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REPORT: Newcastle United 0-4 Manchester City: Pepe’s side hit four to extend lead at the top

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Credit: 'Mags' by Alex McGuire - SD signs gone but nothing changed on the pitch...

Newcastle thrashed 4-0 at St James’ Park to title favourites Manchester City after being denied a stonewall penalty in first half. 

The loss sees Howe’s side remain in 19th position with the worst defensive record in the league, having shipped another four at home to City taking their goals away total to 41 for the season. The Magpies remain three points from safety.

Manchester City were deserved winners and took the lead inside five minutes when Ruben Dias nodded in from close range. It was two in the 27th minute when Joao Cancelo smashed a long range effort into the top left corner after dribbling through the Newcastle midfield unchallenged.

One of the biggest moments in the game came when Man City goalkeeper Ederson and right-back Cancelo had a misunderstanding, with the Brazilian ‘keeper rushing out of his net but not reaching the ball.

Cancelo eventually cleared before Ederson, who was out of control, clearly collided with winger Ryan Fraser and knocked him flying. Absolute stonewall penalty and no surprises that VAR failed to intervene yet again.

City went in to the interval at 2-0 and turned it up a notch in the second half as the home side chased shadows and couldn’t lay a glove on the opposition.

The visitors got their third twenty minutes into the second period when Oleksander Zinchenko curled a sublime cross into the path of Mahrez who volleyed first-time into the Newcastle net. The linesman had his flag up but replays showed that Algerian timed his run perfectly and VAR confirmed the goal.

It was then a question of if City wanted more and they finished the game off in style as Jesus glided passed Murphy on the Newcastle right before squaring the ball to Raheem Sterling who tapped in from a yard out, making it 4-0.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The game featured the two richest clubs in the league but the difference of class on the pitch was there for all to see. In the first game at SJP since the removal of the Sports Direct signs but unfortunately nothing changed on the pitch as Newcastle were second best yet again – to be expected on this occasion.

After an energetic opening couple of minutes where the home side pressed the current Champions, City took the lead.

Following a poor corner, the ball was recycled on the right, where Zinchenko played a lobbed ball over the defence towards the touchline. Cancelo did well to keep it in and put an inviting cross into the middle of the box.

In typical Newcastle fashion, there was another display of woeful defending at the back when ‘keeper Dubravka and Ciaran Clark failed to clear the ball before letting it bounce. It was latched upon by centre-back Diaz who took the invitation of a bouncing ball and reacted first to head in from close range.

The home side reacted well to the going a goal down and nearly equalised when Joelinton, who was fantastic once again, found himself free on the edge of the box before firing a shot inches wide of the left post. However, the hope was cut short moments later.

Joao Cancelo received the ball on the City right, before dribbling inside passed the tackles of two Newcastle midfielders and smashing a superb finish into the top left corner – chants of “that’s why we’re champions” echoed around SJP.

Newcastle had a great chance just before the break when Joelinton played a splitting throughball into the feet of Callum Wilson who failed to pull the trigger before becoming quickly outnumbered by light blue shirts.

Predictably, City made it three on 63 minutes and sealed their 8th win in a row.

The away side countered clinically after the hosts lost the ball high up the field. The ball made its way to the left where Zinchenko, picked out an impressive cross into onrushing Mahrez who gently placed his finish passed the diving Dubravka.

The visitors finished it off in style as Jesus skilfully dribbled passed Jacob Murphy on the Newcastle right before squaring it to Raheem Sterling who tapped in from a yard out – a quality goal to finish it off.

Pepe’s side extended their league at the top to four points following the victory as Newcastle remain trapped in the relegation zone with Norwich having a game in hand and Burnley three – worrying times for the Magpies.

Howe will have been pleased with his teams endeavour and efforts but the difference in class was far too much on the day. Joelinton lit up SJP at times as his gritty performance with glimpses of Brazilian flair got fans on their feet.

Newcastle did press City into making mistakes and the visitors struggled at times but the second half performance took all sting out of the affair.

A comfortable 4-0 win in the end for the Blues who deservedly sit top of the Premier League for another week running.

Manchester United are the next visitors to Tyneside on the 27th and the Magpies will be hoping to get an unlikely result to help bolster their chances of survival heading into the January transfer window.

City prepare for the visit of Leicester City to the Etihad on Boxing Day and will be expecting to get another three points to extend their winning run to nine.

PLAYER RATINGS

Dubravka (6), Clark (5), Lascelles (5), Ritchie (6), Murphy (6), Hayden (7), Willock (6), Joelinton (8), Fraser (6), Almiron (6), Wilson (5).

Subs: Saint-Maximin (6), Longstaff (5)

MANAGERS COMMENTS

Newcastle Manager Eddie Howe:

“We shot ourselves in the foot. It was a big frustration. If there’s one team in world football you don’t want to chase the game against it’s Manchester City and to do it so early made our task doubly difficult. I thought the rest of the first half, bar their second goal, was a really disciplined performance. We really minimised their goalmouth action. They were relatively quiet although they scored two goals that sounds like a contradiction. We looked a threat and should have had a penalty.

“I’m not the type of manager that looks for excuses or looks to blame the officials but it’s another clear big moment in the game that has gone against us. I’m shaking my head at it. The goalkeeper is out of control, he’s wiped Ryan Fraser out. It’s a stonewall penalty. How VAR hasn’t intervened is a really strange one for me.”

He added:

“I think there’s been one in every game. At that stage we were well in the match and you don’t know what can happen beyond that point.”

Newcastle Manager Pep Guardiola:

“It was a good result but not a good performance. The first half was one of the poorest we have had this season. We were not there. We didn’t play in the rhythm we should play. Everyone gave more touches and lost the ball. We were lucky to score in the first few minutes. It was a misunderstanding from the Newcastle defenders and the second goal is a brilliant action from Cancelo – that made the difference.”

He added:

“The second half was much closer to who we are. We have to try and improve. We have an obligation to play every single game at the highest level possible. I don’t have a reason why we don’t play good every time.”

On the penalty incident: “Fraser didn’t have the ball. The ball was with Cancelo. If Fraser has the ball it’s a clear penalty but Cancelo had the ball so it’s not a penalty.”

Post-match thoughts?

How good was it to see the signs gone? What did you think of the penalty incident? Can Howe’s side get an unexpected result against Man Utd? Can Newcastle avoid relegation?

Join in the conversation and have your say…

 

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Fantasy Premier League: Newcastle’s top players prices revealed

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@OfficialFPL via Twitter

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).

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.

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Eddie Howe’s pre-season: Opposition, Venues and more.

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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.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page …

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Transfer update: NUFC looking at Bayern and Leeds forwards and defensive departures

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Image: @premierleague via Twitter

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.

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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