A swift break down the Watford left saw Marvin Zeegelaar (wearing an
eye mask following "contact" with Andy Carroll in a previous game)
pull a ball back for Will Hughes to find the corner of
the Gallowgate goal, with question marks over the positioning of both
Newcastle full backs 0-1
Once again the visitors found acres of space in front of the East
Stand and Zeegalaar's low cross was sadly deflected between Rob Elliot and his near
post by DeAndre Yedlin.
The move that led to the goal originated deep in the Watford half, where Mo
Diame looked to have been illegally impeded as he lost possession. 0-2
Magpies 0 Hornets 2
Richarlison surged forward down the left wing before swinging a ball to
the far post where Andre Gray found the Leazes End net with a close range volley.
Again there were concerns over the failure of both full backs to track back,
while Ciaran Clark stood helplessly in the middle
Full time: Magpies 0 Hornets 3
"It was a classic game of the Premier League. You make mistakes and
you pay for that.
"We can work harder,
work better and that's it. We have to realise that this is the Premier
League and you have to be strong as a unit... We have to stick together like
we did in a lot of games and improve that.
"It was important (Watford's
second goal). We knew we had made a mistake but we were on top of them in
the first half and then when we conceded the second goal, it was quite
"You have to take more risks in the
second half. We were a little bit more open and then we lose the control.
Especially after the third goal, we lost control of the game.
"I was telling them that we have to
realise where we are and what we have to do for the future. We still have a
few points to go to get 20 points in the first half of the season and we have
to keep working harder.
"I see West Brom as the next
challenge and we will try to put things right in this game.
"Coming back from the Championship, every game will be tougher so it will
be difficult for us. Not just the next one, that will be the most difficult
for now, and then after, we have a lot of them.
"If my target for the first half of the season is 20 points and we have
14, we have to be sure we use these next six games to get those points.
"We then have to try to improve in
the second half of the season. We have to learn in the Premier League what
happens if you make one mistake.
"It will be tough, but I still think we are in a good position. Itís
important in any team, especially a young team. When you are winning it gets
easier. The only way is to stick together.
"I think the fans have been really
good all season, but maybe after today a lot of them will realise itís not a
question of players or what system we play, it is about sticking together and
we will have more problems.
"This is what we have. We have a team of young players and they are
working hard but we are playing against good teams who are organised.
"After the game I just said to them
what we did wrong.
"If you lose a game through lack of character or passion, but here we
made mistakes. This team has the passion and character to come through this.Ē
"I don't want to compare and it is not my job to compare with last season, but
of course, I know what Watford did last season but it is a new year and I think
my players are working very well.
"They work well during the week and they played very well again today. They
understood what we had planned for the match. I'm really pleased, it is very
important for us.
"Our philosophy is to always play to score but I really like my team to always
have good balance and to keep very good defensive organisation. With this in our
team, we can attack well. If we don't defend well, then we can't attack well.
"We could do it today because we kept our good organisation today and like
normal, we created chances and usually you score in the match.
"I think we achieved good things during the match and we deserved the win,
congratulations to everyone. Now is the moment to rest and prepare for the next
"I'm happy in this moment but my job is to prepare the team for the next match,
prepare well for the next session. I don't usually change a lot when we win or
"I am happy because we won this match. We performed really well again, to have a
clean sheet is really important for us as a team as well."
Newcastle lost four successive league games for the first time
since March 2016 (Chelsea away, Stoke City away, Bournemouth home, Leicester
Watford beat the Magpies for the fourth time in a row (League and
Cup)- their best-ever form since the two clubs first met back in 1924.
An OG from DeAndre Yedlin was the first by a Newcastle player since
Ciaran Clark at home to QPR back in February - which was one of four we
registered in 2016/17 (Lascelles at PNE, Lascelles at Forest and Mbemba
at home to Wolves - the latter the last one in the Leazes net before
Toon - all time:
2015/16 lost 1-2 Janmaat
2009/10 won 2-0 Lovenkrands, Pancrate
2006/07 won 2-1 Martins (2)
1999/00 won 1-0 Gallacher
1992/93 won 2-0 Peacock, Lee
1991/92 drew 2-2 Hunt, Clark
1990/91 won 1-0 Quinn(pen)
1989/90 won 2-1 Quinn, Gallacher
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FACR)
1988/89 drew 0-0 (FAC)
1987/88 won 3-0 O'Neill, Wharton, Tinnion
1986/87 drew 2-2 Anderson, McDonald
1985/86 drew 1-1 Gascoigne
1984/85 won 3-1 Megson, Cunningham, Reilly
1981/82 lost 0-1
1980/81 won 2-1 Hibbitt, Shinton
1979/80 lost 0-2
1931/32 won 5-0 Allen 3, Boyd, Richardson (FAC)
Stand and deliver
It's now four
defeats in a row for Newcastle as Rafa's side crumbled to their worst defeat of
the season at St. James' Park on a bitterly cold Saturday afternoon.
Two first half goals, the second an own goal in time added on, gave United a
mountain to climb after the break and they never even made it to base camp
before the visitors added a decisive third.
Although inferior to Watford all over the park, the black and whites created enough
scoring chances to have got something from the game, albeit with the Hornets
wasting various opportunities of their own. It could have been 3-7.
With Mikel Merino fit enough only for bench duty and Isaac Hayden suspended,
Rafa Benitez made only one change to the side beaten at Old Trafford - Mo
Diame coming into central midfield for his second Premier League start of
the season. That's two too many...
Watford looked confident from the start and led in the 19th minute after a swift break
down the left saw mask-wearing Marvin Zeegelaar pull a ball back for Will Hughes to find the corner of
the Gallowgate goal in similar fashion to Gayle against Manchester United.
Midfielder Hughes was of course scouted on countless occasions by Newcastle
while a Derby County player, but we opted to "invest" in more
The visitors then missed a glaring chance to double the lead almost
instantly, as the home defence went AWOL once again: the Watford gap was
down our right.....
Our forward combination of Joselu and Gayle weren't causing many problems
but both had the ball at their feet in the box without testing the
goalkeeper, while Jonjo Shelvey fired over from a decent position.
As had been the case last week though, United went in at the interval having
crucially conceded a second goal in time added
on - this time a low left wing cross deflected in by Yedlin for an OG.
United's delivery into the box had been poor and it didn't really improve as
the second half began but the destination of the points wasn't quite decided
then, Watford having taken and then lost leads in their last two away games -
turning 2-1 into 2-4 at Chelsea and 2-0 into 2-3 at Everton.
Richarlison however showed how it was done just after the hour mark, swinging the ball
from the left to
the far post where Andre Gray found the net with a close range volley to
remove any doubt that United would be beaten on home territory for the third
time this season.
That brought Merino and Aleksandar Mitrovic from the bench - Joselu's final
act in an inept display being to slide in to meet Jacob Murphy's through
ball, but manage only to tap the ball back to the goalkeeper.
Mitrovic made a nuisance of himself, but was just as
profligate as his team mates and emulated Joselu in shooting meekly at Gomes
when Shelvey played him in.
At the other end, Gray continued to miss chances that could have earned him
a hat-trick but there was the nagging feeling that like Manchester United
last week, had they needed to score further goals then they'd probably have
It's perhaps unfortunate that our recent favouring of 4-4-2 has coincided
with the loss of Jamaal Lascelles, but of equal concern is the absence of a
goalscoring threat - something that is just as glaring at U23 and U18 level,
where both sides sit on or near the foot of their leagues and are regularly
outgunned by their counterparts from Championship clubs.
Even making allowances for the level of opponent the first team were facing
though, trying to play a more
expansive game hasn't resulted in any improvement in the goals for column -
but has certainly had a negative effect in the goals conceded.
Defeat dropped Newcastle two places into thirteenth and Southampton's 4-1 victory
over Everton on Sunday then pushed us down another spot.
Tuesday's game at West Bromwich Albion assumes an even greater level of
importance, ahead of what could be a very uncomfortable December with three
of the current top six lying in wait.
Whether the smug grin of Alan Pardew greets United at the Hawthorns remains
to be seen - our former boss confirming that he's had a
"conversation" with Albion. Like
talk of a Toon takeover though, that's nothing more than a sideshow to the main
business happening on the pitch.
Some audible booing at the end of both halves received a swift response from the
manager in his post-match quotes, seeking to underline just who and what we are
- a freshly-promoted squad suffering from a lack of meaningful investment and
lacking genuine cover across the park.