Rare Blades defensive errors hand Newcastle big win


Newcastle United 3 : 0 Sheffield United

You might expect passion in a match between two sides coached by men who supported them growing up. Fiery exchanges, meaty tackles and foraging attacks down the wing. That’s not an expectation that will be repeated by anyone who watched the first half of this game.

Sheffield United have the second best defence in the EPL but two of the stalwarts in that achievement, Irishmen John Egan and Enda Stevens made basic errors for the visitors in two key second half moments, which handed a hitherto lacklustre Newcastle the win.

Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie and Joelinton scored the goals, the third after the game was competitively over.

Blades boss Chris Wilder made one change to his side following Wednesday night’s draw at Aston Villa. Joelinton replaced Dwight Gayle from the line up before the enforced break for the home side.

Matt Ritchie’a powerful left foot tested Dean Henderson in the Blades goal with a long range effort in the game’s first opportunity, and the keeper denied Joelinton’s abject finish that typified the striker’s poor confidence inside the first twenty minutes.

Sheffield had plenty first half possession but seemed more able and content to get to half time with their excellent defensive record in tact.

They succeeded, but fate was about to spin a web that the Blades could not cut through.

Egan was sent off for a second yellow card four minutes into the second half for hauling back Joelinton. Both had been booked for a first half altercation by referee David Coote. It was the Brazilian’s most important contribution to his side’s cause at that point.

Sheffield United’s ambition had not been that great before. It would have dwindled to naught had it not been for a comedy moment involving Irishman Stevens six minutes later.

Ritchie provided an innocuous looking left wing pass into the Blades area, and to everyone’s astonishment, Stevens kicked fresh air and the ball dribbled between his legs. The ball fell sweetly at Saint-Maximin’s feet. He gave Henderson no chance and the Geordies the lead.

Down a goal and a man, Sheffield United could barely afford Billy Sharp to head their first clear opportunity of the game wide, following George Baldock’s superb cross.

Ritchie’s explosive left foot doubled the lead on 70 minutes, Baldock was outfoxed by Danny Rose’s superb outside left run, which left the defender in two minds whether to close down Ritchie. This allowed the Scotsman a sight of goal and this time, Henderson had no chance.

Twelve minutes from time Joelinton finally ended his scoring drought with a tap in as the Blades defence and resistance crumbled.

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle: Dúbravka, Manquillo, Fernández, Lascelles, Rose, Hayden, Shelvey (Lazaro 85′), Ritchie (Yedlin 91′), Almirón (Schär, 85′), Saint-Maximin, Joelinton (Carroll 77′).

Subs: Darlow, Gayle. Muto, Krafth, Bentaleb.

Sheffield United: Henderson, Baldock, Stevens, Fleck (Luke Freeman 74′), Basham, McBurnie (Kieron Freeman 85′), Sharp (Živković. 74′), Egan (sent off 49′), Norwood, Robinson, Berge (Lundstram 65′).

Subs: Jagielka, Mousset, Osborn, Moore, Rodwell,

Behind Closed Doors


About Author

Comments are closed.