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Season 2019-20
Leicester City (h) Premier League


Wednesday 1st January 2020, 3.00pm
Live on BT Sport

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Defenceless
Admission: Cheapest tickets were £40



Leicester City

0 - 3




36 mins Unforced error #1: Florian Lejeune opted to roll a pass across his own box in the direction of Fabian Schar. However Ayoze Perez was lurking and quickly took possession. Facing towards goal, Schar stuck one leg out behind him and caught the City striker as he cut inside.

A penalty would have doubtless followed, but Perez was able to get his shot away as he went to ground and the ball ended up in the net via a slight deflection off Federico Fernandez. 

Unforced error #2: from almost the same spot, Lejeune's low first-time clearance was aimed towards Jetro Willems, but he lost out to Ricardo Pereira, who was alert enough to flick it back in the direction it came from.

That pass in turn was neatly played infield by Perez to James Maddison, who had acres of space in which to take a touch before pumping an excellent shot into the top right hand corner of the Gallowgate End net from just on the "D".

Half time: Magpies 0 Foxes 2

87 mins A fine team-worked goal saw substitute Demarai Gray and Perez exchanges passes just inside the box before Onyinye Ndidi's short pass arrived at the feet of Hamza Choudhury. Ignoring the option of a colleague overlapping to his right, the midfielder registered his first-ever senior goal with a measured blast that nestled in the back of the net via the underside of the crossbar. 0-3

Full time: Magpies 0 Foxes 3

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"I've been involved in the game for 40 years but I've not seen anything like that.  We lost four players in 20 minutes and gifted them two goals.

"You get injuries by forcing players to play tired. That's not an excuse, it's a fact. I was concerned before the match, I made that clear.

"You don't want it to happen that way. It could have been five we lost because
(DeAndre) Yedlin broke his hand (within a minute of arriving on the field), he manfully played on. 

"In all the years I've been involved I don't think I've been involved in a crazy 15 minutes like that.

"I said it a month ago that to ask players to play four games in 10 days is ludicrous. Today is the consequence....Saturday will be our fifth game in something like fifteen days.

"In the first half, I thought we gave the ball away too cheaply - thatís what I was agitated for - and weíve given the ball away in an awful position, which has cost us.

"Weíve lost four players with muscle injuries. We wonít know how bad those injuries are until they get scanned. Itís been a bad week."

They Said

Brendan Rodgers:

We played very well, particularly in the first half. We really attacked the game when we had the ball and when we didn't have the ball, and that led to two really good opportunities for us.

"The first goal, we press it, Ayo(ze Perez) anticipates it really well, cuts it out and then shows great skill to finish. 

"The second goal as well, we press it, win it back, and then it's a great bit of individual quality from James to score. I thought we were well deserving of that in the first half.

"Unfortunately for Steve and Newcastle, they
(lost Fabian Schar though injury) at the beginning of the half, but then I was really pleased with our game idea then because we were happy to have the ball, work them side to side and wait for more openings. They came, we just couldn't quite finish.

"But then we get the third goal through a great finish by Hamza (Choudhury) and it rounded off a good day for us.

"We played very well in the first half with a new system. The players had great fluency. We pressed really hard.

"We worked them in the second half, stretched the game and it led to the third goal. 

All three of our goals were wonderful. James Maddison is a magical player who has so much talent and confidence. e are so happy for Hamza Choudhury to get his first goal - he's a local boy who loves Leicester City.

"Itís a special moment for him Ė his first goal for the Club Ė to have come through the system here, [heís] been out on loan and involved with the first team. Heís getting better in his football and he knows thatís something that I want him to improve on Ė his comfort with the ball.

"He can play, but itís having that confidence to take it more. Also, if youíre playing in an eight, youíve got to look to get up there to score goals and he showed today his technique. It was a wonderful finish and right in front of the supporters. It was a really special moment for him.

"There is no way on this earth that you can ask players to play at the intensity we want without making a lot of changes. We made changes at West Ham and again today.

"Jamie Vardy has a tight calf, he is being treated and I didn't want to take any risks."


Newcastle lost back to back home games for the first time since December 2018.

The Foxes cruised to their fourth successive Premier League victory at St. James' Park - five in all competitions, including their League Cup penalty shootout conquest here back in August 2019.

Having played against his former club twice this season without scoring, ex-Magpie Ayoze Perez netted against us at the third attempt. Technically speaking however, this wasn't his first goal against us, having registered an own goal while playing for Newcastle in this fixture last season...

Our last blank festive trio of games came as recently as the 2015/16 campaign, when Steve McClaren was nominally in charge of 0-1 defeats by Everton (h), West Bromwich Albion (a) and Arsenal (a) in an eight day period from Boxing Day onwards.

Foxes in Toon - last 20:

2019/20 lost 0-3
2019/10 drew 1-1 (lost on pens) LC
lost 0-2
 lost 2-3 Joselu, Gayle
2015/16 lost 0-3
2014/15 Won 1-0 Obertan
2009/10 Won 1-0 Guthrie
2003/04 Won 3-1 Ameobi, OG, Jenas
2001/02 Won 1-0 Solano
2000/01 Won 1-0 Cort
1999/00 Lost 0-2
1998/99 Won 1-0 Glass
1997/98 Drew 3-3 Barnes, Tomasson, Beresford
1996/97 Won 4-3 Shearer 3, Elliott
1994/95 Won 3-1 Albert 2, Howey
1992/93 Won 7-1 Kelly 3, Cole 3, Lee
1991/92 Won 2-0 Hunt, Clark
1990/91 Won 2-1 McGhee, Sloan
1989/90 Won 5-4 McGhee 2, Quinn 2, Gallacher
1986/87 Won 2-0 Goddard, Wharton

First footing: NUFC 01.01 post-war record:

1946 Sheffield Wednesday (a) won 2-0
1947 Nottingham Forest (h) won 3-0
1948 West Bromwich Albion (h) won 3-1
1949 Preston North End (a) lost 1-2
1953 West Bromwich Albion (h) lost 3-5
1954 Blackpool (h) won 2-1
1955 Sheffield United (a) lost 2-6
1957 Birmingham City (h) won 3-2
1966 Aston Villa (a) lost 2-4
1969 Real Zaragoza (a) lost 2-3
1972 Wolves (a) lost 0-2
1973 Leicester City (h) drew 2-2
1974 Arsenal (a) won 1-0
1980 mackems (h) won 3-1
1983 Carlisle United (h) drew 2-2
1985 mackems (h) won 3-1
1986 Everton (h) drew 2-2
1987 Manchester United (a) lost 1-4
1988 Nottingham Forest (a) won 2-0
1990 Wolves (h) lost 1-4
1991 Oldham Athletic (a) drew 1-1
1992 Southend United (a) lost 0-4
1994 Manchester City (h) won 2-0
1997 Leeds United (h) won 3-0
2003 Liverpool (h) won 1-0
2005 Birmingham City (h) won 2-1
2007 Manchester United (h) drew 2-2
2014 West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 0-1
2015 Burnley (h) drew 3-3
2018 Stoke City (a) won 1-0
Leicester City (h) lost 0-3





Newcastle's useless Yuletide continued with their third defeat in seven days, a 0-3 loss at SJP to Leicester on Wednesday making it a disastrous start to the decade.

The Magpies shipped five goals without reply at the King Power in September with Isaac Hayden dismissed late in the first half, and once again Steve Bruce's side had to face the Foxes with just 10 men for almost half of the game.

This time it was injury that left United short-handed; forced to use all three substitutes by the 46th minute. By the 47th though, Fabian Schar had pulled up and after making an unsuccessful attempt to play on, soon limped off with a hamstring problem.

Wing backs Jetro Willems (groin) and Javier Manquillo (hamstring) were both crocked and replaced within 90 seconds late in the first half. Jonjo Shelvey then failed to appear after the interval, yet another hamstring victim.

By then though things could hardly have got worse for Newcastle, who again dispensed festive gifts to their opponents and were severely punished for it, as happened at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Florian Lejeune - making a fourth start in just 12 days after returning from a prolonged layoff - made two costly blunders within just four minutes to set Leicester on their way to their fourth successive league victory on Tyneside.

The first was an inexcusable pass across his own box straight to old boy Ayoze Perez; the Spaniard scooping the ball past Martin Dubravka and into the Gallowgate End net despite Schar tripping him. 

No prizes for guessing how he celebrated.

Just three minutes later in the 39th minute, Perez took advantage of another loose Lejeune pass and played in James Maddison who took a touch before netting with an unstoppable effort.

A repeat of the scoreline in the first meeting looked likely, but thankfully City took it easy, at least until some late substitutions gave them an added spark.

Insult was then added to injuries when one of those replacements Hamza Choudhury - who crocked Matt Ritchie here in the League Cup - stepped up to fire in his first senior goal in the 87th minute.

That was enough to empty the stands of home followers still further, although the drift of the disillusioned had begun at half time - when United exited from the field to a chorus of boos.

For the opening 35 minutes, those supporters had seen no goals but Dubravka forced into a double block in just the third minute as the Foxes threatened to carry on where they left off.

With Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle both on the bench, United began with a lightweight front trio of Miguel Almiron, Yoshinori Muto and Joelinton - the latter bearing down on goal on 25 minutes, only to mess up his shot and fail to direct a header from the rebound in the direction of the goal. 

That was to be the limit of our attacking threat though; Newcastle deeply unimpressive when they had a full complement of players and the game was scoreless, despite the absence of Jamie Vardy. 

The second half was a glorified training drill as the hosts tried to keep the scoreline down in an eerily quiet ground, save for the away support - and those who remained to abuse Choudhury.

Three successive defeats coupled with points gains for some of the sides in the lower half of the table leaves United in thirteenth and looking over their shoulders - five points ahead of Bournemouth, currently in the last relegation place.  

That puts the pressure firmly back on Newcastle as the transfer window opens, with eminently losable games at Wolves, at home to Chelsea and at Everton before it closes, followed by what increasingly looks as a season-defining meeting with Norwich City at SJP.

Only then will the seasonal break that Bruce so desires arrive - and under those circumstances, he could be forgiven for hoping that a blank date on Fourth Round day (January 25th) comes to pass. 

Rather than deliberately fielding a weakened lineup in the FA Cup at Rochdale on Saturday though, Bruce will now be forced to do so by what he deems to be drastic ill-fortune. Others may not be so forgiving, and pick holes in his selections, substitutions and training methods.

There's also the little matter of a mismatched squad Bruce inherited that isn't fit for purpose; Muto's return a reminder of funds wasted by Benitez and our supposed record signing Joelinton less effective than Joselu.

Unless Newcastle can do meaningful business in this window (in stark contrast to misadventures of the Doumbia and Slimani variety), then our Premier League destiny would seem to rest on getting and keeping Saint-Maximin and Carroll intact. The rest of them just look bewildered.

Some hint of the Cup lineup should come on Friday, when the U23s face Fulham; the absence of development squad players like Ludwig Francillette, Lewis Cass, Oisin McEntee, Ollie Walters and Ryan Barrett pointing to possible senior squad involvement on Saturday.

With Owen Bailey and Stefan O'Connor out and Kell Watts recovering from injury, we're hardly bursting with defensive options though: our U23s tenth in the twelve team Division 2 competition.

Despite that, the head coach is looking to the stiffs for reinforcements and in post-match comments today appeared to rule both Jamie Sterry and Henri Saivet out of his plans for Saturday's tie.

Fellow discard Jack Colback also isn't in contention - Bruce telling reporters that he'd sustained a knee injury recently during training that will keep him out until May.... you couldn't write this.  

Rolando Aarons meanwhile remains on loan at Wycombe Wanderers at least until January 13th. Has anyone got a number for Curtis Good?, it's beginning to look a lot like Oxford....


Page last updated 02 January, 2020