Date: Sunday 23rd July 2023, 7.00pm EST (Midnight BST)
Live on SkySports (free stream on NUFC TV outside UK)
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia) aka The Linc
Admission: from $40 (£31.50) but that excludes the various
booking fees. Add in those and the cheapest was £49. Match tickets
allowed access to both matches played here today.
3 - 3
7 mins Rocky
I. Emilano Buendia escaped a weak challenge from Sandro Tonali on
halfway and then had the time and space to stride forward before resisting
another poor attempt at a tackle from Fabian Schar. The Argentinean passed to
Ollie Watkins who fired past Martin Dubravka with ease. Tonali at least made a
recovery run back to the six yard box but was unable to intervene. 0-1
11 mins Rocky
II. This time it was John McGinn with the freedom of the park after a
feeble challenge from Tonali, passing to Douglas-Luiz and his first time pass to
Buendia from similar range to the first goal, Dubravka this time beaten at his
near post. 0-2
28 mins A
lovely ball from Jacob Murphy from the right touchline found an onside Elliot
Anderson through on goal. Alexander Isak was alongside but Elliot Anderson delightfully
side-stepped a challenge from Ezri Konsa and then clipped it past Emiliano
45+2 mins Anderson
dispossessed Boubacar Kamara and jinked into the box evading a couple of
challenges before getting in a decent strike that Martinez pushed out and when
it wasn't cleared, Alexander Isak was on hand to thump it home from close
Half time: Newcastle 2 Villa 2
48 mins Rocky
III. Buendia played Jaden Philogene in down the
right and his square ball across the box was hit towards goal by Omari Kellyman.
Dubravka made a decent stop but pushed it onto the post and Buendia had the
simple task of tucking the ball into the net. 2-3
55 mins A
glorious forward ball by Jamaal Lascelles dropped perfectly for Anthony Gordon
who took a touch and shot firmly. Robin Olsen parried it straight to Callum
Wilson and he comfortably stroked it home first time before performing his
trademark goal salute in front of the NUFC section. 3-3
time: Newcastle 3 Villa
disappointed with the three we have conceded. We were very pleased
with the three we scored ourselves.
"I think the most pleasing
thing is we were 2-0 down - I didn't think it was that bad - but we
found ourselves in that position. The players regrouped and we found
the mental strength to calm things down and find a way back in the
"I have to say the drinks break helped. If we could bring that
in when you are losing it helps! I thought we improved as it went
"We tried something
different tonight. We are aware of the amount of competitions we are
in next season. There is a feeling that we are going to need to be
flexible next season.
"Whether that is a system
we look to start with or go with in a game, we just felt it was a
good game to trial it in pre-season.
"That's what pre-season is for: to look at different things.
There were some good bits and bits we need to look at."
Asked to rate his side's transfer activity:
"I don’t know if I can
give it a mark yet... Mark it at the end, not halfway through.
"I am really pleased with
Sandro Tonali, he looks to be everything we hoped that he would be.
But we know we have a few more positions that we need to strengthen
if we can.
"I think with Harvey (Barnes) we were umming and ahing
about whether to play him.
"It was a long journey
yesterday (from England), he hasn’t trained with the team
yet, but we just thought it would be really good to get his debut
and get his journey with Newcastle started.
"I thought he was really
bright when he came on but now just looking forward to getting some
training ground work with him.”
Channeling his inner Pharrell Williams, a "happy" Unai Emery said:
"Firstly, I’m thankful for our supporters, sharing with us here our
tournament in the United States.
"Tonight, the atmosphere was amazing and we did our work. Everything we were practicing here, I think we did on the pitch in 90
minutes and we shared playing with experienced players and young
players. I think we got the performance we were trying to get and I’m happy,
“The result is secondary for us, but to score three goals, of course, is one thing we are going to
analyse, why. But I am happy.
Now, we are going to prepare quickly for the match on Wednesday.
Recover the players who played tonight, then try to add Philippe
Coutinho and Moussa Diaby. Leon Bailey is coming back and meeting with us on Thursday.
“We are going to continue in our way, our work and the plan we are
doing, and adding some different players as well.
“And, of course, being competitive. Firstly, each one with us, and then
playing against the teams like tonight – Newcastle, Fulham the same very
high level, Brentford on Sunday.
There was a debut for Harvey Barnes following his £38m
acquisition from Leicester City. He'd flown into Philadelphia the
previous day to link up with his new team mates - around about the
time that Eddie Howe was telling journalists that nothing was
confirmed on the deal......
Ahead of NUFC
announcing squad numbers, new boy
Barnes wore 15, Gordon appeared in the 10 shirt formerly
occupied by Allan Saint-Maximin and Tonali donned the 8 vacated
Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):
72+45+45=162 +2 goals
Ashby 26+28+0=54 +1 goal
De Bolle 26+0+0=26
Isak 0+45+45=90 +1 goal
Saint-Maximin 64+0=64 +1 goal
Turner-Cooke 18+0+0=18 +1 goal
0+45+45=90 +1 goal
Players on the tour who weren't named in the squad today: Pope,
Gillespie, Krafth, Willock, S.Longstaff, Lewis, A.Murphy, Savage,
NUFC in the USA - PL era to date:
2000 DC United (a) lost 1-3
2000 Columbus Crew (a) drew 2-2
2011 Kansas City (a) drew 0-0
2011 Orlando City (a) lost 0-1
2011 Columbus Crew (a) won 3-0
2015 Club Atlas (n) lost 1-2
2015 Sacramento Republic (a) won 1-0
2015 Portland Timbers 2 (a) lost 3-4
2023 Aston Villa (n) drew 3-3
years after their last visit to North America, Newcastle returned to
participate in the
tournament - a rather more prestigious occasion than 2015's
farcical final friendly against Portland Timbers stiffs when neither
side seemed bothered about playing.
One could be forgiven for
thinking that being in the city of Brotherly Love had prompted
United's generous approach to dealing with Aston Villa, who twice
received the (Philadelphia) freedom of the field early on and
punished duly the black and whites on each occasion.
Rather than that though or the 28 degree temperatures at kickoff -
actually cooler than Brighton away was last season - the roots of
our early indecision lay with a team selection and tactical decision
that leant more towards suicidal than experimental.
That meant anyone seeking a signpost as to the respective fortunes of these two sides
when they meet for real next month was in for a disappointment;
something which later caused debate as to whether creating a
smokescreen was the real purpose of Eddie Howe's reversion to a 3-5-2
Some things were still evident though; not least the liking Emilano Buendia
has for facing us. The Argentinean revelled in the room Newcastle allowed him at Villa
Park back in April, creating the early opener here for Ollie Watkins,
rattling in a speedy second an only
denied a hat trick when Martin Dubrakva did enough for him to fire wide from
close in after the break.
As it was though, their two goal advantage was erased by half-time
thanks to Elliot Anderson's double intervention: coolly deceiving
Ezri Konsa before stroking home and then causing more mayhem when
jinking into the box and seeing his effort blocked before Alexander
Isak buried the loose ball.
That Newcastle equaliser came in time that had been added on for a
water break - which no doubt gave scope for some commercials to be
Reaching the interval with four goals scored and a total of 16 in
the first two and a half games of the Summer Series did raise the suspicion
that the participating teams were instructed to entertain
at all costs.
The feeling that it was Villa's "turn" to attack after the
break strengthened as a bizarre split in replacements saw Newcastle
make changes at half time and then almost immediately when we
deliberately kicked the ball out. Villa didn't return it from the throw-in.
Again, the musical chairs on the field left United in disarray;
Omari waltzing forward to strike a post and an offside-looking
Buendia dispatching the rebound with no VAR and officials that
seemed reluctant to flag.
The pendulum swung again though and United began to threaten, Wilson
lurking to convert the loose ball when Anthony Gordon's shot was blocked and
both players then leading unsuccessful spot kick appeals after each was
upended in the area - Gordon's a particularly blatant pull.
New signing Harvey Barnes was warmly welcomed on to the field and
had one late chance to win the game. Sadly his shot lacked power and
was too near the Villa 'keepjinking ier.
A rainbow nation of soccer shirts off the field added to an air of
unreality - although those who just shunned some attention-seeking mackems present rather than trying to entice them into the stadium's
"Fan Duel Lounge" near the away section deserve credit.
If you're looking for tangible signs that what's on the pitch is
being appreciated by a larger US audience rather than random cloud
pointers turning up at these games, the Mexican wave took 81 minutes
When we'll next see Paul Dummett start a league game and against
which opposition a passing move involving Lascelles, Manquillo
and Ritchie remains to be seen - although credit to Lascelles for
one crunching challenge and a timely goal line clearance soon after
his stylish forward ball led to United's third goal.
Regardless of the experiment, a few things stand out; most
noticeably that Gordon is reaching the desired fitness and
confidence levels - and that he, Joelinton and Wilson don't do
friendlies and were their usual robust selves.
The contributions of Anderson after a sticky start, also augur well for the coming
hostilities, while Lewis Miley again didn't look out of place in
this company and those around him clearly have no concerns about his
The circus now moves on to a slightly hotter Atlanta, before
returning to New Jersey for our final game.
Never mind dusting off those dreaded Game 39 plans, the first task
of the newly-opened PL office in New York should be to ensure that
whoever they get to make announcements on nights like this can
actually pronounce the word Premier. It's not Premiere...
Not bothering to publish the actual format of the Summer Series also
brought momentary uncertainty as to whether a draw was permissible
or some other method would be found to achieve a winner. A race
between the two managers up the Rocky steps perhaps....
And slightly more seriously, if the PL really to want to provide
fans with an authentic experience, it's probably better to go
the whole in terms of PGMOL officials and the use of VAR at this
The absence of both tonight may have changed the result but didn't affect what was a flag waving
exercise for the clubs and the PL with a sideline in price gouging
for the venue ($18.50 for beer, $9 for water).
However, deployment of the VAR system and the PL refereeing mindset
that accompanies it may well have brought a different scoreline to
this game. The ticket prices were certainly authentic....