'Mature and composed', 'held his own': Media wowed by Newcastle 20-year-old despite loss at Benfica
Newcastle United fell to a 3-2 defeat to Benfica in Tuesday night’s pre-season friendly at the Estadio da Luz.
The Magpies conceded late on after playing the last eight minutes with 10 men due to Joelinton’s sending-off.
Henrique Araujo got a winner for the Portuguese side to ensure they lifted the Eusebio Cup.
Newcastle fell behind on the quarter-hour mark through Goncalo Ramos’ header from a corner.
However, Eddie Howe’s charges equalised seven minutes later.
Miguel Almiron found the back of the net after great link-up play with Kieran Trippier.
Benfica then retook the lead after Bruno Guimaraes conceded a free kick on the edge of the Newcastle area.
Set-piece specialist Alex Grimaldo duly fired his free kick beyond the reach of Nick Pope.
Almiron and Trippier then combined again to restore parity for Newcastle before the break.
The January signing was again the provider as the Paraguayan slotted home into the bottom-left corner.
At half time, Howe changed his entire starting XI, with young left-back Matty Bondswell handed a surprise outing.
And the 20-year-old delivered an impressive display for Newcastle, with media outlets praising his efforts.
Chronicle Live, Shields Gazette and Newcastle World all gave Bondswell 7 out of 10 for his display in Portugal.
Lee Ryder wrote: “Made some good runs forward after being thrown in for big game.”
Meanwhile, Shields Gazette wrote: “A mature and composed first-team outing for the 20-year-old left-back.
“Held his own against a top European side.”
Finally, Newcastle World wrote: “A shock introduction at half-time but the 20-year-old most than held his own.
“He’ll have given Howe some food for thought.”
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