Owls 0 Magpies 0
59 mins Yoan Gouffran gave
away a needless foul on Jack Hunt towards Wednesday's right touchline, almost
level with the edge of the Newcastle area.
After a brief hold-up while Wednesday made a substitution, the game restarted
with Ross Wallace swinging a free kick into the box ball was to where Tom Lees
out-jumped messrs Murphy, Diame and Mbemba to send a looping header from 10
yards over Karl Darlow
in front of the Kop. 0-1
68 mins Mo Diame was fouled by the halfway line but
referee Attwell waved play-on and a throw-in was eventually conceded by the left
hand corner flag. When that was sent over by Daniel Pudil, Steven Fletcher flicked a header
from the front of the six yard box over Darlow. 0-2
88 mins Anita's long ball in from the United right reached Aleskandar
Mitrovic in the Wednesday box, who looked to have pushed Lees as he took the ball down.
volleyed goalwards and although Westwood blocked that effort, he could only palm
it into the path of Jonjo
Shelvey, who stabbed the ball home from six yards. 1-2
time: Owls 2 Magpies 1
"It is very disappointing, we didn't do what we had to today, we
made too many mistakes. We gave them chances at the beginning but even with the
mistakes, we could have scored a late goal and gone into the dressing room
"After we started the second half much better we had chances and were
on top of them, then we gave a silly foul and gave a goal away from it. We didn't manage the situation the way we have to. We had some
chances at the end and their keeper was making saves.
"Yes, he (Mitrovic) did (make an impact), but I
didnít like the way that we played because it was without control. We were
playing with our hearts and not our brains, and, when you do that, you donít
know what can happen.
"Heís the player (Shelvey) that shoots from outside the box,
to try and create some chances, but Iím not very happy with how the
players managed the game.
"We have to have some more experience and then manage it in a different
way. You cannot waste time when you need time, when you need to play quick
you can play quick, when you need to calm down you can calm down. I think
that we didnít do well.
"You must analyse the two or three things that you can improve. You can
do nothing about the things you cannot improve, but what you can improve you
must, and as soon as possible.
"As soon as possible will be the training session on Monday - we must
prepare in the training sessions to do good things and make sure we do these
things in the games too.
"We have to wake up and be ready for the next game. We have five games
to play and we are in a good position."
were near our best and very, very good against the best side in the competition.
We ran and fought for every ball and made it very difficult for Newcastle to
play their football.
"We had chances from very early in the
game but I had every confidence we would score.
"I am pleased for all the players
because sometimes you do not get what you deserve in football Ė today we did.
"We are Sheffield Wednesday, and this is what I mean by it. We went
face-to-face with Newcastle who are very strong. I hope this kind of
environment is repeated.
"It was a very nice game, we played against the best team in the
competition. We won and we deserved to win. We created three or four clear
chances to score in the first half.
"Everybody will agree with me that we were the best team on the pitch and we
deserved to win the game. We were very positive in the game, we moved the ball well.
"Even when we are
missing chances we have expectations that we will score goals. We played
some very good football.
"All I care about is Sheffield Wednesday because if we win our games we
will finish in the play-offs, this is the fact.
We can only care about ourselves right now because everything is in our hands.
"Of course, we look at the results but
what matters to me is the position of Sheffield Wednesday. The competition is
reaching the end and we must make sure we are there at the finish line.Ē
now looks like this:
Mags @ Owls - last ten:
2016/17 lost 1-2 Shelvey
2009/10 drew 2-2 Nolan, Ameobi
1999/00 won 2-0 Shearer, Gallacher
1998/99 drew 1-1 Shearer
1997/98 lost 1-2 Tomasson
1996/97 drew 1-1 Elliott
1995/96 won 2-0 Ginola, Beardsley
1994/95 drew 0-0
1993/94 won 1-0 Cole
1990/91 drew 2-2 McGhee 2
Wednesday have now beaten us in three successive games, two this season
in the Championship following their 1-0 win at SJP in the League Cup last
season. That hasn't happened since 1957.
Jonjo Shelvey netted his fifth competitive goal for Newcastle, all in the
Aleksandar Mitrovic ended a seven game absence from the side with his
first appearance since the 2-2 home draw against Bristol City in February.
Our away league form in 2016/17
L W W W D W W W W L W W L W W D W W D D L
With trips to Ipswich and Cardiff remaining, United remain on 13 away wins -
equal with their best-ever season (1992-93).
mostly blue home kit Wednesday have adopted this season meant that United were
able to break with recent tradition and wear black and white for once here.
Previous visits have seen us appear in a variety of change strips: yellow, grey,
blue and maroon hoops, dark blue and of course the bespoke green kit only ever
worn here. We had wondered whether our 1974 FA Cup Semi-Final win over Burnley
here was the last time our home kit was worn, but a check through the Biffa
archive confirmed it was a recently as February 2000:
Newcastle's latest attempt at playing catch-up with leaders Brighton and Hove
Albion came a cropper in the Hillsborough sunshine on Saturday
Glenn Loovens nodded in the only goal of the game to the dismay of the
Gallowgate crowd back in December and second half headers from Tom Lees and
Steven Fletcher here tonight saw the Owls complete a seasonal win double over the
United did belatedly get on the scoresheet after 88 minutes when substitute
Aleksandar Mitrovic's shot was blocked and Jonjo Shelvey netted the rebound.
However a late free kick from Shelvey in a dangerous position was wastefully
driven into the wall, ending faint hopes of an undeserved point.
Making just a single change to the starting lineup that had beaten Burton
Albion at home in midweek, Yoan Gouffran returned in place of Christian Atsu - while
Chancel Mbemba retained his place in central defence and Mo Diame again
featured in a holding midfield role.
Newcastle began the game with a measure of composure, but had an early
let-off when Gary Hooper rattled Karl Darlow's crossbar in the second
minute. The visitors survived another gilt-edged chance on 16 minutes when ex-mackem Fletcher corkscrewed a shot wide from inside the
box and Darlow did well to deny Hooper after the Celtic old boy wriggled past
Mbemba on the byline.
Matt Ritchie had taken a knock in the warm up from a team mate and was left
writhing on the ground after a reckless challenge by Barry Bannon earned the
Villa man a fortunate yellow from referee Stuart Attwell - other whistlers
would have shown red.
Having shown little in front of goal in the opening 45 minutes, United almost
went in ahead thanks to the brilliance of Shelvey, who saw Keiren Westwood off
his line and shot from inside his own half - striking the crossbar and leaving
the 'keeper in the net.
Newcastle's best period came in the opening part of the second half as they kicked
towards their own fans, whose noise levels steadily
increased as Shelvey twice forced Westwood into stops.
However the Owls made the breakthrough immediately after that, Lees heading in
a free kick. And within ten minutes the game had slipped through
our hands as Fletcher got to a throw-in ahead of Jamaal Lascelles and headed
beyond Darlow - Ciaran Clark's absence again costly at set
With one eye on our goal difference compared to Brighton's, Jordan Rhodes
thankfully failed to get his first-time effort on target in the 80th minute.
And although Shelvey halved the arrears in the closing minutes, his wasted
free kick and a goalbound header from Lascelles were all we could muster, as
the Owls held out to boost their own playoff hopes.
Quite simply, not enough players were on their game here: Ritchie ineffective
after his two misadventures, Perez frustratingly wasteful and Mbemba often
looking uncomfortable as the back four struggled to cope with Wednesday's high
balls into the box throughout the game.
Shelvey was the pick of our bunch, playing more of a box-to-box role rather
than his usual deep-lying quarter back role. And while the manager may have
reservations about fielding twin strikers, the pairing of Murphy and Mitrovic
again proved to be instantly successful - the ball was in the net at
Birmingham in January within five minutes, today it took barely three minutes.
To round off a dispiriting day for Rafa Benitez, Dwight Gayle was forced off
in the first half with a hamstring problem affecting his other leg rather than
the one that has sidelined him recently.
Having benefited from a settled side for much of the season - with the changes
in personnel made being voluntary (and allowing for a policy of leaving the
defence alone) - we've steadily seen our options reduce since the January
transfer window close.
Aside from the vulnerability we show when Clark doesn't play, The absence of
DeAndre Yedlin has certainly reduced our attacking range and pace. In midfield
meanwhile, continued concerns over Isaac Hayden's fitness saw Diam. We'd
recorded that he'd been OK there against Burton in midweek but our fears about
him in a more testing environment such that this were sadly realised. To a
lack of passing and tackling prowess, a dislike of heading the ball can now
also be added.
Huddersfield Town's 0-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest at least preserved the ten
point margin between ourselves and the third-placed Terriers. And while that may bring automatic promotion a step closer for Newcastle with
five games remaining, our latest result strengthens the possibility that it
could be as runners-up to Chris Hughton's side.
The vagaries of the Sky-influenced fixture list mean that victory for
Brighton at Wolves on Friday teatime would leave us five points behind before
facing Leeds United immediately afterwards. And were Preston to beat Huddersfield earlier that day,
a Seagulls win would confirm their promotion.
More positively, our defeating Leeds combined with Huddersfield failing to win
would put Rafa's side 12 or 13 points ahead of a Terriers
side with just 15 points to play for. Promotion is still in our hands and a
colossal effort on and off the field on Friday and Monday could still result
in an Easter rising.