Date: Sunday 15th January 2023, 2.00pm
Live on Sky Sports
Venue: St. James' Park
1 - 0
Magpies 0 Cottagers
(69 minutes Mitrovic
Jacob Murphy laid the ball out to Kieran Trippier on the
United right just shy of the box. An off-colour Tripps hadn't crossed well all day
and played it back to Sean Longstaff, whose cross found Callum Wilson at
the far post.
Wilson's initial header glanced off Issa Diop but United's number 9 had the presence of mind to
instantly return the rebound across goal to Alexander Isak who headed into
the empty Gallowgate End net from a yard out.
Magpies 1 Cottagers 0
"Certainly a crazy second half: a lot happened in it.
"I thought the first challenge
could have been a penalty. That wasn't given. The second one I
didnít think was but was bizarrely given. The double touch I
couldnít see, but I was really pleased to see it go that way.
"These moments can sometimes do
that. Something happens, a flash point, we didnít concede. The crowd
were really good for us from that moment on.
"It's been a really good first
half of the season for us. We've improved from the start of the
season to now. I think there's still more growth in the team to
"I'm very pleased with the player's commitment and what they've
delivered for the team and for me and the club, so I think we're in
a good place - but the challenge only gets harder."
"Difficult decision for me to make. I spent a long time
yesterday debating that with my coaching team. There was a lot to
consider. We understand the seriousness but have to a take a lot of
conditions and thoughts into account."
On goalscorer Isak:
"The goal was a special moment. So pleased for Alex. You want to hit
the ground running at a new club and he did before the injury. He
had to wait and watch the team do well in his absence. Heís worked
hard. For these moments the work was worth it."
On injury victim Bruno:
"He was in distress, and he was worried about his ankle after
the game too. It was a twist. He felt he could carry on until right
at the end of the first half when he signalled to come off. Thatís
never a good sign from our perspective, and weíll have to get it
scanned and checked out, and see what the damage is.
"We hope itís not long term, but at this moment in time, we donít
"Should he have come off a bit
earlier? Yeah, probably, with hindsight. But the player wanted to
stay on and I always tend to go with the player as long as it's not
a concussion. The players know how difficult the Premier League is,
and they know their bodies better than I do.
"He was probably limping for five
minutes or so at the end of that first half, but itís always a
difficult one, right on half-time, to make a change. You like to try
to do that in the calm of half-time to make a proper decision. He
played very well in the first half, despite the injury.
"Weíll see how he is. Iíll assess the injury, but we are light
in midfield, thereís no doubt about that. Weíre missing Elliot
(Anderson) as well, whoís another player who can play there, with
what we think is a minor calf problem.
"Weíll get a diagnosis on Brunoís injury and then make a decision.Ē
On the latest Wor Flags creation:
"I didn't expect it or know it was there, so to come out and see
that was a really nice surprise for me personally. I'm very thankful
for that to everyone connected with Wor Flags."
Marco Silva said:
"So many things to say about the ref's performance. But first I will say
that I am really proud of the players and my team. We had ambition, quality,
desire and showed why we are doing so well this season.
"I have to say Newcastle's physicality and quality is really good. From the
first minutes, we demonstrated our quality. We did not have enough time to
prepare well after we had a tough, tough game 60 hours ago.
much fresher than us. We never lost our organisation. We showed always that
we were very compact as a block. Unlucky afternoon for us.
"The referee. It is a clear penalty, red card for the player and the game
would be completely different. The fourth official gave it but the referee
made his decision.
"On Andreas Pereira, it was clear that it was a red card.
The red card would have made it completely different, with 10 men. I felt it
from the first minute unfortunately.
ďItís difficult to see how the referee did not see at least one before the
VAR. There were many fouls from Newcastle but the decisions today were
almost all against us.
"It can happen; I can have bad afternoons and the referee did not have his
best game. But the first foul (by Dan Burn) was a clear penalty and
red card. It is a clear mistake from the referee and I donít see how VAR
missed the red card. It made a huge impact.
"I have much more problems with that than the penalty itself. If Mitrovic
touched it twice, it has to be disallowed.
"Credit to Newcastle, they are a really strong side as well. We missed a
penalty and we should have attacked more. Credit to them for not giving us
more chances. We knew that we could not press for the full 90 minutes.
were very unlucky this afternoon. Very unlucky the way we lost this game. It
went against us."
Newcastle made it 14 successive league games without defeat, only
the third time that they've achieved that feat in the top flight. Unlike
the other two instances however, they have done it in a single season.
Their 14 game unbeaten run in Division One began with the
closing three of the 1949/50 and was then extended by the first 11 in
1950/51. Similarly, their 14 game unbeaten run in the PL began with the
final trio of matches in 2010/11 and then included the opening 11 in the
from 19 games represents Newcastle's highest halfway tally since the 2001/02 season,
when Sir Bobby Robson's side had amassed 39.
In our 28 seasons of Premier League participation, we've only exceeded
that points tally twice (and matched it on one other
Halfway in* - NUFC 19 games in, PL
2022/23 38 points, 3rd
2021/22 11 points 19th
2020/21 19 points, 16th
2019/20 25 points, 10th
2018/19 17 points, 15th
2017/18 18 points, 15th
2015/16 17 points, 18th
2014/15 26 points, 9th
2013/14 33 points, 8th
2012/13 20 points, 15th
2011/12 30 points, 7th
2010/11 22 points, 13th
2008/09 22 points, 12th
2007/08 26 points, 11th
2006/07 25 points, 11th
2005/06 25 points, 11th
2004/05 22 points, 14th
2003/04 26 points, 7th
2002/03 32 points, 6th
2001/02 39 points, 1st
2000/01 27 points, 7th
1999/00 20 points, 15th
1998/99 24 points, 12th
1997/98 26 points, 10th
1996/97 31 points, 6th
1995/96 45 points, 1st
1994/95 38 points, 3rd
1993/94 32 points 4th
(*1993/94 and 1994/95 were 42 game seasons; 19 games wasn't
It's also worth recording that 38 points is a higher total than we
registered in the entire 2008/09 (34 points) and 2015/16 (37 points)
In 19 PL games this season, United have conceded 11
goals and Nick Pope has kept 11 clean sheets. It's
eight games and 722 minutes since he was last
beaten in all competitions, his PL stats five games and
Newcastle haven't conceded a goal at SJP during their most recent eight games, five in the Premier League, three in the League Cup.
Since Ivan Toney's penalty conversion there in October, they've kept the
opposition out for a total of 756 minutes (486 minutes in PL only).
Five successive top-flight league clean sheets has never previously
been achieved by a
United completed their first seasonal win double over Fulham
Alexander Isak has three goals on his first four PL outings for
United - taking 262 minutes to reach that total. That compares
favourably with current colleague Callum Wilson (330 minutes) and former
favourite Alan Shearer (495 minutes) but is inferior to Les Ferdinand
Cottagers in Toon - PL era:
2022/23 won 1-0 Isak
2020/21 drew 1-1 Wilson(pen)
2018/19 drew 0-0
2016/17 lost 1-3 Murphy (Ch)
2013/14 won 1-0 Ben Arfa
2012/13 won 1-0 Cisse
2011/12 won 2-1 Best 2
2010/11 drew 0-0
2008/09 lost 0-1
2007/08 won 2-0 Viduka, Owen
2006/07 lost 1-2 Parker
2005/06 drew 1-1 N'Zogbia
2004/05 lost 1-4 Bellamy
2003/04 won 3-1 O'Brien, Speed, Robert
2002/03 won 2-0 Solano, Bellamy
2001/02 drew 1-1 Dyer
SJP old boy Aleksandar Mitrovic faced Newcastle for the fifth time since leaving SJP.
He is yet to find the net (legally) or finish on the winning side.
Although we don't recall seeing a penalty hitting both feet
as Mitro did in a game involving Newcastle, Andy Cole netted from open play in
similar fashion at Oldham Athletic in November 1993.
Boro's Boudewijn Zenden got away a two-footed spot kick
conversion against Bolton Wanders in the 2004 League Cup Final at
Cardiff in 2004.
His double kick hit goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen's foot and went in
and the goal stood - referee Mike Riley missing the illegal touch
and awarding the goal, with no VAR in existence to overturn his
Steve McClaren's smoggies ran out 2-1 winners that day, Riley's rick
depriving Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan of silverware.
Newcastle reached the halfway point in the season third in the table
after an incident-packed second half at SJP on Sunday that saw
Aleksandar Mitrovic mess up his penalty before Alexander Isak headed
a late winner.
The Magpies took to the field unchanged from Tuesday's League Cup
success - Joelinton keeping his place despite a midweek
A Fulham side seeking their sixth consecutive
league and cup victory made it to the break without conceding; Bernd
Leno twice defying Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff denied by a
Marco Silva's side then looked set to end our shutout record after
VAR reviews of two possible penalty incidents resulted in a 69th
minute spot kick award.
An initial incursion into the home area by Andreas Pereira saw him tumble
when pulled back by Dan Burn. Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Trippier
clashed a moment later after United failed to clear their lines -
Fulham man appeared to make first contact before going to ground.
Play was at the other end of the field when belated notice of a VAR review
came and a further
delay before referee Robert Jones was summoned to the screen in
front of the East Stand to rubber-stamp Mike Dean's decision -
although it wasn't clear from inside the ground which tackle was
Aleksandar Mitrovic sent Nick Pope the wrong way from 12 yards, but the Serb was
denied a first goal against his former club after illegally striking
the ball with both feet, play restarting with our free kick.
Outrageous fortune followed the clear let-off from not dismissing
Burn for his indiscretion.
With a reinvigorated home crowd roaring them on, United continued to
press for the vital goal; Allan Saint-Maximin narrowly off target -
the closest we'd come since Fabian Schar's free kick struck a post
just past the hour.
Frustratingly through, some fluid approach play from Newcastle wasn't accompanied
by crossing to a useful standard; Leno not tested as often as
one would have hoped given the amount of goal efforts we managed.
Finally though the breakthrough came in the 89th minute, just as our third
0-0 draw in as many Premier League games began to look inevitable.
An acrobatic interception just into the Fulham half by Jacob Murphy
prompted one more home attack; Trippier, Wilson, Alexander Isak
and Murphy again combining to find Longstaff on the right of the
His cross to the back post reached Wilson and he reacted quicker
than Issa Diop to ping the ball across goal for Isak to nod in from
Having fielded questions about whether Wilson and Isak could play
together, Howe saw the pair provide an emphatic answer within 18
minutes of them sharing a pitch for the first time.
Over five minutes of added time included a treble switch by Fulham
that seemed to cause general confusion; the BBC alleging that the
Newcastle bench told officials their opponents had too many players
on the field.
That required a stoppage in play while a head count was conducted,
to the evident consternation of Marco Silva - one of several
examples of what we're apparently obliged to call "sh*thousery"
these days during this game.
Bruno's injury in the first half was followed by a mysterious
requirement for Nick Pope to receive treatment, allowing his
outfield colleagues to cluster by the home dugout to receive
Press box occupants meanwhile observed Portuguese speaker Joelinton
loitering within listening distance of the Fulham pow-wow, overseen
by Portuguese speakers Silve and Luis Boa Morte.
The penalty decision meanwhile reportedly prompted a home player to
tread on the penalty spot before a certain Serbian's misadventure
from 12 yards. And what may be evidence that we're keeping abreast
of the dark arts as exhibited elsewhere was the appearance of a
second ball on the field - one from the Leeds playbook here in
Perhaps the only piece of gamesmanship not deployed was the meddling
from substitute Jamaal Lascelles that has already brought him two
bookings this season despite not being on the field at either point
in time. Surely a third instance would see him on an FA charge?
As the banner displayed said though, "we're not here to be
popular, we're hear to compete". We've become canny in a rather
different way to the usual meaning of that expression round these
parts; somewhat different to our previous ploys of making funny
faces in front of the 'keeper at set pieces or sticking a (206 goal) arse
out down by the corner flag.
Press profiles of our manager routinely include reference to his
emergence as a defensive coach since leaving Bournemouth, but our
collective massaging of the rules is less celebrated. The
development of our game
management also looks to coincide with the arrival of
Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid - a slightly different sort of
delivery to his crosses and free kicks.
While both he and Schar avoided the booking that would have
sidelined them for one match, the news wasn't as good for Bruno
He played much of the first half with an ankle problem and now faces
an unspecified time out. His presence in the post-victory dressing
room photo was encouraging but he left SJP on crutches with a boot
on his right foot.
Another improbable afternoon then in a remarkable season for this
club. At the halfway point we're still waiting - as we have been since
August - for the stick in the wheel, the upturned rake, the
discarded banana skin....for something to go wrong, as it inevitably
Instead we have in our midst a team and a manager who seem to be
hell-bent on dispelling decades of disappointments on Barrack Road -
Eddie the exorcist casting out demons if you will.
target of the season has almost been attained, that of staying up. Let's see how many more we can nail between now and June.