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
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
time: Magpies 0 Foxes 2
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
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."
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
"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."
lost back to back home games for the first time since December
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.
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
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
Foxes in Toon - last 20:
2019/20 lost 0-3
2019/10 drew 1-1 (lost on pens) LC
2018/19 lost 0-2
2017/18 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
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
2020 Leicester City (h) lost 0-3
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
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
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
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
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
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....