REPORT – Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester United: Christmas Cracker served up at St James’ Park
Newcastle will feel they missed an opportunity to pick up their second win of the season against Manchester United as the Magpies dominated proceedings.
Under the lights at St. James’ Park is always a sight to behold and on the pitch it was the home side that shone from the outset. Howe’s side played front-foot attacking football as promised and were unfortunate not to claim all three points on Monday evening.
It was a fiery encounter between the two sides with the Red Devils being slammed as ‘whingers’ by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville after their disappointing performance on Tyneside. The visitors were at it from the start and seemed shaken by the early Newcastle pressure, which paid off in the seventh minute.
Allan Saint-Maximin cut inside from the Newcastle left and slammed his shot into the top right-corner passed the statuesque De Gea, who could do nothing but watch the ball nestle in the corner. The goal came after Longstaff dispossessed Varane and played the ball to the French winger who did the rest.
Newcastle continued to dominate as the away side struggled to get a grip in the game. The midfield battle was won by the home side as Man Utd continued to give the ball away and were wasteful in possession.
The Mags had the ball in the net for the second time before the break but the linesman had his flag up.
It was 1-0 at half-time and nobody watching could argue with the scoreline. Unfortunately for the home side, top-scorer Callum Wilson hobbled off injured in the closing stages of the first half after a strong tackle from McTominay and was unable to continue
However, Howe’s side flew out of the blocks in the second period and should have doubled their lead after a mazy run from full-back Emil Krafth, who’s cross found Saint-Maximin in the box, but the 24-year-old was unable to tap it in from close range.
The Magpies missed the attacking know-how and pressing of Wilson as the visitors eventually grew into the game around the hour mark. Rangnick couldn’t move on the bench for attacking options and replaced holding midfielder Fred with winger, Jadon Sancho at the break. The hosts were camped in the own half for a period as they struggled to keep hold of the ball.
Unsurprisingly, the equaliser came in the 71st minute through veteran striker Edison Cavani, who was another half-time substitute. After his initial shot deflected back to him, the Uruguayan poked the rebound home from close range.
The equaliser was undeserved and planted an element of uncertainty around a packed SJP. However, unlike under previous managers, the home side attacked and pushed to claim all three-points, instead of sitting back and accepting the pressure.
Dwight Gayle hit the post after another impressive counter attack from the hosts, before Almiron’s curling effort was superbly saved by De Gea to keep the scores level.
The Geordie faithful got behind their team in the final few minutes but despite their best efforts, the game finished 1-1.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The atmosphere was electric at St James’ Park as the sides put on a Christmas Cracker under the lights.
It was the hosts who started the quickest and put the visitors under intense pressure in the opening stages, closing down the opposition with more intensity and subsequently claimed a deserved early lead.
Raphael Varane tried to take the ball down after a forward punt from Jonjo Shelvey but was dispossessed by the onrushing Sean Longstaff who brushed the French international aside before slotting a perfect pass into the feet of Saint-Maximin.
The exciting Frenchman carried the ball forward on the left wing and ran at the defence who had been shaken by the early onslaught. He glided passed a couple of lunges before smashing the ball into the top right corner from just inside the box – a brilliant start.
The winger seemed to lose his footing as he drilled the ball goalwards but was able to stay composed as his effort nestled in the back of the net to make it 1-0 inside seven minutes.
The onslaught continued as the home side pushed for a second.
Joelinton went close when his curling effort from outside the box went just wide after another flowing counter-attack. Jonjo Shelvey was the next to test De Gea as he ran through the midfield and smashed his shot to the left of the Spaniard who was equal to it and strongly parried the ball out of play for a throw-in.
The visitors tried to threaten Newcastle with long balls over the top of the defence as the hosts played a high line, but were unsuccessful. Every time Man Utd tried to play it short and build an attack, they lost the ball.
The first half was an abysmal showing by any measure, with many viewers left scratching their heads at the impact or lack-off, made by new boss Ralf Rangnick.
It nearly went from bad to worse for the Red Devils when Callum Wilson diverted the ball into the net from close range only to be offside – no need for VAR on this one.
In the closing stages of the half, Wilson collided with McTominay and subsequently limped off with a calf injury, much to the disappointment of the Geordie faithful. He was replaced with Jacob Murphy before the end of the half, in which the hosts dominated.
Rangnick was clearly frustrated at his sides lack of quality in the first period and made two attacking substitutions at half-time. Cavani replaced Greenwood as Sancho came on for Fred – a change that may have potentially upset the balance of the side.
However, it was the hosts who once again started the quickest and could have doubled their lead minutes into the second period.
Full-back Emil Krafth received the ball on the Newcastle right and dribbled between two Man Utd defenders before putting a drilled ball across the six yard box.
Allan Saint-Maximin met the ball and should have made it two but was unable to tap home from a couple of yards out. His lack of connection on the ball meant that De Gea could dive to save it and prevent his side falling further behind.
After an intense start to the game, proceeding slowed down for a period in the second half but both sides continued to exchange blows in the midfield, literally.
The away side were visibly frustrated and ‘whinged’ throughout the game as their attitudes got the best of them.
Without Wilson, Newcastle were unable to put the same pressure on the United defence who were given more time and space to play the ball forward to their attacking players.
An equaliser almost came when Maguire’s diagonal pass found Sancho on the Man Utd right. The English winger then played a decent pass into the path of Cavani who scuffed his shot wide of the post, despite finding himself unmarked in the box – a let off for the hosts.
Newcastle were up the other end soon after and nearly scored a second. Joelinton, who was MOTM once again, ran through the middle of the park and slotted a ball through the defence to the onrushing Fraser, who was unable to beat the ‘keeper from a difficult angle.
However, the equaliser did come moments later. It was a similar move for the visitors who had grown into the game after their early second half scare.
This time, Bruno Fernandes received the ball on the half turn in the centre of the park and lofted a throughball to Sancho on the right who took a touch before drilling his cross into the middle of the box. Cavani met the ball and after his first side-footed effort deflected back to him off a combination of Newcastle defenders, he calmly slotted the rebound into the back of the net.
An undeserved equaliser.
Under previous managers, the equaliser would have been met with last-ditch, unorganised and desperate defending, but under Howe things are different.
The home side continued to press and gained control of the affair once again. The fans were behind the team from kick-off and they turned the noise up a notch in the closing stages as Newcastle pushed for a winner.
Dwight Gayle replaced the injured Saint-Maximin and was involved straight away as De Gea’s net was under siege at the Gallowgate end.
After another impressive counter attack from the hosts, Gayle’s shot hit the post from just outside the box on the left. Moments later, Miggy Almiron’s curled effort forced De Gea into a fantastic save – much to the disbelief of 52,000 Geordies inside SJP.
The game finished 1-1 with the home side wondering how they didn’t claim all three points.
It was the best performance of the season from Newcastle who gave their supporters hope for the relegation battle ahead.
The point makes no difference to their position in the table as they remain 19th with just 11 points at the midway point in the season, but the performance will give Howe confidence heading into the January transfer window.
We all have different views on religion but one thing is for certain, the resurrection of Joelinton has been immense as the Brazilian dominated the midfield once again and long may it continue.
The whole team deserved more on the night but can be proud of their efforts.
Howe’s side face a trip to Everton on Thursday, but will the long list of injuries and the threat of Covid the game could be in doubt.
The next five fixtures represent an opportunity to add to the tally of 11 points and move up the Premier League table, out of the relegation zone. Newcastle face: Everton (A), Southampton (A), Watford (H), Leeds (A), Everton (H) in the coming weeks and will be confident of picking up some much needed points, especially if they can replicate the performance against the Red Devils.
Dubravka (6); Manquillo (6), Lascelles (7), Schar (7), Krafth (8); Saint-Maximin (8), Joelinton (9), Shelvey (7), Longstaff (7), Fraser (8); Wilson (7)
Subs: Murphy (7), Almiron (6), Gayle (6)
Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe:
“Desperately disappointed not to win. I thought we were tactically excellent. We defended really well in partnerships and we were good on transitions. We created the chances to get that second goal which would have been crucial in the end.”
“He’s given me everything. He’s really bought into what we’re trying to do. He’s worked incredibly hard for his team. His performances have been very consistent and he’s been outstanding. Defensively, the job we asked him to do was very, very good.”
“Initially, we thought we would play him as a No 10. But we went to 10 men against Norwich at home and we reshuffled to play him as an 8 and I thought that night he was brilliant defensively. His tactical knowledge of the position was excellent.”
On Everton on Thursday:
Who was your MOTM? Can Howe’s side build on the performance and gain some points in the coming games? Will NUFC survive relegation?
Join in the conversation and have your say…
Eddie Howe Wants to Keep Two Out of Contract Players this Summer.
Newcastle United boss wants to extend the contracts of two players before losing them.
Eddie Howe has expressed in a recent fan Q&A his intentions to keep two out of contract players this summer, Loris Karius and Paul Dummett, according to the Athletic’s Chris Waugh, with both players current contracts set to end this summer.
6 players are currently set to become out of contract come June 1st, Loris Karius, Paul Dummet, Mark Gillespie, Matt Ritchie, Matty Longstaff and Ciaran Clark. However, it is only Karius and Dummett that appear to be safe of getting the chop.
Loris Karius has spent this season as Newcastle United’s third choice keeper, with only one appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup Final. Despite the loss, Karius did little wrong and contributed some wonderful saves late on in that game.
Paul Dummett has had the same treatment, with only one appearance coming his way, a Carabao Cup tie in the second round against Tranmere Rovers back in August. The 31-year-old Welshman is an experienced head and will no doubt have great respect within the dressing room having signed for the club back in 2012 making 205 appearances in that time.
Both players can expect new contracts from Eddie Howe as he has made it known that he wants them both to remain at the club next season.
Who would you want to remain at the club from the current out of contract list – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –https://linktr.ee/northeastupdates
Top 10 Free Transfers NUFC Could Sign This Summer
10 players Eddie Howe could look towards with contracts expiring at the end of this season.
The free agent’s market is the absolute cheat code for clubs across the board, being able to avoid the rising transfer fees and getting players through the door through verbal agreements makes life much easier for clubs during the transfer window.
We have compiled a list of 10 free transfers NUFC could sign this summer from Europe’s top five leagues giving them a rating of the potential of them signing and the impact they would have.
- Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)
The 29-year-old full back has his contract expiring this summer and with NUFC already being hinted at as his potential new club, this one is worth keeping an eye on over the next few months. He would slot straight in at left-back to have healthy competition for fan favourite Dan Burn and add a burst of class and pace to that left hand side. The Portugal international already has an impressive CV and would be looking to show that off to the St. James faithful.
Potential – A
Impact – A
- Yerry Mina (Everton)
With Everton potentially facing the drop this season, a jump from Merseyside to Newcastle could suit the centre back to a T. The 28-year-old Columbian international would add to NUFC’s already in form back line and bring some South American heat as they look to progress further next season. Mina possesses dominance, aggression, and a great ariel threat and would be a top addition to the magpies this summer.
Potential – B
Impact – A
- Jonathan Bamba (Lille)
An explosive winger who made his name known as Lille snatched the league title in 2021 in France, the 26-year-old is still yet to receive a contract extension from the club and could be looking elsewhere in the summer. Adding pace, flair, and drive to an already exciting front three for NUFC could be what fans need going into next season.
Potential – C
Impact – A
- Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)
Reportedly being close to leaving in the summer window of 2022, Youri Tielemans would be a fine addition to NUFC’s midfield being able to operate in a slightly deeper role to allow Bruno to push further up the field and do what he does best. The 25-year-old has his contract expiring this summer and with him and James Maddison already being linked to the club, this transfer seems to make so much more sense and would add heaps of quality to the centre of the field.
Potential – B
Impact – A
- Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Drive, power, and flair are the 3 best words to describe Crystal Palace star man Wilfried Zaha. The 30-year-old could be looking to depart his beloved club in the hope for European football next season and NUFC could be just the place for him. Being able to operate either on the left or down the middle, Zaha would thrive under Eddie Howe and be a fantastic addition to the front line.
Potential – B
Impact – A
Sunderland suspend Jack Diamond after player is charged with rape and sexual assault
A Sunderland football player on loan to Lincoln FC has had his loan terminated after he was charged with rape.
Jack Diamond, 23, had been arrested after a sexual assault in Washington, Tyne and Wear, last year.
Northumbria Police launched an investigation, but have now charged him with one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.
Lincoln City FC said the player’s loan contract had been terminated “with immediate effect”.
His home club, Sunderland AFC, said he had been suspended pending the outcome of legal proceedings.
In a statement, it said: “Sunderland AFC has been notified that criminal charges have been brought against Jack Diamond by the Crown Prosecution Service.”
“As this matter is subject to a legal process, the club will not be making any further statement at this time”.
The incident is alleged to have happened in May last year.
Mr Diamond, of Fatfield, also Washington, is due to appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in May.
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