Bruno Guimaraes made his first appearance since the World Cup as Newcastle United beat Bournemouth to progress into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Eddie Howe left fans second-guessing over Guimaraes’ inclusion against the Cherries having only returned from Qatar less than a week ago.
But the 25-year-old, like the rest of the club’s World Cup stars, was drafted straight back into the starting XI as Howe fielded arguably his strongest side to edge past his former club.
Guimaraes returned to Tyneside a disappointed figure after Brazil’s exit. During the tournament, the midfielder even came under some harsh criticism from the Brazilian media and fans.
But that’s not the case at Newcastle, and it’s clear Guimaraes certainly felt the love of the Magpies on his St James’ Park return.
“Happy to be home!! How I missed here,” the former Lyon man tweeted. “Proud of the qualification! And Merry Christmas to everybody.”
Guimaraes and his teammates are now one win away from a first semi-final for Newcastle since 2005.
“I’ve been in the quarter-final a couple of times I think with Bournemouth and never got past the quarter-final stage,” Howe said last night. “They’re special games, you’re going into the business end of the competition and you’re a couple of big wins away from hopefully an incredible experience.
“But you can only take it game-by-game. We don’t know who we’re going to play yet and we’ll look forward to the next round when it comes.”