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REPORT – Newcastle United 0-1 Cambridge United: U’s pull-off huge FA Cup upset at St James’ Park

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Credit: AFP via Getty Images - Trippier makes NUFC debut in FA Cup loss to Cambridge...

Newcastle United are out of the FA Cup in the Third Round following a disappointing 1-0 defeat to League One Cambridge United at St James’ Park, after inspired performance from U’s goalkeeper Mitlov.

The home side had plenty of opportunities to find the net but lacked the desire, quality and energy to make the pressure pay in what was one of their most embarrassing performances to-date. The Magpies were wasteful in attacking areas after putting in a very average performance against a very average opposition.

Once the hosts were unable to find the net in the opening stages, everything pointed towards a classic FA Cup upset and the visitors didn’t disappoint. Newcastle once again helped to provide the classic upset and given the fact they clearly tried to win the game, naming as stronger line-up as possible, this one feels extremely embarrassing.

United created 22 chances but could not find a away past the minnows and lacked the desire to get the victory.

The fans deserved so much more on the day. The result doesn’t matter as much if the Magpies are able to beat fellow strugglers Watford in the Premier League next weekend but the performance on Saturday afternoon was anything short of pathetic – especially given Howe named his strongest side possible and gave a debut to new signing Kieran Trippier.

The FA Cup was undoubtedly low on the list of priorities for the Toon but the performance and result this afternoon shows just how poor the current squad is and outlines the importance of bringing in more major reinforcements in January.

The home side desperately missed their star striker Callum Wilson, who is set to miss the next eight weeks due to his calf injury sustained in the 1-1 draw with Man Utd.

Howe will need to bring in a replacement striker to replicate the form of Wilson in front of goal and score some important goals between now and the end of the season.

Kieran Trippier played his first game in the black and white stripes in front of a sell-out crowd at St Janes’ as fans expected a comfortable victory. Trippier was one of the best players on the day and showed his quality at times but fans at SJP were left disappointed by the overall result and performance.

HOW IT HAPPENED

With Trippier and Ryan Fraser down one side and Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie on the other, the Magpies looked to attack the flanks early on.

Mitov’s inspired form in the Cambridge net kept the U’s in the game and enabled them to get into half-time at 0-0 – perfectly set up to give it a real go in the second period.

The Bulgarian ‘keeper made three exceptional stops to prevent Howe’s side from taking the lead, including a ridiculous save from Murphy’s drilled volley which was headed for the top corner.

Newcastle had the ball in the net after Schar tucked in from close range, following a rebound from Matt Ritchies effort on goal which deflected to the feet of the onrushing Swiss international. However, Schar was clearly offside and the celebrations were cut short.

The scores were level at the break as Newcastle struggled to make their pressure count. Allan Saint-Maximin was unable to replicate his performance against Man Utd last time out and struggled to make an impact, despite his best efforts.

Joelinton was played higher up in attacking areas and struggled to match his recent form as the Brazilian lost possession on a number of occasions.

Winger Jacob Murphy thought he had given the home side the lead with a decent touch and finish after Schar’s throughball, but the flag was up.

The visitors took the lead in the 58th minute when the ball fell to the feet of Ironside after Schar headed off the line. The 28-year-old made no mistake in front of goal when he turned and shot into the back of the net.

Newcastle pushed for an equaliser and thought they had it went Joelinton’s headed effort looked bound for the back of the net, before Mitlov dived to his right to parry over – another brilliant piece of work.

The home side huffed and puffed but couldn’t find the equaliser as Cambridge sat in two banks of four, challenging the Magpies to break them down which they could not do. The hosts didn’t have the heart nor the quality to beat a League One side, which doesn’t bode well for the vital upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Unfortunately the performance represented one similar to those at the beginning of the campaign and Howe’s side will need to improve massively when Watford visit next Saturday – a must-win game for both sides who are looking to avoid relegation.

Sean Longstaff was extremely poor in the centre of the park and may well have played his last game for the club, with increased interest from Everton to bring him to Goodison Park. He has been a good servant and would likely feature regularly if the club are relegated to the Championship, however his performance today shows just why many fans feel he should be sold to make way for a higher quality replacement.

The Cambridge fans were fantastic all-game and the 5,000 travelling supporters added to the magnificent atmosphere on Saturday afternoon at SJP. For many younger fans it was their first experience and they won’t have fond memories of the result – hopefully better times are ahead.

Newcastle face a critical game at home next time out and will need to win to bolster their chances of retaining Premier League status come the end of the season. Howe will be left disappointed by the performance today and will be hoping his side can bounce back instantly and put in a much improved display against Watford.

MANAGERS COMMENTS

Newcastle Manger, Eddie Howe:

“We are desperately disappointed. We really prepared well for this game, and we played a very strong team. But ultimately, we found a goalkeeper in superb form and a team that defended for their lives, and we couldn’t break them down.

He added:

“We did have some good moments, but we lacked that killer instinct that every team needs. Then, when you don’t put the game to bed, there’s always a chance you leave yourself open, and, unfortunately, one of those moments cost us the game.”

PLAYER RATINGS

Dubravka (5), Trippier (6), Krafth (5), Schar (5), Ritchie (6); Shelvey (6), Longstaff (4) Joelinton (5), Murphy (6): Fraser (6), Saint-Maximin (5)

Subs: Almiron (4), Willock (5), Manquillo (6)

Post-match thoughts? How disappointed were you with the performance? Did you enjoy seeing new signing Trippier?

Will Howe’s side bounce back next weekend against Watford?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

 

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Saudi Arabia wants its investors to own Manchester United

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North East Updates - Breaking News

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

Sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal revealed the country’s latest sporting ambitions in an interview with Sky News – with the sovereign wealth fund already owning Newcastle and now funding a breakaway golf series.

 

It follows the Manchester United board announcing that they are open to a sale of the club.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisalstated he would be keen on Ronaldo signing for a Saudi Pro League after the World Cup, with the 37-year-old a free agent following a controversial interview and exit to Manchester United earlier this week..

 

“Who wouldn’t want him to play in their league?” “He’s a role model to a lot of young players – him and Messi.”

 

Sky news are reporting – It is the availability of United – after the Glazers announced plans for a potential sale – and Ronaldo that is interesting Prince Abdulaziz.

 

What are your thoughts on this – join the conversation on our Facebook page.

 

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Which Newcastle Players Are Going To The World Cup?

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Newcastle

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar gets underway next week and here are all the Newcastle players involved in the tournament

Callum Wilson (England)

Newcastle striker Callum Wilson is a player that has consistently shown the quality to earn a spot in an England squad at a major tournament but has sadly had his chances diminished by injuries in the past.

However, Wilson is currently injury free and is on the plane to Qatar! The Coventry City academy graduate averages a goal every 130 minutes in the Premier League this season, which is the second-best return of all English players behind Harry Kane.

The 30-year-old may have to bide his time for an opportunity due to England captain Harry Kane being the first-choice striker. That said, Wilson gives Gareth Southgate a great alternative should England find themselves chasing a game.

Kieran Trippier (England)

Gareth Southgate has always been very fond of Kieran Trippier’s abilities and what he brings to a team. For example, in Euro 2020 Southgate opted to play Trippier at left-back ahead of a more natural option in Ben Chilwell due to the 32-year-old’s experience and leadership qualities.

Trippier brings bags of experience at major tournaments after reaching the semi-final of the 2018 World Cup and the final of Euro 2020.

With injuries at right-back to the likes of Reece James and uncertainty around the fitness of Kyle Walker, Trippier could start at right wing-back in England’s World Cup opener against Iran.

Nick Pope (England)

The last player to complete The Magpies’ England trio is Nick Pope. Toon’s No.1 has been outstanding since arriving from Burnley in the Summer and has earnt his place in England’s World Cup squad.

Pope has the joint most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (6) alongside Manchester City goalkeeper, Ederson and fellow England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

It remains to be seen if Gareth Southgate picks Pope to be his first-choice goalkeeper in Qatar ahead of Jordan Pickford and Aaron Ramsdale. Pope started both of England’s last games in the Nations League back in September.

Bruno Guimarães (Brazil)

Moving to South America and the favourites to win the competition, Brazil. Bruno Guimarães has been one of Newcastle’s stand-out players this season and has deservedly earned himself a spot in Brazil’s very competitive World Cup Squad.

Guimarães has statistically been the best midfielder in the Premier League so far this season and will be hoping his performances have done enough to earn him a start against Serbia in Brazil’s opening fixture.

That said, Brazil manager Adenor Leonardo Bacchi has predominantly played with a midfield two of Manchester United duo, Casemiro and Fred at the base of the Brazilian midfield.

Fabian Schär (Switzerland)

The Magpies’ centre-back has been in great form alongside Sven Botman at the heart of Newcastle’s defence this season and will be hoping to continue his form in Qatar.

Schär has some tough competition in his position in the form of Manchester City centre-back Manuel Akanji and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Nico Elvedi.

Switzerland find themselves in the same group as tournament favourites Brazil, which will see Schär reunited with Toon teammate Bruno Guimarães in Gameweek 2.

Who didn’t make the squad?

The most surprising player to not make their country’s squad is Sven Botman. The former Lille centre-back has been a major part of why Newcastle has the Premier League’s best defence so far this campaign.

Louis van Gaal has a great pool of centre-backs available to him and opted for the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, Stefan de Vrij and Nathan Ake over Botman.

Another Toon player with World Cup disappointment is Joelinton, who has failed to follow Bruno Guimarães on the plane to Qatar.

Joelinton has been a revelation under Eddie Howe following his remarkable transformation from a striker to a box-to-box midfielder. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Joelinton this year.

Have Your Say

Who do you think will win the World Cup?

Which Newcastle player will be the best performer?

Let us know on our Facebook page!

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What We Learnt (Spurs 1-2 Newcastle)

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deadline day

Newcastle United were victorious at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium yesterday, winning 2-1 and now sit fourth in the Premier League. This is the first time they’ve been there at this stage of the season in 10 years.

 

Goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron were enough to scare away any chances of a second-half Spurs comeback. That’s six goals for Miggy in what is now his best-ever season for goals in black and white.

 

With 21 points, just five behind Manchester City and seven behind current league leaders Arsenal, the Toon are looking better than ever, but what did the victory yesterday tell us?

 

Toon are charging for Europe

 

If you didn’t believe it at the start of the season you should now. Eddie Howe has transformed Newcastle into a team with a winning mentality with a real sense of togetherness in a squad who are willing to battle for one another, week in and week out.

 

Very few teams will travel to London this season and manage to come away with a point, never mind three when playing Spurs. Not only this game, however, but Man City (3-3), Liverpool (2-1) and Brentford (5-1) have also shown that Howe and his side mean business this season and are willing to go toe to toe with some of the very best teams, coaches and players in the world. 

 

In his first signing interview, Sven Botman said, “Newcastle wants to reach the top and the top is in the league and, at the end, maybe in Europe.” Maybe he didn’t specifically mean this season but now he and the rest of his teammates should believe that they have a real chance of playing European football next season.

 

Almiron transformation shouldn’t go unnoticed

 

Almiron made 30 appearances last season in the league and finished with just one goal and no assists. Now, after just 12 games and six goals, the Paraguayan is already on course to smash his previous goal-scoring records which have seen him accumulate nine Premier League goals over the course of four seasons. 

 

Loved by the fans and with the full support of his teammates, it can only get better for the Paraguayan at this point. His goal against Tottenham showed the dribbling, flair and finishing quality he withholds, something that Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez could never get out of him.

 

Eddie Howe must be awarded credit for this development, as with the current budget the club has, he could’ve easily found a replacement in the summer. But, just like Joelinton, Miggy has cemented his spot in Newcastle’s starting eleven and is proving every week why he deserves to be there.

 

Wilson & Burn should be considered by Southgate 

 

On TalkSport recently, Neil Warnock warned Gareth Southgate saying his loyalty to players might be his downfall and said Dan Burn is “Mr Steady Eddie” referring to his versatility, being able to play left-back or centre-back.

 

Burn started 28 Premier League games last season and this season has 11 out of 12. His consistent dominating performances in Newcastle’s back line have put him into the conversation for a first-ever England call-up and I don’t think many would disagree. With John Stoned injured, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings not in good form and not getting regular game time, Gareth Southgate’s defensive decisions should now be a lot more challenging.

 

Callum Wilson has proved yet again his abilities as a top Premier League striker. His goal against Spurs not only put him in the headlines over England captain Harry Kane but also made it four in eight for the English man this season who has averaged 2.8 shots per game with an average scoring frequency of 162 minutes. 

 

With no clear-cut backup striker to Kane, is Wilson ahead of Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham in the race to be England’s number two striker?

 

So, what do you think? Do Newcastle have a serious chance at European football next season, can Almiron stay at his best and should Wilson and Burn be considered for a World Cup call-up?

 

Join the conversation on our Facebook page …

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