Thauvin debut leaves McClaren heady

Florian Thauvin celebrating after scoring the first goal for Newcastle on Tuesday. The French winger wasted no time in showing his new Newcastle supporters precisely what he is capable of.
Florian Thauvin celebrating after scoring the first goal for Newcastle on Tuesday. The French winger wasted no time in showing his new Newcastle supporters precisely what he is capable of.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • Winger Florian Thauvin is unlikely to forget his home debut for English football club Newcastle United in a hurry.

Not content with volleying his side's opening goal in the 4-1 win over League Two's Northampton in the League Cup on Tuesday, the £13 million (S$28 million) acquisition from Marseille captured hearts and minds by creating their next three.

It left Steve McClaren celebrating his first win since succeeding John Carver in the summer and the Gallowgate End optimistic about their chances of watching some entertaining football this season.

A breathless start saw three goals inside the first 10 minutes.

When Rolando Aarons rolled the ball to Massadio Haidara and the full-back crossed from the left, Thauvin was perfectly placed to hook the ball beyond Ryan Clarke from close range.

The game had barely restarted before Thauvin's delicately floated free kick was diverted into the back of the net by Siem de Jong's glancing header.

The fourth-tier outfit halved the deficit when Cheick Tiote handled in the area and Marc Richards' penalty proved far too good for Karl Darlow.

But it was to be Newcastle's - and Thauvin's - night.

The 22-year-old is supposed to be less effective on the right than the left, but few would ever have guessed it.

He created Newcastle's third goal for the overlapping Daryl Janmaat, whose right- foot shot effectively killed the visitors' hopes.

Thauvin then made the fourth, headed in by Mike Williamson from another free kick, before receiving a standing ovation as he was replaced by Alexsandar Mitrovic.

"I thought he was very good when he came on for 10 minutes against Manchester United," McClaren said, referring to his side's 0-0 draw at Old Trafford last weekend. "He's been terrific in training. You never know what to expect, but he's confident, he has great ability, but the key thing is he can score and he can assist.

"(His delivery) is going to be vital... You saw that his delivery was excellent. A score and assist, and do the work, that's what he can do."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Thauvin debut leaves McClaren heady'. Print Edition | Subscribe