Newcastle United ended their pre-season preparations on Saturday afternoon with a 2-1 home win over Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne.
The Magpies have endured a turbulent summer full of comings and goings, the biggest of which being Rafael Benitez's exit as manager and Steve Bruce's arrival.
Bruce took charge of his first game as Newcastle manager at St James' Park on Saturday, and he'll have been pleased to end pre-season on a high.
Newcastle took a first half lead when new club-record signing Joelinton chased down a long ball, rounded the goalkeeper and beat two defenders to the ball to score.
Neat work by new signings Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems down the left allowed Sean Longstaff to pick out his brother Matty, and he launched a superb strike into the net for 2-0.
Saint-Etienne did get one back, as ex-Newcastle defender Mathieu Debuchy notched a late goal, but Newcastle held out for a win to end their pre-season schedule.
With two wins from the last two games, Newcastle will at have at least built some confidence heading into the new season, and fans will be excited by the performance of Saint-Maximin.
The 22-year-old attacker only signed from Nice on Friday, but was brought on for a debut against former club Saint-Etienne, and dazzled fans with his pace and trickery.
Supporters took to Twitter after the game to hail Saint-Maximin, calling him 'rapid', 'a baller' and 'unreal', with a comparison to ex-Magpie maverick Hatem Ben Arfa already put out there after just a cameo display.
ASM has one thing on his mind everytime he touches the ball. Drive at the opposition. Ben Afra 2.0 #nufc— Lee Sampson (@leesampson101) August 3, 2019
ASM offered exactly what you'd expect, which is ok. I was glad to see him slide in to a 50-50 to win the ball back. It's an aspect of his game (and the other new signings) that you can never be sure of until they're playing for the club.— NUFC Scout (@ScoutNUFC) August 3, 2019
That commitment to go for a 50-50 is vital
Just seen Allan Saint-Maximin play in the flesh… what a baller #NUFC— D A W K I N S (@DawkinsUK_) August 3, 2019
I know it’s only a friendly but very impressed with Saint Maximin so far, rapid on the ball as well as without it! #nufc— kyle potterton (@kylepott93) August 3, 2019
Saint maximin is unreal— Cam (@Cam_Nufc) August 3, 2019
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