Bradford City (a) Friendly
Bantams 0 Magpies 0
51 mins From United's next attack Jacob Murphy strode through and stuck the ball past the advancing 'keeper after some nifty footwork (although he later admitted to a stroke of luck when the ball unintentionally clipped off his heel to set up him to shoot) 2-0
76 mins Rolando Aarons evaded the attentions of a defender to run into space on the left side of the box, and his low cross allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic to shoot home from close range in front of the unused away stand 3-0
79 mins Another ball in from Aarons was teed up by Jacob Murphy and then volleyed home from 12 yards to round off the scoring. 4-0
Full time: Bantams 0 Magpies 4
Rafa Benitez said:
"It's maybe not the same when you're
already in the Premier League and you need three or four maximum.
"But we have a problem, which is
obvious, which is we already have too many players. We have to move players
out if we want to move players in.
"They had strength and pace all over the park and you saw Jonjo Shelvey's passing ability.
"We were absolutely delighted with the work ethic of the boys in the first half but we were always going to tire. They brought a lot of fresh legs on and we've got a few injuries at the minute.
"We knew it was a massive step up, even
from Saturday against Sunderland.
"The lads certainly got a really hard session from this game.
We have GPS now for the lads so we can check the figures, but I'm sure they
will have put a lot into this match.
Newcastlereached the halfway point in their six game warm-up schedule on Wednesday evening, scoring four second half goals without reply in a one-sided contest at Valley Parade
The Bantams were unbeaten at home in League One last season and defended in depth to keep United for the first 45 minutes before succumbing to the inevitable defeat.
After Dwight Gayle edged his side ahead with a third pre-season goal, new boy Jacob Murphy bagged a brace either side of one from Aleksandar Mitrovic.
All 22 players who travelled were used, Karl Darlow, Grant Hanley and Callum Roberts dropping down from the squad that drew 1-1 at Preston in favour of Matt Ritchie, Jesus Gamez and Henri Saivet.
Making his first appearance since a hernia operation in May, Ritchie got into his stride quickly and both he and Jonjo Shelvey tested City's 'keeper early on while Gayle dragged an effort wide.
Shelvey looked to have given his side a 23rd minute lead after an ambitious run took him to the byline before hammering the ball in from a narrow angle. However it was ruled out for a handball.
Ritchie and DeAndre Yedlin then combined well down the right and the Scottish international skimmed the bar with his 27th minute effort after scampering down the flank.
Two minutes before half-time the opener looked set to arrive when a perfect through ball from Shelvey set Christian Atsu away on goal - only to miskick totally.
Javier Manquillo made his second appearance for the club after the break - this time at right back - while Murphy and Mo Diame were also introduced. Henri Saivet later arrived in the unusual role of centre back, partnering Chancel Mbemba.
Gayle broke the deadlock on 50 minutes, nudging Atsu's low centre from the left over the line, with the linesman confirming it was in. And barely a minute later, Murphy doubled the lead when he strode through and stuck the ball past the advancing 'keeper after some nifty footwork.
With United powering forward, Gayle then just failed to connect in front of goal as he charged to meet an Atsu centre on 58 minutes.
Rolando Aarons crossed from the left for Mitrovic to knock home the third in the 76th minute and three minutes later Murphy got his second with a 12-yard volley after taking a touch from another Aarons cross.
Murphy then had the opportunity to claim his hat-trick following a flowing forward move from United, but unselfishly opted to release Mitrovic, whose shot was blocked by a recovering defender.
There was a late flare-up between Aarons and City's Tony McMahon, with both yellow-carded although the home player seemed to be the guilty party.
Having been voted Bantams man of the match, McMahon tried his luck from distance but failed to beat Freddie Woodman - who tipped over the shot before fisting the resultant corner clear.
City included on-loan Newcastle reserve Alex Gilliead down the right but like most of his colleagues, opportunities to impress were in short supply - keeping the scoreline down a more pressing task.
A night of positives then, with the intensity of Ritchie pleasing to see and a confidence boosting brace for Murphy. And at this early stage, the comfort that Lejeune seems to enjoy in possession is encouraging - along with his ability to unceremoniously clear his lines when required.
What is open to considerable question though is to whether we are genuinely improving the squad ahead of our top-flight return, or just changing some of the names for a comparatively low outlay.
A collective term for the quartet of new faces could well be punts, with little or nothing in the way of proven quality and expertise. Benitez may well be able to maximise the potential of our recruits, but it remains to be seen whether that's enough to achieve any more than fourth bottom.