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REPORT – Newcastle United 1-1 Manchester United: Christmas Cracker served up at St James’ Park

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Newcastle were unlucky not to claim all three points against Man Utd...

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.

Saint-Maximin took the lead for NUFC 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.

PLAYER RATINGS

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)

MANAGERS COMMENTS

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.”

On Joelinton:

“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:

“We will try and get the game on. We will see what the situation is with the injured players we have and the Covid we have in the camp. Then it’ll be a simple process of counting the players.”
Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick:
“I did not like it at all. We were trying to get better at controlling games. Today we did not control the game, apart from very few moments, at all. It was all about energy, about physicality, and who wins the second balls. In all those areas we were not at our best today. In the end, we got a point, that is the good thing. But the overall performance has to get better.”

Post-match thoughts?

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…

 

 

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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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