Newcastle's wait for their first Premier League win of the season goes on after the first game of the Eddie Howe era ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Brentford at St James' Park.
A breathless first half started with James Lascelles' heading Newcastle, who were led by assistant head coaches Jason Tindall and Graeme Jones with Howe isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday, into the lead, but the euphoria around St James' Park was quickly dampened when former Toon striker Ivan Toney equalised 75 seconds later after Karl Darlow's error.
The turnaround was complete just after the half-hour mark when Rico Henry headed home Sergi Canos' cross, but it was Newcastle's turn to respond as Joelinton brought the scores level eight minutes later.
Just before the break, Toney cleared a Callum Wilson effort off the line but, in what was a topsy-turvy game, Brentford restored their lead when Frank Onyeka's strike deflected in off Lascelles.
However, Newcastle found a response again as the impressive Allan Saint-Maximin dragged his side level 15 minutes from time.
Despite the point, results elsewhere meant Newcastle dropped to the bottom of the Premier League table, highlighting the work Howe still has to do when he is able to return to the dugout, while Brentford are 14th after sharing the spoils in the North East.
How the drama at St James' park unfolded...
Newcastle needed only 10 minutes to get the Howe era up and running after Joelinton had forced an early corner. Matt Ritchie curled the ball into the middle, where skipper Lascelles climbed highest to head home off the inside of the far post.
However, the lead would only last 75 seconds as Toney struck the ball through goalkeeper Darlow, who should have done better with his attempt to keep it out.
The turnaround was complete in the 31st minute when Canos crossed from the left for Henry, who arrived at the far post to head firmly past the stranded Darlow.
Newcastle: Darlow (5), Schar (5), Lascelles (6), Clark (6), Murphy (7), Shelvey (8), Willock (5), Ritchie (7), Saint-Maximin (9), Joelinton (8), Wilson (7).
Subs: Fraser (7), Longstaff (6).
Brentford: Fernandez (6), Roerslev (6), Jansson (7), Pinnock (7), Henry (8), Canos (7), Norgaard (7), Ghoddos (6), Janelt (7), Mbeumo (8), Toney (8).
Subs: Onyeka (7), Goode (n/a), Baptiste (n/a).
Man of the match: Allan Saint-Maximin.
But it was Newcastle's turn to respond and, within eight minutes, it was 2-2 when, after Saint-Maximin's shot had been blocked, Joelinton pounced on the loose ball and thumped a left-foot drive into the bottom corner.
There was still time for the hosts to create another opening just before the break, but Toney was well placed to clear Wilson's effort off the line as the teams headed in for the break level.
Both sides failed to recapture the breathless nature of the first half early in the second, but chances were still being created as Saint-Maximin whipped a shot across the face of goal on the hour.
- New Newcastle boss Eddie Howe made three changes for his first game in charge as the Magpies looked to finally end their wait for a first Premier League win of the season against Brentford. Fabian Schar, Joe Willock and Joelinton replaced Emil Krafth, Isaac Hayden and Miguel Almiron in the team which started the 1-1 draw at Brighton last time out, with the manager overseeing his team remotely after testing positive for Covid-19.
- Opposite number Thomas Frank made two changes following a 2-1 home defeat by Norwich, with Saman Ghoddos and Mads Roerslev coming in for Mathias Jorgensen and Mathias Jensen.
Newcastle were building momentum, but they succumbed once again two minutes later when the ball broke kindly for substitute Onyeka, whose shot was deflected past Darlow by the unfortunate Lascelles.
Ryan Fraser and Sean Longstaff replaced Joe Willock and Fabian Schar with 19 minutes remaining as Newcastle looked to get back into the game again, and it was Scotland midfielder Fraser who made an instant impact when he picked out Saint-Maximin with a deep cross which the Frenchman swept past Alvaro Fernandez to level.
Joelinton and Wilson both might have won it at the death, but the Magpies had to make do with a point after a spirited display from both sides.
What the managers said...
Newcastle assistant boss Jason Tindall: "Obviously, it wasn't the result we wanted. We wanted to win the game and set up to win the game.
"But we've obviously conceded three goals and we were disappointed with them. We'll look at those collectively and individually and we'll need to put them right on the training ground."
Brentford boss Thomas Frank: "When you're leading twice, it's a little bit frustrating that you don't get three points. That's the frustration.
"When you score three goals in a Premier League game - home or away or in any game across the world - you need to be able to get three points.
"[It is] very positive scoring three goals, very positive that we created a lot of dangerous situations and chances to have scored more.
"The big thing we need to improve from this game is we need to defend better."
Opta stats: Newcastle's wait for a win continues...
In a 38-game Premier League season, three of the four sides who failed to win any of their first 12 games of a season have gone on to be relegated - Norwich in 2004/05, QPR in 2012/13 and Sheffield United last season. The one side who managed to survive from such a position was Derby in 2000/01.
Only West Ham (16) have conceded 3+ times at home more often in the Premier League than Newcastle (14) since 2017-18, when the Magpies were last promoted back to the top-flight.
All nine of Jamaal Lascelles' Premier League goals have come via his head - the highest 100% ratio of all players in the competition's history.
Five of Joelinton's seven Premier League goals for Newcastle have come at St James' Park, with his goal his first in the top-flight in 12 appearances since netting against Man City back in May.
Ivan Toney's equaliser for Brentford, coming just 75 seconds after Newcastle's opener, was the 50th Premier League goal Newcastle have conceded via players who have once represented them in the competition, the most of any side.
Up next for Eddie Howe and Newcastle is a trip to the Emirates Stadium next Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.
For Brentford, they are in action next Sunday (November 28) when they host Everton, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.
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