Sunderland came from behind to earn 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon as striker Nathan Broadhead netted his fifth of the season.
Ipswich took the lead in first-half stoppage time through James Norwood but the visitors equalised just five minutes into the second period.
James Norwood gave the hosts a well-deserved lead after Macauley Bonne’s attempted cross ballooned up off a Sunderland defender before Norwood nodded home off the underside of the bar from short range.
Broadhead equalised for the Black Cats as he latched onto a pinpoint through ball from Dan Neil, who added to his tally of most assists in League One this season. The on-loan Everton striker finished smartly to the keepers right to put his side back on level terms.
Sunderland lost ground on their promotion rivals following the draw away to the Tractor Boys as both second placed Wigan and league leaders Rotherham managed wins on Saturday afternoon.
Johnson’s side remain third but are now four points from the top of League One and two from The Latics in the automatic promotion places, who have a game in hand.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was the home side who came out of the blocks quickly at Portman Road and could have been two up inside the opening ten minutes. Burns and Norwood combined with a well-worked one-two inside the area on the Ipswich right, but Burns’ effort went wide.
Burns was involved again moments later as he dribbled into the box and delivered an inviting cross which found the unmarked Matt Penney at the far post. His first-time shot bounced up and over the bar – he really should have scored.
The breakthrough came in first-half injury time.
Macauley Bonne was a threat all half and got behind the Sunderland defence on the right as his cross deflected into the path of the onrushing Norwood who managed to head the ball into the net via the bottom of the crossbar.
The Black Cats came out in the second half full of energy and carried a far greater threat. They got their just deserts as Dan Neil split the Ipswich defence open courtesy of a perfect ball into the path of Nathan Broadhead. His first time shot into the bottom right corner was a really calm finish.
Five minutes later, Sunderland had a chance to go in front after a mistake from Walton in the home side’s net. Gooch’s well-timed throughball set top-scorer Ross Stewart away before Walton rushed off his line only to realise he wouldn’t reach the ball before the onrushing striker.
However the on-loan Brighton man stood up to block Stewart’s shot – a guilt-edged opportunity.
The next close opportunity went to the home side as midfielder Evans’ free-kick on the left-hand touchline forced Hoffmann to tip the ball over the bar.
Substitute Vincent-Young came close moments later for the hosts but his curled shot went just wide of the post.
For all their efforts in the second 45, neither side could force a winning goal. The visitors will certainly be disappointed to lose ground on their promotion rivals.
The draw was the fair result in this one as Ipswich gained a much-needed point to spark their season into life. New boss McKenna starts his role on Monday morning and will be looking to build on the momentum gained from the draw with a decent Sunderland side.
For Johnson, there were still some positives to take and his side worked hard to earn the point on Saturday afternoon.
Sunderland failed to make it three consecutive wins as fans will be somewhat frustrated by the draw, however their side still sit in an extremely strong position near the top and are on an impressive seven game unbeaten run in League One.
Considering the injuries faced by the Black Cats and the strong performance from the hosts, this point may be hugely important come the end of the campaign.
Sunderland face an exciting trip to the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening for their Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Arsenal who are in fine form following a dominant display at Elland Road, winning 4-1.
Hoffmann (7), Wright (8), Flanagan (7), Doyle (6), Gooch (6), Winchester (7), Neil (8), Dajaku (6), Pritchard (5), Broadhead (8), Stewart (6)
Subs: Hume (6), Embleton (6), O’Brien (6)
Sunderland Manager Lee Johnson:
“ I thought they had the better of the first half, we had the better of the second half.
“I thought it was a good game in terms of that competitiveness and the aggression on show. We upped our aggression in the second half, we had to. There was too many individual duals lost in the first half that just gave them momentum.
“Those breaks in the game just fell to them. We tried to stem the flow. They didn’t have loads of chances but we didn’t have anywhere near enough quality switches of the paly, quality balls into our forwards.”
“We had to change the shape to match them up and I thought the second half we really did go toe-to-toe. In the lead up to the goal, there was four or five big tackles that led to us getting the ricochet and switching play to then allow Dan Neil to show his great feet. A great through ball to a really god receiving presentation from (Nathan) Broadhead and then a really good finish.
“I’m alright with a point. I want to win football matches but this was a really difficult game for us in terms of the occasion they put on. We didn’t quite stand up to it enough in the opening exchanges but second half we came through well and I think our travelling fans will see we have got spirit to come back from a game like that.
A draw is okay if you go and finish it off in the next game with a win.”
Ipswich Manager John McGreal:
“I look back on it and it’s an add-on from Wigan last week. We felt we could have nicked it last week at Wigan with the performance and there was more than enough today to win a game of football. It’s just ironing out those little things.
“Ten minutes, 15 minutes into the second half they’ve equalised but again I thought our boys got back on the front foot. There was a plan throughout the week. We knew 30,000 fans were going to come, we know how well they’re performing and everyone was on the front foot.”
“We went a little bit man for man. We’ve got to stand up and every player, even the subs coming on, put in an unbelievable performance today. I thought that there was some quality throughout, we looked dangerous and looked a real potent, fit team.”
Post-match thoughts? Who was your MOTM? Are you happy with the point? Will Johnson guide Sunderland to promotion?
Join in the conversation and have your say…
Fantasy Premier League: Newcastle’s top players prices revealed
Fantasy Premier League have revealed the prices for eleven of Newcastle’s top players next season.
With the 2022/23 Premier League season fast approaching, clubs have been revealing their Fantasy Premier League prices.
There are some promising bargains among the Magpies’ ranks. Newcaslte’s 2021/22 top FPL point scorer Allan Saint-Maximin will remain just £6.5m. He has been reclassified from midfield to attack, and so players may find it harder to make space for him with more limited forward positions.
Newcastle’s most expensive player will be Callum Wilson. Last season’s top scorer will be worth £7.5m in the game. Users will hope that if he can avoid last season’s injury woes he will be guaranteed big points.
Midfielder Bruno Guimarães has increased in price to £6m. The Brazilian was listed at a meagre £5m on his arrival in January, but his form since then has earned him a higher price tag. With five goals and an assist in just seventeen Premier League appearances last season he will still be a tempting proposition.
Fellow January arrival Kieran Trippier will be valued at £5m. He only managed six appearances for Newcastle last season but scored two goals from free kicks in that spell. As a set-piece taking defender, Trippier has the potential to make significant point contributions from the back.
New keeper Nick Pope will look promising at £5m after proving his abilities with Burnley. He may be sharing game-time with Martin Dúbravka, which could see his points total limited. Other Magpies players not guaranteed minutes include Joe Willock (£5m), Fabian Schar (£4.5m) and Chris Wood (£6m).
— Fantasy Premier League (@OfficialFPL) July 3, 2022
Fans will also hope that more talent is set to arrive at St James’ Park before the start of next season, with plenty of time left in the transfer window.
Elsewhere, other top players have had their prices revealed. At present, players from fifteen clubs have been announced.
Kevin de Bruyne and Mohamad Salah are the most expensive players listed so far. Both come in at the high price of £12m, but are bound to prove popular with users nonetheless.
Erling Haaland is next highest priced, at £11.5m for Man City’s new striker. Cristiano Ronaldo, if he remains at Old Trafford, will be worth £10.5m. The Portuguese striker started last season at a record cost of £12.5m. Despite the drop in price, he was last season’s second highest scoring attacker at 159 points.
The Premier League season kicks off on 5th August with Arsenal vs Crystal Palace, with Newcastle facing newly promoted Nottingham Forest on Saturday 6th.
Who will be included in your team? Have your say on our Facebook page…
North East Updates will have our Fantasy Football League – stay tuned for updates on how to join.
Eddie Howe’s pre-season: Opposition, Venues and more.
Pre-season is vital when it comes to preparing for a new season for all football clubs around the world. It is a time where you can test different tactics, experiment with young and new players and overall get a sense of where your squad is at before the start of the new season.
For Newcastle, they have plenty of games to test the waters and give new signings like Nick Pope and Sven Botman time to get up to scratch before the start of the new Premier League season.
First, they play Gateshead in a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Newcastle United Training Centre on Saturday, 9th July. Gateshead are managed by former Magpies defender Mike Williamson and their side have just been promoted to the National League after winning the National League North.
Eddie Howe’s side will then travel to Austria for a week-long training camp where they will play two games.
The first opposition is TSV 1860 Munich who currently play in the third tier of German football, 3. Liga. The match will take place on Friday, 15th July and will be played at the SaalfeldenArena Burgerau, kick-off is set for 6 pm local time. The former champions of Germany have had success in the past when they finished as runners-up in the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1964/65 season. The Toon met with this side in the UEFA Intertoto Cup back in 2001, Newcastle won 6-3 on aggregate across the two legs. One of Munich’s best players, Marcel Bar, scored 21 goals in 37 appearances last season.
Then, Newcastle play Mainz on Monday, 18th July in what will be their third pre-season fixture. The match will be played at the 4,500-capacity Kufstein Arena and will kick-off at 5 pm local time. Mainz, currently managed by Bo Svensson, finished 8th in the Bundesliga last season. The last time the two sides met was in a pre-season game back in the summer of 2017, Mainz came out on top winning 2-1. Some of their best players include Jonathan Burkardt who managed to bag himself 11 goals and 3 assists last season as well as Moussa Niakhate who scored 8 goals and assisted 5 times.
The Toon then have eight days to prepare for their next pre-season fixture as they travel to Portugal to play Benfica at the Estadio da Luiz for the Eusebio Cup. The match will take place on Tuesday, 26th July and will kick-off at 8 pm local time. Benfica finished third in the Portugal Liga Nos last season. It’s been 9 years since the sides last met in the Europa League quarter-finals when Papiss Cisse’s goal in the second leg wasn’t enough and the Magpies exited the competition losing 4-2 on aggregate. Benfica were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by Liverpool last season and some of their best players include Rafa Silva who came out with 23 goal contributions last season and Alex Grimaldo who scored 5 and assisted 5 from left-back last season.
To finish pre-season the Toon then face a double-header at St James’ Park. The first game played on Friday, 29th July will be against Atalanta. It is expected that Howe will split his first-team squad across the two fixtures and play two completely different teams. Atalanta finished 8th in Serie A last season and exited the Europa League quarter-finals following a 3-1 aggregate defeat to RB Leipzig. Mario Pasalic is one of their best players and had a very successful 2021/22 season which saw him earn 20 goal contributions from centre midfield in the league. The match will kick-off at 7:45 pm in St James’ Park
Newcastle will then face Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, just a week before the first game of the Premier League season against Nottingham Forest to finish their pre-season. Bilbao finished 8th in La Liga last season and were close to cup success, following a 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final. Inaki Williams who hasn’t missed a single game for the Spanish side in over six years is a threat up-front and captain Iker Muniain will also be a danger for the Toon following last season where he managed 10 assists and 4 goals.
Ticket information for these games are to be confirmed soon.
So what do you think of the pre-season fixtures and how many wins will Eddie Howe’s side manage in what promises to be an exciting season ahead.
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Transfer update: NUFC looking at Bayern and Leeds forwards and defensive departures
After confirming the signing of defender Sven Botman, and long-term target Hugo Ekitike off the table, Newcastle are set to look elsewhere in the transfer market.
The signing of Reims forward Hugo Ekitke is now in doubt. Reports are that the players’ agent, Karl Mwalako Buchmann, has brought discussions to a standstill. Newcastle were close to completing a move for the young winger in January and again this summer.
With these two long running sagas appearing over, Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth will work on other transfers.
Securing Matt Targett, Nick Pope and Sven Botman marks a positive transfer window already for the Magpies, but their search for attacking reinforcements will continue.
According to The Chronicle, Eddie Howe wants a winger and a striker to compete with Callum Wilson next season.
One attacker Newcastle have been linked with is Leeds’ Jack Harrison. The club are reported to have enquired about Harrison. The talented 25-year old would seem a good fit in the Newcastle squad, and fit with the attractive stlye of football Eddie Howe has his side playing.
Per the Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, Newcastle are keen on Harrison but have a limited budget remaining.
Things can change but after signing of Botman should be quiet at #nufc on recruitment front for a bit. Dutch defender was priority signing in this window so everyone delighted to get him. Ekitike deal is dead so looking at alternatives. Jack Harrison remains a player of interest
— Luke Edwards (@LukeEdwardsTele) June 27, 2022
With Leeds forward Raphinha looking set to leave Elland Road for Chelsea, it could take a lot for Newcastle to persuade Leeds to depart with another winger.
Reports from Belgium have suggested Newcastle are competing to sign striker Joshua Zirkzee from Bayern Munich. The Dutchman spent last season on a successful loan spell at Anderlecht. The 21-year old has also drawn interest from Ajax.
Zirkzee scored 16 and made 9 assists in 38 appearances for the Belgian side during his loan spell last season.
In terms of departures, the arrival of Sven Botman could make way for Jamaal Lascelles to leave. The captain has long been linked with a return to Nottingham Forest.
Lascelles’ inclusion in marketing for Newcastle’s new third kit has been seen as a sign that the club are unwilling to part with the player. As an experienced player he could provide continuity in Newcastle’s new-look back four. It remains to be seen whether he would be content to play second fiddle to players like Botman, or move in search of more game time.
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