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Season 2019-20
Sheffield United (h)
Premier League


Sunday 21st June 2020, 2.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: Uninhabited

Programme: No hard copy was issued by NUFC but the full size 68 page issue was available as a free download.



Sheffield United

3 - 0




Half time: Magpies 0 Blades 0

55 mins Danny Rose took a throw-in deep in his own half down the left, the bounce catching out both Joelinton and an opponent. Matt Ritchie ran onto the loose ball and pushed forward along the touchline and towards the Gallowgate End, Chris Basham shadowing but making no challenge.

Miguel Almiron was available on the overlap as Ritchie neared the corner of the Blades area but instead he played a low infield pass across the box that Enda Stevens seemed certain to reach and clear from the penalty spot.

Somehow the Ireland international managed to miss the ball completely, allowing the lurking Allan Saint-Maximin to beat Henderson at his near post with a low right foot shot from the angle of the six yard box.

69 mins Attempting to attack down the Newcastle right Saint-Maximin ran into a blind alley and checked back half as the ball began to run away from him and Oli McBurnie half-cleared it infield.

Jonjo Shelvey beat Oliver Norwood and Isaac Hayden took possession before slipping it towards Matt Ritchie towards the left. With George Baldock back-pedalling ahead of him, Ritchie strode forward before catching it with his left foot from 22 yards as John Lundstram caught up with him. Goalkeeper Henderson was completely bamboozled by the in-swinging effort.

78 mins An aimless ball out of defence was headed across the centre circle by McBurnie and fell for Saint-Maximin, who scooped it towards Joelinton .

He took a controlling touch before pushing it out to Almiron his left as former Magpie Basham attempted to intervene. Miggy got into the area and squared the ball for the Joelinton to flick home from close range - a replica of the finish in his side's first post-lockdown kickabout here two weekends earlier.

The scorer hammered the turf with his hand in delight before putting the ball up his shirt and joining new father Jamaal Lascelles in a thumb-sucking celebration. That bairn wasn't conceived when he last scored in the PL! 3-0


Full time: Magpies 3 Blades 0

We Said


Steve Bruce said:

"I am sure the fans will have been watching at their homes, have had a tin of beer and have celebrated a 3-0 win.

(Joelinton) wants to do well: it’s never easy being given the number nine shirt to play for Newcastle, never. With the history of the club and what it is, it thrives on the number nine.
"He’s a young lad, and to come from a different country and league, there’s no doubt he’s found it tough. He found it tough today again, but he’s got a goal and hopefully that will make him a lot better.

"He wants to achieve things, and when they’ve got a good attitude like he has, you know they’re going to be okay. He’s scored a goal, and we’ve been working on getting him into that area in the box.

"Something like 68% of goals are scored there, and we got two of them in there today with Allan (Saint-Maximin) and him. I’m very, very pleased.

"When somebody wants to achieve something and do well, we all want him to do well too. He’s a really genuinely good lad, and he gives his all for the team.

"Once you keep doing that, and you’re a team player like he is, then you’re going to get the respect of everybody. I think we’re all just delighted for him. That’s two or three he’s got over the last few games.

"Personally, he’s probably suffered in the lockdown more than anybody. He’s had no family here, no friends, and he’s been holed up in an apartment somewhere.

"It’s been really, really difficult for him, and I’m delighted for him because he’s a genuinely good pro and he can only get better.

"We tried to change early in the season, but the one thing I detected very quickly is that they weren’t ready for change. With the experience I’d like to think I’ve got, I just said, ‘Why change it? Let them be comfortable’.

"But the time came when I thought our big players at the top end of the pitch weren’t becoming a threat in the final third. They were working so hard for the team, but we had lost that bit of counter-attacking threat.

"I didn’t think we were a big enough threat, so the time was right to change. It’s proven at the moment that they’re enjoying it, and we’re certainly more of a threat. We scored three against West Brom in the cup tie and scored three again today. Things are looking up.

"After the restart, the one thing you want to do is get off to a good start: although my staff have just said it could only happen to me that we have a 3-0 win and there’s nobody here to see it!”

On the sending-off:

(The first yellow) was a little bit handbags. I don't think either of them deserved a yellow card but I can understand how Chris (Wilder) must feel.

"The second one was a yellow, it could have been a red maybe. The big decisions in big games, you need them to go for you.”

They Said

Chris Wilder said:

"'I'm sick and tired of people talking about the Champions League and Europe and what a great season we have had.

"This is what is happening in the present and at the moment we have produced two bang average performances.

"There is no flow to our play which there was in the period leading to the lockdown. It's a double whammy – we are not that fluent and we are making mistakes.

"I think the players need to give themselves a shake. You have to play at a maximum to get a result in this league and we usually have done all season.

"We’re just off the pace at the minute and I can’t put my finger on it.

"They were poor goals from our point of view. We looked a bit sorry for ourselves late on and that’s what disappoints me. We haven’t got a long time and I didn’t enjoy that, and the players understand that as well.

"Players need to give themselves a shake. We have to play at our max to get a result in this division.

“We can’t play at 75 per cent or in second gear, there might be periods when that happens but we have to be full at tilt and haven’t been.

On the sending-off:

"The dynamics of the game completely changed when John
(Egan) went off.

"It is a really poor decision. John’s tried to take a quick free kick and the boy’s got hold of the ball,
(usually) the referee pushes both players away and gets on with it.

"Me and Steve (Bruce) were astonished that they got yellow cards. The second one was a definite yellow but (the first) is ridiculous, the game hasn’t changed that much and if so it’s in a worse place than it should be.

“Two boys showing a bit of angst against each other, and it wasn’t managed by the referee. Does it play a part in the result? Of course, because we’re a man light and then we give away a poor goal."


Newcastle returned to action by playing their first competitive game in the month of June since a 2-4 defeat at Newport County on June 7th 1947.

Blades in Toon - last 10:

2019/20 won 3-0 Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Joelinton
won 2-1 Lovenkrands, Nolan
2006/07 lost 0-1
1999/00 won 4-1 Shearer, Dabizas, Ferguson, Gallacher (FAC)
1993/94 won 4-0 Beardsley 2, OG, Cole
1989/90 won 2-0 Gallacher, Quinn
1988/89 won 2-0 Hendrie, Mirandinha (LC)
1985/86 drew 1-1 Cunningham (FR)
1978/79 lost 1-3 Shoulder
1976/77 won 3-1 T.Craig, Burns, McCaffery (FAC)

Newcastle's 950th PL game saw them record win number 356, of which this was the 239th of 475 at SJP. A sixth home win of the season means that they've exceeded their previous worst tally in the PL (five in 2008/09).

Matt Ritchie ended a 1,396 minute wait for a PL goal since netting at Bournemouth in March 2019. The gap between Joelinton's first PL strike at Spurs last August and his second against the Blades was 2,131 minutes.

That three goal salvo increased our home PL tally to 15 for the season, three ahead of Crystal Palace who had been level with us before today.

Following a 2-0 success at Bramall Lane in December, Newcastle completed their second league double of the season, Southampton being the first.

Newcastle scored more than two goals in a PL home game for the first time this season. The last time they achieved that feat was when Southampton were defeated 3-1 here in April 2019.

One has to go back a month previous to that to find the last time that we scored three times in one half (PL) before today: turning a 0-2 interval deficit against Everton into a 3-2 victory.

A third successive clean sheet in the PL means that it's now 316 minutes since we last conceded a goal in that competition, when Patrick van Aanholt struck for Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Since Leicester City's Hamza Choudury shot home in the closing stages of his side's 3-0 win at SJP on New Years Day, no visiting player has scored here in the PL - a run now stretching to 363 minutes.

That run includes four successive home clean sheets in the Premier League - the first time that the Magpies have managed that since March and April 2012. The 2012 sequence was eventually halted after 496 minutes.

(The last opposition goal at SJP in 2020 came from Rochdale's Jordan Williams in the FA Cup, 454 minutes ago). 

Newcastle have conceded just 12 times at home in their 15 PL home games; the joint best tally in the Premier League this season, along with Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Magpies @ SJP 2019/20 (PL):
(half time score in brackets)

Arsenal lost 0-1 (0-0)
Watford drew 1-1 (1-1)
Brighton drew 0-0 (0-0)
Manchester United won 1-0 (0-0)
Wolves drew 1-1 (1-0)
Bournemouth won 2-1 (1-1)
Manchester City drew 2-2 (1-1)
Southampton won 2-1 (0-0)
Crystal Palace won 1-0 (0-0)
Everton lost 1-2 (0-1)
Leicester City lost 0-3 (0-2)
Chelsea won 1-0 (0-0)
Norwich City drew 0-0 (0-0)
Burnley drew 0-0 (0-0)
Sheffield United won 3-0 (0-0)

Taking full advantage of the temporary rule change, Newcastle made the maximum of five replacements for the first time in a competitive game.

United's loan trio of Nabil Bentaleb, Valentino Lazaro and Danny Rose all featured in this game after agreement was reached with them and their parent clubs on short-term extensions to remain at SJP this season.

Four first team squad members meanwhile were in a similar situation, with their current deals at SJP expiring in the coming days. No confirmation of what duration deals have been agreed was forthcoming, but Andy Carroll and Javier Manquillo both played today.

Matty Longstaff meanwhile was missing due to injury, while Rob Elliot is in the 25 PL squad but wasn't involved in today's matchday 20.



Second half strikes from Allan Saint-Maximin, Matt Ritchie and Joelinton gave Steve Bruce the most resounding Premier League victory of his Magpies managerial career on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle scored three times in front of a deserted Gallowgate End following the 50th minute dismissal of Blade John Egan for a second bookable offence.

The ex-mackem was booked following a first half flare-up with Joelinton and sent off after hauling down the home side's number 9 en route to goal.

Within five minutes an awful defensive rick from Enda Stevens gave Saint Maximin the chance to hammer in his side's first home goal in 325 minutes.

Matt Ritchie then finished to banish his own goal famine before an exchange of passes between Saint-Maximin, Joelinton and Almiron ended with the Brazilian doubling his league tally from close range.

Returning to competitive action after an enforced 106 day break since their 1-0 victory at Southampton, 10 of the 11 fielded at St. Mary's by Newcastle were retained, Joelinton returning at the expense of Dwight Gayle.

The number 9 missed the best chance in the 17th minute of a low-key first half, striding into the opposition box before inexplicably spooning his shot towards goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

At the other end, Chris Wilders side quickly faded after forcing a handful of early dead ball situations; fit-again Martin Dubravka under-employed in recording his third successive clean sheet.

The only time that looked in any doubt was at 1-0, when Billy Sharp got in front of Javier Manquillo and met a right wing cross at the back post, but headed wide.

Victory for the Magpies took them to 38 points, 11 clear of the relegation zone. Initially 12th, a point for Everton against Liverpool on Sunday night left Newcastle in 13th - as they had been after their previous game.

As the manager himself observed, it's typical of this club to go goal crazy when their long-suffering supporters are forced to watch from afar.

The lack of a crowd did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Saint-Maximin, who began on the left flank but swapped sides with Ritchie after the break, scampering around like he'd never been away.

Those questioning whether his desire to dribble would diluted by the lack of a crowd obviously didn't see lockdown videos of him nutmegging his pooch...

While ASM was deservedly voted man of the match by Sky Sports though, the contribution of Joelinton was a positive one, albeit less high-profile.

Taking up a good position when Almiron made it to the byline after 10 minutes but saw his pullback blocked, things hardly augured well for the number 9 when he supplied a woeful non-finish soon after.

At that point, any notions that Joelinton could prosper playing behind closed doors seemed beyond hopeful; his apparent fear of crowds matched by apprehension when confronted with open spaces....

But clashes with Egan in either half ultimately tipped the numerical balance in our favour and at the risk of being obvious, his close-range finish was only possible because he actually made it into the area for oncee - and the uncharted territory of the opposition six yard box.

We've celebrated strikers here before for their aerial prowess, long-range shooting ability and various other attributes. £40m (or whatever) seems like a lot to pay for a goal poacher, but conversions from two yards are as precious as those from 22.

Put him in the box, give him the ball and he might just score. Quite why this has taken so long (15 PL home games) beggars belief.

The poorness of the visitors and the sending-off helped make this a good day for Newcastle, but Bruce's side look to have benefited from the enforced break and emerged in rather better nick than they went into it.

The Southampton scoreline masked what was an inept display against ten men for over an hour and a failure to score in any of our four league games before that was hardly a viewing feast. 

At least one of our players may not have "given a f**k" about the nation's morale, but today's game - and outcome - was a boost for supporters who endured a bloody awful few months in their work and home lives, not to mention the ongoing takeover tribulations.

All a bit odd, but it's good to be back.


For Flapper.

Page last updated 25 June, 2020