YOU don’t get much better entertainment than this.

On a madcap afternoon at St James’ Park, Newcastle United and Luton Town shared eight goals in a remarkable game that ended in a 4-4 draw.

There was thrilling attacking, disastrous defending and drama aplenty on both sides, but while they clawed back a two-goal deficit in the second half to claim a point, the Magpies will rue the lapses that ultimately cost them.

Dan Burn had a particularly difficult afternoon, tortured by Luton’s pacy winger Chiedozie Ogbene, and his second-half withdrawal felt like an act of mercy, saving him from further embarrassment.

There were positive performances in black-and-white too though, with Sean Longstaff scoring twice, Kieran Trippier claiming a goal and an assist and Harvey Barnes firing home a dramatic equaliser as he returned to action for the first time since September.

With Alexander Isak unable to make the squad because of the groin injury he suffered in Tuesday’s win at Aston Villa, Miguel Almiron returned to Newcastle’s starting side with Anthony Gordon starting as the central striker.

The Magpies had produced one of their best displays of the season at Villa Park, and it did not take them long to pick up where they had left off in midweek as they claimed the lead just seven minutes in.

Lewis Miley sparked the attack with a wonderful floated ball over the Luton defence that released Trippier down the right. The full-back delivered the ball into the middle, and after breaking towards the edge of the area in support, Longstaff slotted a precise first-time finish into the bottom corner.

Miley was Newcastle’s best player in the early stages, spraying passes around in midfield, but the Magpies never really had a grip on the game.

Luton carried a threat throughout, especially through the livewire Ogbene on their right-hand side, and the visitors levelled midway through the first half.

Carlton Morris headed a free-kick back across goal from his position at the back post, and defender Gabriel Osho headed home via the underside of the crossbar.

The goal was a jolt for Newcastle, but within less than two minutes, the hosts had reclaimed their lead.

Gordon cut in from the left-hand side and drilled in a shot that Thomas Kaminski could only parry. The rebound fell to Longstaff, and after taking a touch to bring the ball under control, the midfielder drilled his second goal of the afternoon into the same corner he had found with his first.

Again, though, Luton came back. The visitors played with commendable adventure throughout, and claimed a second equaliser five minutes before the break.

Ross Barkley picked up a loose ball in midfield, and after shaking off weak tackles from Jacob Murphy and Longstaff, the former England midfielder broke upfield and laid the ball off to Alfie Doughty.

The full-back drilled a shot across goal, and when Martin Dubravka could only parry the ball back into the heart of the penalty area, Barkley was on hand to stab home the rebound.

The half-time interval saw Eddie Howe replace Gordon with Callum Wilson, who was back in action after a five-game absence because of a hamstring injury.

Newcastle displayed renewed vigour at the start of the second half, and Jacob Murphy went close with a shot that Kaminski saved after he was slipped into the area by Miley.

Murphy flashed another drive narrowly wide of the post moments later, but Luton remained a huge threat on the break, particularly when they were able to get the ball to Ogbene, who was causing Burn all sorts of problems down the visitors’ right.

Indeed, when the Irish international burst past Burn ten minutes into the second half, the Newcastle full-back was forced to pull his opponent back. The offence began outside the area, but continued into the box, and after a VAR check, the initial on-field award of a free-kick was upgraded to a penalty.

Morris’ initial spot-kick was ruled out because the referee had not blown, but he stepped up to find the net again second time around.

Three minutes later, and the Luton fans on the top tier of the Leazes End were celebrating again as their side scored a fourth.

Barkley slipped the ball to Elijah Adebayo, who had exploited space behind Burn yet again, and he drilled an angled drive into the bottom corner.

With his side trailing by two goals, Howe brought on Tino Livramento for the hapless Burn and introduced Barnes for Almiron. The effect of the changes was dramatic.

Newcastle pulled a goal back in the 67th minute, with Bruno Guimaraes crossing with the outside of his foot and Trippier guiding home a first-time volley at the back post.

Six minutes later, and the Magpies were level as they also claimed their fourth goal of the game. Miley won the ball off Barkley, and when it broke to Barnes, the returning substitute stroked a 20-yard shot into the left-hand corner.

Newcastle came closest to claiming a winner, but Murphy could only stab wide at the back post after Guimaraes flashed a brilliant cross across the face of goal.