Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle United: Blades secure first league win of the season against miserable Magpies

The club captain, 34, came on as a second-half substitute and showed all of his experience to remain calm and score a 73rd-minute spot-kick as the Blades won 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The goal ended a dismal run of 15 defeats in 17 Premier League matches during the 2020-21 campaign and was the least Chris Wilder’s team deserved after dominating against a negative and unimaginative Newcastle side.

The Magpies were uninspired and mundane before Ryan Fraser’s red card just before half-time made their task even harder.

Wilder’s men were on the front foot for the majority of the first half and certainly did not look like a team adrift at the bottom of the table and unable to win.

The Blades cut open their opponents on several occasions with crisp passing but, as has been the case so often this season, they were not clinical in the final third.

Reported Rangers target John Lundstram was at the heart of most things early on, threatening with a couple of long-range efforts which flew narrowly wide before sliding a pass behind the Newcastle defence for David McGoldrick, who forced Karl Darlow into a decent save down to his left.

McGoldrick went close again when he got on the end of a Ethan Ampadu cross but he powered his header over the crossbar. It was a big miss by the former Republic of Ireland international.

Newcastle were unable to get out of their own half, with Callum Wilson isolated, as Wilder’s side continued to apply pressure in search of a deserved goal.

Federico Fernandez made a goal-saving challenge, sliding in to block John Fleck’s shot.

Despite the Blades’ dominance, it was Newcastle who almost took the lead against the run of play just before the half-hour mark. Wilson, anonymous until now, found a yard of space off the shoulder of John Egan at the near post to get on the end of Fernandez’s cross but he headed the ball wide from eight yards out.

It would have been a sickener for the hosts had they fallen behind but it served as a warning that perhaps they were being too gung-ho at times in their desperation to get that maiden win.

Fernandez made another superb block to get back and deny Oliver Burke when he raced into the penalty area as half-time approached. If the defender had got that wrong he would likely be sent off.

Fraser did see a red card before the break. Two tackles on John Fleck and then Lundstram in quick succession meant he would not be coming out for the second half – a half in which his team-mates now faced an uphill battle to get anything from the game.

Newcastle had been negative all night and with 10 men they obviously offered nothing more.

Darlow produced a fine reaction save to thwart Jayden Bogle at the start of the second half, after DeAndre Yedlin failed to properly clear the ball.

Wilder, sensing this was a golden opportunity to get that first Premier League victory on the board, made an attacking change after 51 minutes, taking off defender Chris Basham and bringing on Rhian Brewster. Sharp soon followed.

And it was the club captain who secured the match-winning penalty. A long ball forward was contested between Sharp and Fernandez into the box, with the Blades striker going down under the challenge. There was also a suggestion the ball hit the arm of the Newcastle defender.

Referee Andy Madley awarded the penalty after consulting VAR and Sharp put his team in front against the 10 men and on the brink of victory, rolling the ball into the bottom left corner as Darlow dived to his right.

However, the closing stages would not be as comfortable as the hosts had hoped. Wilson should have done better than send a header straight into the arms of Aaron Ramsdale, while Jacob Murphy found the goalkeeper’s midriff with a free-kick from a dangerous position on the edge of the penalty area.

In between, Brewster was unlucky to see his 20-yard effort strike the foot of a post.

Confusion in stoppage time between Bogle and Ramsdale put Blades hearts in mouths as a chested pass back went wrong, leaving the goalkeeper scrambling towards his line to retrieve the ball – which rolled inches wide.

Wilder’s team survived the resulting corner for a first Premier League win of the season and first in 21 games since defeating Chelsea at Bramall Lane on July 11.

Premier League: Sheffield United v Newcastle United

The Blades picked up their first win of the season on Saturday, beating League One side Bristol Rovers 3-2 in a game where they were twice pegged back by their lower league counterparts.

Shortly after, Newcastle exited the competition after losing 2-0 to Arsenal after extra time, missing a host of chances to win the game within 90 minutes.

As attention turns back to league competition, this game serves as one that both sides will regard as important, with Sheffield United’s time running out to begin their fight against the drop.

They’ve yet to win this season in the league, but will fancy their chances against a Newcastle side that haven’t won any of their last six games in all competitions.

As such, the bookies have Chris Wilder’s side as the favourites to win the match, which outlines just how the Magpies have slumped recently.

Steve Bruce’s back five system remains unpopular with fans, but a back four formation may be used as they target a win against the Blades which could ease the gap between them and the bottom three.

The Newcastle boss confirmed that he left some players out of the visit to Arsenal in order to be fresh for the trip to the Steel City, with Fabian Schar, Karl Darlow and Federico Fernandez all ready to return to the squad. Whether Darlow will get the nod over Martin Dubravka remains to be seen, after the Slovakian stopper turned in an excellent performance at the Emirates on his return from injury.

Allan Saint-Maximin is waiting for COVID guidelines to rule when he can return to training so will miss out, but Jamaal Lascelles got through most of the Arsenal game before being substituted due to fatigue, and could make the squad.

Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey were among those who didn’t travel to London, and should both make the squad, along with Jamal Lewis, who has been struggling with a knock recently.

For Sheffield United, Chris Wilder has five players who are struggling with injuries and will be assessed closer to kick-off. Lys Mousset, Enda Stevens and George Baldock are more likely to make the squad than Phil Jagielka and Billy Sharp though. Sander Berge is out for up to four months with a tendon injury.

A win for Sheffield United could take them to within three points of West Brom at the bottom of the table, while a Newcastle victory would put them 11 points clear of the relegation zone after 17 games.

Newcastle United take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, January 12th. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Arsenal edge out Newcastle in FA Cup win

The Gunners finally broken their visitors resistance after the 100 minute mark with crucial goals from Emile-Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal looked bright and breezy in the opening stages with Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe testing Martin Dubravka.

But despite the positive start in North London the game descended into a slug fest after the break with half chances for Willock and Andy Carroll.

The introduction of Smith-Rowe tipped the balance for Arsenal in the extra 30 as the England U20 international superbly fired home.

Newcastle threw the kitchen sink at it in the final minutes but Arsenal wrapped it up in last few seconds as Aubameyang tucked home his first goal in over a month.

Full Time at the Emirates Stadium it’s Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0

Leicester City kick off 2021 with 2-1 Newcastle win

The Foxes begin the New Year back in third place as second half goals from James Maddison and Youri Tielemans secured a big three points on Tyneside.

Both sides struggling to get going in a freezing opening 45 at St. James’, with wasted chances from Jamie Vardy and Tielemans the closest to an opening.

However, despite hitting Magpies defensive wall before the break, the visitors did finally conjure a breakthrough ten minutes after the restart.

Harvey Barnes’ run scattered a host of Newcastle defenders as he fed in Vardy as the Leicester talisman squared for Maddison to smash past Karl Darlow.

That released the pressure on the Foxes from there on out as Tielemans made the game safe with 15 to play with a rocket into the bottom corner.

But in the spirit of very little making sense at the moment, Steve Bruce opted to throw on Andy Carroll in the closing minutes.

And in a moment for Premier League trivia fans to savour in the months ahead he smashed home his first Newcastle goal in over a decade.

Full Time at St. James’ Park it’s Newcastle 1 Leicester City 2

Premier League Preview: Newcastle United v Liverpool

The Reds slipped to a late draw against West Brom last time out, and with Everton and Manchester United breathing down their necks, Klopp needs a result on Tyneside.

The German coach rotated against the Baggies and he looks likely to tinker again to keep his options fresh with James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain potential starters in this one.

As for the hosts, Steve Bruce’s selection plans are still be governed by an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

Jamal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin are still sidelined for the Magpies, but Bruce can recall Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick.

And it’ll be a late start to complete this round of Premier League action with an 8pm kick off at St. James’ Park on December 30th.

Premier League: Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United

Gundogan put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead on a wet Boxing Day night after fine work from Raheem Sterling with 14 minutes gone at the Etihad Stadium.

Torres added the second early in the second half and Bernardo Silva struck the post as City, who face a trip to Everton on Monday, eased to victory.

Both sides were without key players following positive Covid-19 tests, with City’s Gabriel Jesus and Kyle Walker following Newcastle pair Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles into self-isolation.

Not surprisingly, it was star-studded City who coped with the absences better. Again manager Pep Guardiola saw no need to rush record goalscorer, Sergio Aguero, into his starting line-up, naming the Argentinian on the bench as he eases back into action after knee trouble.

Steve Bruce tried to shake his Newcastle side up after their Carabao Cup quarter-final loss to Brentford. Federico Fernandez, Fabian Schar, Joelinton and Matt Ritchie came in while Callum Wilson was on the bench and Jonjo Shelvey was left out altogether.

With the win, Pep Guardiola’s side climb to 5th in the league table on Monday night whilst Steve Bruce’s Newcastle remain just shy of mid-table in 12th.

Premier League Preview: Manchester City v Newcastle United

Pep Guardiola’s side have quietly been rediscovering their best form in the last month and the Spanish boss finally looks to have hit on winning formula this season.

However, despite being in the middle of their best run of the campaign, the demands of a packed schedule means he will be forced to rotate against the Magpies.

Pep’s defence should stay the same over the festive period but the returning Fernandinho, Phil Foden and Sergio Aguero could be drafted in.

As for Newcastle, Steve Bruce will continue to wing in terms of his line up with a Covid-19 outbreak at the club still forcing his selection.

Key pair Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lascelles remain sidelined due to the virus.

But Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis should shake off knocks in time to start.

And Kick Off is a late one on Boxing Day with an 8pm start at the Etihad Stadium.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce confirms two continuing Covid-19 cases at St. James’ Park

Club captain Jamal Lascelles and star man Allan Saint-Maximin have been confirmed as the two players in question with Bruce stating he has no timescale on their expected return to action.

The Magpies have been battling to contain an internal outbreak of the virus at their Darsley Park training base since the start of the month.

That forced the postponement of their clash with Aston Villa on December 1 but the club has since stated they are confident the situation is now under control.

And that’s latest your update from St. James’ Park check back in soon for more with the Sport Social.

10-man Fulham battle out 1-1 Premier League draw at Newcastle

The Cottagers were forced to play the final stages with ten men, but thanks to some battling spirit, they held on to edge themselves out of the relegation zone.

Both teams created decent chances in bright and breezy opening on Tyneside as former Magpie Aleksandar Mitrovic tested Karl Darlow and Alphonse Areola denied Miguel Almiron.

But with the visitors posing the greater threat, Parker’s team deservedly took the lead before the break.
Tosin Adarabioyo’s towering header from a Lookman corner caught the Newcastle defence flat footed as
Matt Ritchie a bizarre own goal past Darlow.

However, despite struggling to gain a foothold before the break, a rapid Newcastle counter on the hour flipped the tie on its head.

Callum Wilson was too quick for Joachim Anderson, with the Dane shown a straight red for hauling him down inside the box.

And the England hitman kept his calm to confidently slot past Areola.

The impressive Lookman and Joelinton exchanged chances in a frantic final few minutes but in the end neither side had enough to squeeze out a winner.

Full Time on an entertaining night at St. James’ Park it’s Newcastle 1 Fulham 1

Premier League: Newcastle United v Fulham

It’s hard to tell which Newcastle side will turn up when kick-off arrives, with the Geordies having won three and lost three of their last six league games in contrasting performances.

Morale-boosting wins over Everton, Crystal Palace and West Brom have been paired with damaging defeats against Southampton and Chelsea, while they were soundly beaten 5-2 by Leeds United in midweek.

Meanwhile, Fulham have shown improvement in their last four games, taking five points as Scott Parker’s squad shows signs of gelling ahead of a tight relegation battle.

Once upon a time, Parker plied his trade as a player at Newcastle and will be making his first visit to St James’ Park as a boss, and will have former Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to try and grind out a result with. Mitrovic has lost his place in the Fulham team in recent weeks though, with Ivan Cavaleiro leading the line instead.

Newcastle’s current crop of strikers have been led by the impressive Callum Wilson this season. The former Bournemouth man already has seven goals to his name this year, one more than Newcastle’s top scorer from last season managed.

That player was Jonjo Shelvey, who may return to the starting lineup after being an unused substitute in the defeat to Leeds on Wednesday.

Shelvey’s influence will be important if Newcastle are to keep the ball more than they have been recently. The Geordies have the lowest average possession of any Premier League team, and have never had more than 48% of the ball in any league game so far this season.

As far as team news goes, Steve Bruce’s defensive ranks are still recovering from the worst of their recent COVID outbreaks. Newcastle only had one fit centre-back against West Brom, but welcomed back Federico Fernandez against Leeds. Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Javi Manquillo all missed the loss and are likely to continue their spell on the sidelines when Fulham visit.

Martin Dubravka was scheduled to be back from an ankle injury recently but hasn’t been part of a squad yet, so Karl Darlow will continue in goal, while Paul Dummett is another one missing for a longer period. Allan Saint-Maximin has missed three games with a calf injury but could make the squad.

Fulham have a smaller injury quota to deal with, with only Terence Kongolo definitely out. Bobby Reid came off during the draw with Brighton with a knock and will be assessed, while Kenny Tete is also a doubt as he continues to build match fitness after injury.

A win for Newcastle would put more daylight between themselves and the bottom five, and could move them to the brink of the top ten if other results favour them, while Fulham will be hoping to go above Brighton before they play on Sunday.

Newcastle United take on Fulham at St James’ Park on Saturday, 19th of December. Kick-off is at 8pm.

Premier League: Leeds blitz lacklustre Newcastle 5-2 at Elland Road

The visitors went ahead against the run of play midway through the first half through Jeff Hendrick, but goals either side of the interval from Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo turned the game on its head.

Ciaran Clark levelled soon after Rodrigo’s goal, but Dallas restored Leeds’ advantage, while swift counter-attacks led to Alioski and Harrison getting on the scoresheet – the latter finding the top corner from 25 yards.

Leeds drew a line under back-to-back defeats – but their weaknesses at set-pieces were once again laid bare – while Newcastle were denied a third successive win for the first time since November 2018.

This was the first top-flight meeting between the clubs since January 2004, while Leeds had not beaten their opponents at Elland Road since September 1999, but they were well worth the three points here.

While they were unchanged from the side beaten by West Ham, Steve Bruce made four changes to a Newcastle side still without several players because of coronavirus – although Ryan Fraser made his first start since the start of last month.

They made a purposeful start, with Isaac Hayden’s cross-shot briefly panicking backpedalling Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier before settling on the roof of the net, but the hosts gradually got on top.

Alioski and Harrison linked up well, leaving Jacob Murphy exposed down Newcastle’s right-hand side, but a number of teasing crosses into the area were missing the final touch.

Liam Cooper rose highest at the far post from a corner but Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow dived to his left to save before Fraser served notice of the visitors’ intent, forcing Meslier to parry away a curling effort.

Fraser then provided a cross which was flicked on by fellow summer signing Callum Wilson and turned in by Hendrick, another recent arrival at St James’ Park.

Leeds responded well to conceding in the 25th minute with Rodrigo’s ball into the area just evading Raphinha, whose powerful left-foot volley moments later through a crowd of bodies was instinctively pushed away by Darlow.

But Leeds would not be denied. The influential Raphinha’s cross was met by the equally impressive Rodrigo, whose header looped over a despairing Darlow and onto the crossbar, leaving Bamford with a simple finish in the 35th minute.

Newcastle regrouped at the interval, although their appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears, even though Cooper seemed to make no contact with the ball before bringing down Wilson with a crunching challenge from behind.

The Magpies were becoming increasingly sloppy in possession, inviting pressure from Leeds, who went ahead for the first time in the 61st minute when Harrison’s left-wing cross was met by a bullet header from Rodrigo.

Darlow was helpless as the ball nestled in the far corner but the goal drew a reaction from Newcastle, with Wilson’s strike forcing Meslier into a fingertip save, after which Leeds’ set-piece problems were exposed again.

Fraser’s corner to the back post saw Clark get above his marker to head beyond Meslier at the far post in the 65th minute – the eighth goal Leeds have conceded from set-pieces this season.

But the seesaw nature of the game continued as Sean Longstaff was punished for dithering on the ball in the area. Mateusz Klich’s ball from the left bounced over Jamal Lewis and was headed in at the back post by Dallas.

Newcastle were then twice caught on the counter. First, Leeds burst upfield from a Newcastle corner and the composed Alioski finished well in the 85th minute.

Another Newcastle corner led to Leeds charging upfield once again, with Harrison superbly finding the top corner with a left-foot effort from outside the area.

Premier League: Leeds United vs Newcastle United

Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be aiming to stop a run of two successive defeats, after losing away at Chelsea before a 2-1 defeat to West Ham last time out, while Newcastle are in contrasting form.

The Magpies beat Crystal Palace before a COVID-19 outbreak caused a delay to their season, before beating West Brom at home on Saturday thanks to a late Dwight Gayle header. It’s the first time Newcastle have won back-to-back games this season.

Before the West Ham game, Bielsa named his starting XI during his pre-match press conference, but has said he will stop revealing team news from now on after the attention it received. It’s commonplace across Europe to reveal line-ups well before kick-off, but after defeat to David Moyes’s side, it won’t be something the Argentinian will repeat.

In another contrast, Steve Bruce kept his cards so close to his chest that Newcastle’s line-up against West Brom was a complete mystery until an hour before kick-off, with the club struggling to count the bodies available after the COVID outbreak caused a postponement against Aston Villa.

As it turned out, only three players who started the win over Palace were missing, with Isaac Hayden filling in at centre-back. This week, Federico Fernandez has returned to training and will be available for the trip to Leeds though, meaning Hayden may return to a more familiar central midfield role.

Newcastle will be without Paul Dummett and Martin Dubravka through injury, and there’s questions over Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles, who all missed the win over West Brom.

Leeds also have defensive worries, with new signings Robin Koch and Diego Llorente both injured, meaning Luke Ayling is likely to continue at centre-back alongside Liam Cooper. Adam Forshaw and Gaetano Berardi are also missing.

A win for Newcastle could take them into the top half of the Premier League table, while Leeds could go 11th if they manage to get their first win in December and other results go their way.

Leeds take on Newcastle United at Elland Road on Wednesday, December 16th. Kick-off is at 6pm.