Newcastle United went beyond the fabled 40-point mark in the Premier League table after humbling Bournemouth 4-1 away from home on Wednesday, with Allan Saint-Maximin recording a hat-trick of assists.
What was Saint-Maximin's overall display like?
📷 Match Snapshot
Everyone knows that the 23-year-old is an enigma. Sometimes it seems that his brain works too quickly for his feet, or that he himself doesn't always know what he's going to do next.
However, it is this unpredictability, combined with a startling control of the ball when his concentration is high, that makes him extremely hard to stop for opposition defenders when he is in full flow.
Poor Adam Smith at right-back for Bournemouth was the victim on this occasion as he was turned inside out by Saint-Maximin for the majority of his time on the pitch.
A ⏱️ 5' His first assist came early on and was actually down the right wing, as Newcastle pounced on an error from Jefferson Lerma. Saint-Maximin eventually slid a pass through for Dwight Gayle to finish.
A ⏱️ 30' On the half-hour mark he showcased what he is all about. Despite having at one point three markers around him, he embarks on a dazzling dribble, twisting and turning and eventually bursting beyond Smith and David Brooks before finding Sean Longstaff for the finish.
A ⏱️ 57' The Frenchman's third and final assist came in simpler fashion, as he squared a pass inside for Miguel Almiron to pick out a cracking finish into the top left corner.
Normally a slight weakness in his game, Saint-Maximin's passing stats were actually very impressive, as he misplaced just two out of 24 balls to team-mates for a completion rate of 92%. More than half of these were also sent into dangerous areas in the final third.
He had two shots on goal himself, one of which was on target.
His overall outing earned him a 9.0 FC Rating.
〽️ Rating Week-on-Week
Against Manchester City the Frenchman recorded a 6.6 FC Rating, enjoying a few fleeting ventures forward but ultimately being let down by his time in possession as he gave the ball away eight times.
The hat-trick of assists against the Cherries bumped him up to a 9.0 FC Rating.
🗝️ Key Stats
Saint-Maximin match stats
|FC Rating||9.0||🏆 FC Man of the Match|
|Final Third Passes||15|
With the pressure now off for the remainder of the campaign, the shackles will also be off, allowing the enigmatic winger to continue to light up matches.