Football Features

“Looked like Kante out there” – The Internet reacts to the Brazilian’s midfield majesty as Newcastle hold Man Utd to 1-1 draw

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:27, 27 December 2021 | Updated: 12:31, 12 January 2022

Joelinton put in a fantastic performance as Newcastle earned a massive 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

The Brazilian was, to quote commentary, “simply sensational.” His energy and drive to cover every blade of grass, disrupting the Red Devils and protecting his defenders while also driving the ball forward with intensity and confidence.

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Joelinton put in 4 tackles and 4 interceptions as well as taking 2 shots. He also had 63 touches and completed 25/33 passes, all team-highs for Newcastle. He set the tempo and kept the tempo for Eddie Howe’s men, looking like an entirely new player from the one that had previously been plodding around the pitch at Newcastle.

Key to all this is his new position in midfield, which Eddie Howe said came about via accident. “When we initially came in we thought Joelinton would play as a number 10, a second striker,” said Howe after the match. “We went down to 10 men against Norwich and reshuffled and played him as an eight and he was brilliant defensively.”

The performance against Norwich convinced Howe to stick with the move. “[Joelinton] has a tactical understanding. From then on I thought he had technical capabilities,” Howe continued. “You’ve seen tonight he’s been brilliant defensively. His work-rate and the amount of ground he covers is incredible. He’s a real team player. Such ability as well. He can only get better.”

“This is the new Joelinton,” cried Martin Tyler after the match as the Brazilian strode around the pitch, with Don Goodman adding “it’s a very good Joelinton.”

Twitter was similarly impressed with the Brazilian’s performance against Manchester United, and Jamie Carragher’s comments from Monday Night Football broadcast are a good place to start as they truly convey Joelinton’s quality.

“He was brilliant,” said Carragher.

“That was an outstanding midfield performance by any standard. And I mean that by any midfield player you can think of in the PL this season. He was fantastic. He was everything. He’s taken a lot of criticism but he was best player on the pitch.”

Journalist and podcast supremo Sam Tighe was particularly fulsome in his praise.

‘Looked like Kanté out there. 10/10 performance from him,’ wrote one Reddit user (a Chelsea fan, no less).

Joelinton’s display was less suprising to Newcastle fans.

Kante wasn’t the only flattering comparison made.

YouTuber La5ty was quick with the Photoshop:

Sports Journalist Oliver Young-Myles thinks Eddie Howe has a new career highlight:

Newcastle fan Gemma Aiston made a keen observation about the game’s two no. 7’s:

Similarly Stead, who was at the game, was blown away by Joelinton outclassing Cristiano Ronaldo:

As impressive as Joelinton was, we hope Lew’s hand is ok!

Opta brought the facts, as per usual:

Newcastle celebrated Joelinton’s nutmeg of Marcus Rashford:


The final word can go to Sean Longstaff, Joelinton’s team-mate at Newcastle, who says the Brazilian is the best player at the club and has been the victim of a ridiculous amount of disrespect. Well, now the tables are turning in Joelinton’s favour. You love to see it.