Matt Ritchie's corner was headed on by Federico Fernandez and when Miguel Almiron
ducked under the ball, Dwight Gayle was on hand to tap home from barely a yard out
in front of the Rookery Stand.
Hornets 0 Magpies 1
52 mins Matt Ritchie's clumsy attempt
to win the ball saw him make contact with Kiko Femenia's knee in the box and Troy Deeney blasted
his penalty kick straight down the middle to beat Martin Dubravka.
Javier Manquillo ran into trouble
from a throw-in, attaching himself limpet-like to Sarr in
the area and dragging him over as the attacker turned. You'll
struggle to see a worse bit of defending at any level and although the contact wasn't
enough to floor Sarr, the level of stupidity from the defender deserved to be
Dubravka guessed what Deeney would do this time from the spot but
forgot to raise his hands in time, although the penalty couldn't have been
hit much harder.
Full time: Hornets 2 Magpies 1
"Decisions are meant to be clear and obvious but the
penalties looked remarkably soft to me. It was just what Watford
needed, you may call us naive, but I felt they were very soft.
"This is the fourth call like this in a few days. The first was
softer than the second. To lose a game in this manner is difficult
"I thought our first-half performance was excellent, Saint-Maximin
forced a good save from Ben Foster that could've made it 2-0 and
they needed a shot in the arm.
"I thought the only way they could beat us was through set-pieces -
the first penalty gave them a lifeline.
"Whether we were naive or they were soft, I'll let others make
that judgement. We're not getting the decisions in my opinion.
"I thought we needed Fabian Schar's physicality and I think it
worked in the first half. Him playing in midfield is something we've
worked on in training so it's given me food for thought. With Sean
Longstaff and Isaac Hayden out we're short, so I picked him for his
Responding to Nigel Pearson's pre-game comments:
"Itís all about opinions. I think we all need fans back in the game.
Whether itís suited us or it hasnít, we all need the supporters back
"Thatís what makes it the spectacle. Itís not quite the same when
itís behind closed doors. How many really good games have you seen?
Have you seen a really good game where youíve thoroughly enjoyed it?
Nigel Pearson said:
"Anything can happen. We have to keep our focus now, and it is not about
thinking the job is done - we have got three more games to make sure we
win enough points ourselves.
"What happens elsewhere can help, but if you are reliant on that you are
in for a bit of a shock, so our focus has to be there.
"We are always working hard to try to find the solutions to the
situation we find ourselves in.
"Back in December it didn't look possible and we have had some decent
runs and difficult times but throughout it all you have got to remain
with a balanced view.
"We know we've got good players and really important match-winners but
this win was about us being able to respond to disappointment and still
being able to function. That is not easy, especially with there being no
fans, but it has been a reasonable week for us so far."
From his programme notes:
"Iíve seen some other managers talking
about the different a lack of a crowd can make, and I go along with the
sentiments about it being quite tough at times to play in an environment
that really is so unusual.
"Iím not sure how Steve
(Bruce) feels about this, because I know just how expectant the
supporters can be from working there, so perhaps theyíve found it to their
Newcastle made their tenth top-flight visit to Vicarage
Road and still await a first victory there (five draws, five losses).
Dwight Gayle scored his third PL goal of the season, all of
which have come in the club's five post-restart fixtures.
With a visit to Brighton left, United have scored 18
PL goals away from home this season - replicating their
total in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.
By our reckoning this is the sixth occasion that their opponents have scored
more than one penalty against Newcastle in a Premier League game:
2004/05 Aston Villa (h) lost 0-3. Barry 73 & 80 mins.
2010/11 Bolton Wanderers (a) lost 1-5. Davies 18 & 90+3 mins.
2011/12 Manchester City (a) lost 1-3. Balotelli 41 & Aguero 72 mins.
2011/12 Fulham (a) lost 2-5. Murphy 52 & Zamora 68 mins.
2015/16 Everton (h) lost 0-3. Barkley 88 & 90+4mins.
2019/20 Watford (a) lost 1-2. Deeney 52 & 82 mins.
Magpies @ Vicarage Road - all-time:
2019/20 Lost 1-2 Gayle
2018/19 Drew 1-1 Rondon
2017/18 Lost 1-2 Perez
2015/16 Lost 1-2 Lascelles
2015/16 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
2009/10 Won 2-1 Coloccini, Carroll (Championship)
2006/07 Drew 1-1 Dyer
2006/07 Drew 2-2 (won 5-4 pens) Sibierski, Parker (LC)
1999/00 Drew 1-1 Dabizas
1992/93 Lost 0-1
1991/92 Drew 2-2 Kelly, Hunt
1990/91 Won 2-1 Anderson, Quinn (D2)
1989/90 Drew 0-0
1988/89 Lost 0-1 (FAC)
1988/89 Drew 2-2 Brock, Mirandinha (FAC)
1988/89 Lost 1-2 McDonald (FMC)
1987/88 Drew 1-1 Anderson
1986/87 Lost 0-1
1985/86 Lost 1-4 OG
1984/85 Drew 3-3 Beardsley, Wharton, McDonald
1981/82 Won 3-2 Varadi, Todd 2 (D2)
1980/81 Drew 0-0
1979/80 Lost 0-2
1978/79 Lost 1-2 Pearson (FLC)
1923/24 Won 1-0 Seymour (FAC)
NUFC after 35 games - last three seasons:
2017/18: W11, D8, L16. Gd -9 (scores 35, conceded 44) 41 points.
2018/19: W11, D8, L16. Gd -9 (scores 35, conceded 44) 41 points.
2019/20: W11, D10, L14 Gd -16 (scored 36, conceded 52) 43 points.
was fifth time unlucky wearing the
orange change strip
for United this season, but they did maintain
their record of scoring first in each game:
Spurs (a) PL won 1-0
Rochdale (a) FA drew 1-1
West Bromwich Albion (a) FA won 3-2
Bournemouth (a) PL won 4-1
Watford (a) PL lost 1-2
Despite enjoying a comfortable interval lead at Vicarage Road on
Saturday, Newcastle deservedly suffered a second away defeat in four
days as their season drifts towards a conclusion.
Dwight Gayle gave the orange-clad Magpies a 23rd minute advantage
from close range, but spot kick conversions from Troy Deeney in the
52nd and 82nd minute left Nigel Pearson's Hornets on the verge of
confirming top-flight survival.
Steve Bruce made five changes to the side beaten 0-5 at Manchester
City; Jamaal Lascelles, Javier Manquillo, Dwight Gayle, Miguel
Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin returning at the expense of Emil
Krafth, DeAndre Yedlin, Joelinton, Valentino Lazaro and Nabil
Two early chances fell to Almiron before the hosts came mightily
close to taking a 16th minute lead. Danny Welbeck's shot rebounded
off the crossbar and was desperately close to the goal line
before Lascelles hacked it clear - goal line technology proving that
the whole of the ball hadn't crossed over.
Within seven minutes the visitors were ahead; Matt Ritchie's corner
headed on by Federico Fernandez and Almiron ducking under the ball
for Gayle to tap home from barely a yard out.
Saint-Maximin's pace and balance gave him the opportunity of a
second on 35 minutes, but goalkeeper Ben Foster blocked
his slightly awkward effort.
Some sort of response from a lifeless home side was anticipated in
the second period, but Newcastle were to be architects of their own
downfall; combining suicidal defending with languid play that gave
Watford every encouragement to attack them.
An equaliser arrived seven minutes after the restart when Matt
Ritchie made contact with Kiko Femenia in the box and Deeney blasted
his penalty kick straight down the middle to beat Dubravka.
A second goal for Watford and Deeney was then almost gift-wrapped
when Fernandez surrendered possession deep in his own half, but
fortunately the Hornets Captain directed his shot straight at the
Barely 90 seconds later, Welbeck's shot was deflected on to the top
of the Newcastle net, the hosts exploiting the wide open spaces
afforded to them in central midfield.
While Matty Longstaff looked on from the bench, United persisted
with the over-run and under-supported Fabian Schar and left the
non-functioning Shelvey on. Isaac Hayden's stock rises with each game
The possibility of taking a point that our second half performance
barely warranted was increasing as the game moved into the closing
stages, and Watford struggled to turn pressure into clear-cut
Having failed to concede a spot kick in the Premier League all
season before today though, United contrived to give away a
second within half an hour.
A series of Newcastle substitutions and defensive reshuffling
saw Manquillo swap from the right flank to the left - and almost
immediately he ran into trouble, attaching limpet-like to Sarr in
the area and dragging him over as the attacker turned.
Dubravka denied Deeney from 12 yards here two years ago, but was
unable to prevent Watford's top scorer from hammering home again to
ensure a second comeback victory for his side within five days.
West Ham's 4-0 victory at Carrow Road confirmed that Norwich City
will be playing in the Championship next season, leaving two
relegation places still to be filled.
It looks increasingly unlikely that the Hornets will occupy one of
those, thanks in no small part to our second half largesse and lack
Watford gave out free ice creams after our 2018 visit here; two years on, it was the visitors who were in a benevolent
mood - and easily licked....
We're sad to report the passing of Newcastle fan
David Proud at the tragically young age of 34. An adopted
Geordie, David was regularly found cheering on the lads at the
George & Dragon Pub in Fremont, Seattle, USA.
David is pictured with Obafemi Martins during the time that the
former Magpie striker was with MLS side Seattle Sounders. Our
condolences go to his family and the lads and lasses at Toon Army