times a day. I'm fascinated by what he does. He's so detailed, so hard working. You don't know when you're interviewing someone what they're going to be like but he's got huge integrity."

Howe is just 14 games into his Newcastle tenure, but Ghodoussi added: "I would love Eddie to be the next Alex Ferguson."

The Newcastle directors also discussed the January transfer window, claiming Sven Botman and Jesse Lingard each wanted to join the club. Botman could yet sign at the end of the season.

Kieran Trippier was one new arrival and had an instant impact, scoring two goals and being handed the captain's armband within four league appearances before sustaining a foot fracture.

Trippier has certainly impressed the Newcastle board, as Staveley said: "He's so professional, so fit. I've been so impressed.

"To be honest, Kieran isn't someone we'll ever sell. I've said to him, 'You're with us and that's it. You can be our Alan Shearer. You'll be a standard-bearer for Newcastle for many years to come'.

"If he can play, he will stay, and I believe you might find he'll still be playing in five years' time because he's capable of it. He's got something extraordinary."

Kieran Trippier considers Jan Oblak the best goalkeeper in the world and would love to see him in the Premier League – perhaps even at Newcastle United.

Oblak has long been regarded among the very best around in his position, although his form for Atletico Madrid has deteriorated this season.

Having won the LaLiga title alongside the 29-year-old in 2020-21, however, ex-Atletico defender Trippier still holds him in high regard.

"From my time playing with him, the amount of points he saved us and his shot-stopping, for me, he's the best in the world, for sure," Trippier told 5 Live, speaking ahead of Atletico's game against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Oblak joined Atletico from Benfica in 2014 and has remained in Madrid ever since, but Trippier added he was "really surprised" a Premier League club had not made a serious move for the keeper.

"I think he'd be unbelievable in the Premier League, but obviously it's who could he go to? That's the question," the Newcastle man said.

"I've had conversations with him before about the Premier League. He's always asked me questions. Of course, I'd love to see him in the Premier League one day."

Big-spending Newcastle were then put forward, with Trippier asked if he was acting as the club's LaLiga scout.

"You never know," he replied with a laugh. "You never know what could happen."

Atletico's 1-1 draw with United was their first Champions League match since Trippier's January departure, but the England international is keen to return to the competition with Newcastle.

"Right now, the most important thing is staying in the league. We need to focus about now," he said. "Of course, it's a process, it's about building season by season.

"Newcastle want to be playing Champions League football, but the most important thing for us is Saturday against Brentford and then building a game at a time and then see where we are at the end of the season.

"It's about building, it's a project. Of course I want to be playing Champions League football and hopefully I can be with Newcastle."

Kieran Trippier has no doubts about Joao Felix's quality after his "unbelievable" header for Atletico Madrid against Manchester United, but he suggested the forward still has work to do to meet Diego Simeone's exacting standards.

Joao Felix's superb diving header gave the Spanish champions the lead in their Champions League clash with the Red Devils, before substitute Anthony Elanga netted to leave the tie finely poised at 1-1 at the halfway point.

The opener represented Joao Felix's 24th goal for Atletico in all competitions but just his second headed goal for the club, with his only previous such effort coming against Cadiz back in November 2020.

Tripper, who left the Wanda Metropolitano for Newcastle United in January, was not surprised by his former team-mate's sublime goal, however.

"It was unbelievable. He can do so many things like that. He has the quality," Trippier told 5 Live.

"We need him to step up, we need him to be the difference. I was surprised they brought him off, because I think that changed the dynamic of the way Atletico Madrid were playing."

Eddie Howe is hopeful Kieran Trippier will play for Newcastle United again this season, but stated the right-back's injury is "significant".

Trippier was the first arrival under Howe and the new ownership at Newcastle last month, and has played a key role in helping the Magpies turn their form around.

Newcastle are out of the bottom three in the Premier League after three successive victories, beating Leeds United, Everton and Aston Villa respectively.

England international Trippier has scored in both of the last two matches, but he sustained a fracture in his left foot during the win over Villa.

Newcastle confirmed on Monday that the 31-year-old had fractured his fifth metatarsal bone, though no timescale was placed on his return.

Initial reports suggested that Trippier would need between eight and 10 weeks to fully recover.

On Friday, while previewing Newcastle's clash with West Ham, Howe confirmed Trippier's surgery had been a success.

"He had his operation yesterday and that went well, so that was good news," Howe told a news conference.

"We aim to have him back before the end of the season, but it's a significant injury which is a big blow for us."

Trippier's back-up, Javier Manquillo, suffered an ankle injury in the Villa match, and Howe confirmed the Spaniard would also be missing against West Ham on Saturday.

"Manquillo went off in the same game after landing awkwardly on his ankle following a header," Howe said. "We don't think that's serious, but he will miss the game. Apart from that, we're as we were."

A fellow new arrival in January was midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, though the Brazil international is yet to make his full debut for Newcastle, having instead had to settle for two substitute appearances.

"It's a really strong area, probably our strongest in terms of personnel," Howe said of Newcastle's midfield. "Every player would have an argument to say I deserve to start so long may that continue.

"Bruno will start a lot of games for us and will be a huge player. I don't think this period where he's watching and learning from the Premier League is a bad thing for him, although it will frustrate him because he wants to show his talent."

Due to gale-force winds hitting the United Kingdom from Storm Eunice, Newcastle will not be flying down to London, but instead they faced a seven-hour coach journey to the capital ahead of Saturday's early kick-off.

However, recent history is on their side. Newcastle have won their last two Premier League away games against West Ham, and have tasted victory on the road against the Hammers 10 times. They have not won more often on the road against any other side in the competition.

Newcastle United right-back Kieran Trippier is set for a spell on the sidelines after fracturing his foot.

Trippier was the first of five January arrivals in the first transfer window under the club's Saudi Arabia-backed ownership. Dan Burn, Matt Targett, Bruno Guimaraes and Chris Wood also signed for Eddie Howe's team.

The England international was forced off in the second half of the Magpies' 1-0 win over Aston Villa, having scored what turned out to be the winning goal from a free-kick in the 35th minute. 

It was Trippier's second Newcastle goal, after he netted in the 3-1 win over Everton on Tuesday. Howe's side have now won three Premier League matches in a row and are now fourth points clear of the bottom three.

Newcastle have since released a statement confirming that a scan conducted after full-time has revealed that Trippier has fractured a bone in his left foot.

However, no timescale has been placed on the 31-year-old's return.

"Trippier is set to be sidelined for the club's upcoming fixtures after fracturing a bone in his foot during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Aston Villa," the statement on Newcastle's official website read.

"The 31-year-old scored the game's only goal at St. James' Park to help the Magpies to a third successive Premier League win, but had to be substituted early in the second half after sustaining a foot injury.

"Trippier underwent an X-ray immediately after the game and scans have shown a fracture to the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot.

"Everyone at the club wishes Kieran a speedy recovery."

 

Liverpool responded to Manchester City's thrashing of Norwich by recording a hard-fought 1-0 win at Burnley.

Fabinho struck the only goal in the first half, as the Reds continued their fine set-piece record on a day when set-plays proved decisive across the Premier League.

Elsewhere, Raul Jimenez starred as Wolves leapfrogged Tottenham with a shock 2-0 win, and Newcastle continued their revival with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, thanks to Kieran Tripper's free-kick.

The final game of the day saw West Ham rescue a dramatic 2-2 draw at Leicester City, with Craig Dawson netting a stoppage-time equaliser.

Burnley 0-1 Liverpool: Reds reap rewards of set-piece focus

Liverpool did not produce a vintage performance, but Jurgen Klopp's men kept leaders Manchester City on their toes by earning a vital away win.

The Reds had to work hard for the three points against Burnley at Turf Moor. After managing 27 shots, nine attempts on target and 50 touches in Burnley's penalty area in the reverse fixture at Anfield last August, Liverpool had just over half as many touches in Burnley's 18-yard box this time (26), managing 12 shots in total and just four on target.

However, Klopp's men dug deep to find a winning goal, and did so courtesy of their fantastic set-piece record. Excluding penalties, 14 of Liverpool’s 61 Premier League goals this season have come via set-pieces, more than any other team and more than the tally they recorded in the top-flight last term (13).

Fabinho's winning goal also means he has scored more goals in his last seven matches (five) than he managed in his first 142 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions (four).

Meanwhile, the Anfield outfit also maintained their record of having won each of their games in which the Brazilian has netted for the club, with that run now reaching eight matches.

Tottenham 0-2 Wolves: Jimenez proves decisive at Spurs once again

It was Wolves, rather than Tottenham, who asserted their top-four credentials by recording a huge win in north London, with Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker firing the visitors to a 2-0 win.

Mexican striker Jimenez has now scored in each of his last three Premier League appearances away at Spurs (three goals), with Wolves winning each of those contests.

Indeed, Jimenez has now scored four times in six appearances against Tottenham, and has only scored more Premier League goals against Southampton and Everton (five).

For Antonio Conte's Spurs, the defeat was their third Premier League reverse in succession, and they also lost three consecutive league games under Nuno Espirito Santo in September 2021. This marks the first time they have had multiple three-match losing games in a Premier League campaign since 2004-05 (also two).

Newcastle 1-0 Aston Villa: Another free-kick continues Toon revival

Newcastle's clash with Aston Villa was not exactly one for the purists, featuring the third-lowest expected goals tally of the entire Premier League season so far, but Tripper ensured that it was a memorable day for the Magpies.

Trippier's 35th-minute free-kick was enough to see off Steven Gerrard's men in a contest where both teams created just 0.5 xG apiece.

Remarkably, Newcastle have now scored a direct free-kick goal in each of their last three Premier League games (Jonjo Shelvey at Leeds, followed by Trippier against Everton and Aston Villa), becoming the first side to do so since Liverpool in December 2013.

In a game of fine margins, the England right-back showed the quality that he brings to the Magpies' relegation fight, and he is now the first Newcastle player to score direct free-kick goals in consecutive Premier League games since Hugo Viana did so in May 2003.

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