Reuters Simon Evans
Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin came off the bench to turn the game around for lowly Newcastle United as they came from behind to earn a vital 2-1 Premier League win at Burnley on Sunday.
Burnley had led through an 18th-minute goal from Czech striker Matej Vydra and were well on top before substitute Saint-Maximin changed the game inside seven minutes with an assist and a goal.
The result will ease the nerves of Newcastle fans whose team are now six points above Fulham, who occupy the final relegation spot. Steve Bruce’s side, in 17th place, also have a game in hand and are just a point behind 15th-placed Burnley.
Sean Dyche’s team still have work to do to make sure of top- flight survival and will be bitterly disappointed to have got nothing from a game they dominated.
The Clarets made a lively start and broke through when Chris Wood pulled the ball back to Vydra who confidently slotted home.
Dwight Gayle had the ball in the net for Newcastle but was flagged offside and Burnley keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell, in for the injured Nick Pope, did well to keep out a near-post flick from the forward.
Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka made a reflex save to keep out a potential own goal from Paul Dummett and he was alert to tip over a thunderous effort from Matt Lowton.
Burnley put Dubravka’s goal under intense pressure and needing a change of momentum Newcastle manager Steve Bruce made a double substitution in the 57th minute, sending on Callum Wilson and Saint-Maximin who were both returning from injury.
The move worked in spectacular fashion as after being on the field for two minutes Saint-Maximin set up Jacob Murphy for a superbly struck equaliser from outside the box.
The Frenchman showed his individual ability with a brilliant goal to put Newcastle ahead, picking the ball up on half-way and running at the Burnley defence before jinking to create space and unleashing a lethal drive into the bottom corner.
Saint-Maximin caused more trouble for Burnley in the final minutes, getting to the byline before picking out Miguel Almiron whose low shot was cleared off the line by James Tarkowski.
Bruce was well aware of the significance of the result for a team who still have to face Manchester City, Liverpool, Leicester and West Ham.
“It is three points towards that magical figure, we are edging towards what it has to be. It is a lot more healthier now than it was this morning,” said Bruce, whose team had just two wins from their last 19 league matches.
“We’ve still got a long way to go, a lot of twist and turns as that’s what the Premier League is,” he added.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche took no consolation from his team’s dominance of possession.
“The biggest statistic you have got to get right is the scoreline. They have taken their chances but we gave the game away a little bit,” he said.