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Season 2023-24
Villarreal (Spain) (h) Friendly - Sela Cup Day 2


Sunday 6th August 2023, 4pm

St. James' Park

Conditions: Merciless

Admission: £30 adults (£55 for advance weekend ticket)
Tickets were on sale up to kick off from the Box Office and cash turnstiles at the Leazes End were also opened. As was the case on Saturday, the advertised £35 match day price wasn't charged.

£3.50 covering both days




4 - 0





6 mins Joelinton won a free kick on the United left that Matt Ritchie swung over and was nodded away from the edge of the six yard box at the Leazes End by a visiting player. Falling to Jacob Murphy just outside the box, the makeshift right back took a touch to elude an opponent before steadying himself and hammering a rising shot between the goalkeeper and his near post.

The goalscorer's celebrations including simulating a baseball shot - a reference to the squad's pre-season team building event playing that game in the USA. 1-0

Half time: Newcastle 1 Villarreal 0 

62 mins Jacob Murphy's perfect pass set Callum Wilson away down the right and Joelinton then unselfishly set up the scoring chance that Harvey Barnes gratefully gobbled up, steering home a low right-footed shot from the left hand corner of the six yard box. 2-0

76 mins Joelinton ghosted past Lanchi in the centre circle, charging forward and driving home via a post from just outside the Villarreal area at the Gallowgate End. 3-0

79 mins Matt Ritchie stretched to rob an opponent and set Wilson away down the right. United's number 9 reached the box and rolled the ball across the box for Harvey Barnes to slam in his second goal of the game. 4-0

Full time: Newcastle 4 Villarreal 0

We Said


Eddie Howe said:

"I think pre-season has been pretty good. I think we always analyse what the players give and from day one, the players have done really well to execute what we have tried to do.

"They have given everything physically. It has been an intense period but I compliment the group. I don't think that we have quite hit our best levels in terms of performance but today we followed the line of performing well. We were good in defence and good on the counter attack so promising signs from the team.

"We got better in the latter stages of both games so there's positive signs regarding our fitness levels.

"It is only pre-season. It is nice to win a trophy but it is not the one we want. We are determined to win something, we are searching for that success. You dream of winning things, of lifting silverware. I want this place to be the same."

On Harvey Barnes:

"When you sign a player with the attributes you want, you are not asking them to do anything they are not comfortable with. Harvey (Barnes) looked good in the team. He performed really well. 

"I was delighted with the two goals and the two finishes. Physically, he looked good as well. 

"Every player is different and Harvey will have experienced Callum (Wilson) and Joelinton today. It is really good to see relationships blossoming - they will get stronger over time, it takes time to gel."

On Jacob Murphy:

"Jacob did that role for us last year, wherever I played him, whether it be left, right, on the wing, various positions, he was excellent for us and his attitude absolutely epitomised the squad. 

"A brilliant team player and I thought he was outstanding today in that right-back position and he had no complaints doing it so full credit to him."

Paul Dummett on Anthony Taylor:

"During the game, there were a lot of fouls from us and them. The referee said, 'I'm getting you ready for European football because this is what the referees will be like.' I thought that a lot of them were pretty soft. I should have had a goal."

They Said


Quique Setien said:

To follow...

Setien has been in post since replacing Unai Emery when he joined Aston Villa in October 2022 - having turned down Newcastle. He previously had a spell as Barcelona coach in 2020.

Selling last season's top scorer Nicolas Jackson to Chelsea (he scored against us for them last month), the Yellow Submarine have signed Alexander Sorloth and Ben Brereton Díaz. The former was a previous team mate of Alexander Isak at Real Sociedad and also played for Crystal Palace. Stoke born Diaz played at SJP for previous clubs Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers. 

Defeat at SJP concluded a poor pre-season for Villarreal, with just one win in seven outings and conceding 18 goals while scoring just six. Their La Liga opener is Real Betis on Sunday and a fifth place finish last season secured a place in the group stage of the Europa League this time round.



Newcastle remained unbeaten in pre-season ahead of a Premier League campaign for the first time since 1995/96 (six games). They also accomplished that in 2016/17 ahead of their Championship season (five games).

Seven pre-season games played. Five won, two drawn. 17 goals scored, eight conceded:

NUFC pre-season 2023/24:

Gateshead (a)
won 3-2
Rangers (a) won 2-1
Aston Villa (n) drew 3-3
Chelsea (n) drew 1-1
Brighton & Hove Albion (n) won 2-1
Fiorentina (h) won 2-0
Villarreal (h) won 4-0

Pre-season scorers:

Anderson 4
Almiron 3
Barnes 2
Isak 2
Ashby 1
J.Murphy 1
Saint-Maximin 1
Turner-Cooke 1
Wilson 1

Sela Cup:

Sat 05.08.2023:

1-1 Villarreal
Newcastle United

Sun 06.08.2023:
Fiorentina 2-1 Nice
Newcastle United 4-0 Villarreal

Format: three points for a win, one point for a draw and an additional point per goal scored.

Spanish sides @ SJP - PL era:

 Athletic Bilbao won 3-2 (UEFA Cup)
1997/98 Barcelona won 3-2 (Champions League)
2001/02 Athletic Bilbao lost 0-1 (FR)
2002/03 Barcelona lost 0-3 (FR)
 Barcelona lost 0-2 (Champions League)
2003/04 Real Mallorca won 4-1 (UEFA Cup)
 Deportivo La Coruna lost 1-2 (Intertoto Cup)
2006/07 Villarreal drew 3-3 (FR)
 Celta Vigo won 2-1 (UEFA Cup)
2008/09 Valencia won 2-1 (FR)
2014/15 Real Sociedad won 1-0 (FR)
2022/23 Athletic Bilbao won 2-1 (FR)
2022/23  Rayo Vallecano won 2-1 (FR)
2022/23  Villarreal won 4-0 (FR)

Villarreal's previous SJP outing saw them share six goals with the Magpies in August 2006. 20,144 fans saw an entertaining contest, Shola Ameobi giving the hosts an early lead before Nicky Butt came off the bench to notch a late brace as Glenn Roeder's side recovered from being 1-3 behind.

NUFC in friendly tournaments - PL era (NUFC won the ones in bold):

Boro (h) won 1-0 (SJP)
1992 Sporting Lisbon (h) lost 3-5
1994 Manchester United (n) drew 1-1 (won 6-5 pens)
1994 Sampdoria (n) lost 1-3
1997 PSV Eindhoven (n) won 3-2 (Dublin)
1997 Derry City (n) won 2-0
1997 Chelsea (n) drew 1- (lost 1-3 pens) (Goodison)
1997 Ajax (n) lost 0-3
1998 Benfica (n) drew 0-0 (lost 3-4 pens)
1998 Boro (a) drew 1-1 (won 4-3 pens)
2003 Birmingham City (n) won 2-1
(Kuala Lumpur)
2003 Chelsea (n) drew 0-0 (lost 4-5 pens)
(Kuala Lumpur)
2004 Rangers (h) won 4-2
2004 Sporting Lisbon (h) lost 0-1
2008 Hertha Berlin (n) lost 0-1
2008 RCD Mallorca (a) lost 0-1
1997 PSV Eindhoven (n) won 3-2 (Dublin)
1997 Derry City (n) won 2-0
1997 Chelsea (n) drew 1- (lost 1-3 pens) (Goodison)
1997 Ajax (n) lost 0-3
1998 Benfica (n) drew 0-0 (lost 3-4 pens)
1998 Boro (a) drew 1-1 (won 4-3 pens)
2003 Birmingham City (n) won 2-1
(Kuala Lumpur)
2003 Chelsea (n) drew 0-0 (lost 4-5 pens)
(Kuala Lumpur)
2004 Rangers (h) won 4-2
2004 Sporting Lisbon (h) lost 0-1
2008 Hertha Berlin (n) lost 0-1
2008 RCD Mallorca (a) lost 0-1

2012 Olympiakos (n) drew 1-1 (drew 4-4 pens)

2012 SC Braga (n) won 2-1
2014 Malaga (n) lost 1-3 (Schalke)
2014 Schalke 04 (a) won 3-1
2019 Wolves (n) lost 0-4
2019 West Ham (n) won 1-0
2023 Fiorentina (h) won 2-0 (SJP)
2023 Villarreal (h) won 4-0 (SJP)

There was a first senior appearance for former West Ham winger Amadou Diallo.

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

38 players were utilised in pre-season, eight more than the 2022/23 total:

Burn 83+45+45+90+0+0+90=353
+4 goals
Trippier 64+45+45+85+0+90=
L.Miley 26+45+45+90+31+80=317
Ritchie 64+0+45+0+80+0+90=279
Almiron 0+62+45+78+0+88=273 +
3 goals
Botman 0+45+45+90+0+90=270
Gordon 0+45+45+90+0+90=270
Tonali 0+45+45+90+0+90=270
Isak 0+45+45+90+0+88=268 +2 goals
Wilson 0+45+45+0+75+0+88=253 +1 goal
Dummett 0+28+45+0+75+0+90=238
J.Murphy 0+0+45+0+90+0+90=225 +1 goal
Joelinton 0+0+45+85+0+0+90=220 +1 goal
Lascelles 0+0+45+0+81+0+88=214
Barnes 0+0+20+0+89+0+83=192 +2 goals
S.Longstaff 65+45+0+0+0+0+76=186
Manquillo 72+45+45+0+0=162
Schar 0+62+45+34+0+0=141
Lewis 77+62+0+0+0=139
Ashby 26+28+0+5+59=118 +1 goal
Darlow 45+45+0=90
Parkinson 25+0+0+12+15+10+7=69
Saint-Maximin 64+0=64 +1 goal
Savage 45+0+0+0+9
White 26+28+0+0+0=54
Turner-Cooke 18+0+0+5+10+2+14=49 +1 goal
De Bolle 26+0+0+0+0+0=26
Ndiweni 18+0+0+0+0+2=20
Wiggett 13+0+0+0+0=13
J.Miley 7+0+0+0+1+0=8

Emil Krafth and Joe Willock both failed to kick a ball or be named as a substitute during pre-season.

Mark Gillespie (4), Nathan Carlyon (2), Jordan Hackett (2), James Huntley (2), Charlie McArthur (2) and Jude Smith (1) all appeared on the bench in pre-season without playing.


Harvey Barnes made his home bow for Newcastle a memorable one, scoring a brace as his new side won the Sela Cup at St. James' Park on Sunday afternoon.

Two wins and six goals saw a blue-clad Magpies side top the table with 12 points under tournament rules - five points ahead of runners-up Fiorentina, who beat Nice 2-1 in the early kick-off.

A completely different line-up to the one that beat Fiorentina 24 hours previously took an early lead when makeshift full back Jacob Murphy reprised his Leazes End opener against Spurs last April.

United then had efforts from Callum Wilson (offside) and Paul Dummett (foul) ruled out before the interval of a niggly game during which referee Anthony Taylor awarded a multiplicity of free kicks and dished out seven yellow cards.

The Spaniards had their best period of the game after half time; Nick Pope denying Carlo Adriano and both Alexander Sorloth and Aissa Mandi firing narrowly wide. 

At the other end meanwhile Barnes twice threatened down the left, putting one low effort just past Pepe Reina's far post and then forcing a stop out of the veteran custodian - 41 later this month.

Leicester old boy Barnes wasn't to be denied though; getting off the mark after Murphy's perfect pass set Wilson away down the right and Joelinton then unselfishly set up the scoring chance.

The goal of the game came with 14 minutes remaining; Joelinton ghosting past Lanchi in the centre circle, charging forward and driving home via a post from just outside the Villarreal area.

Another fluid attacking move three minutes later produced a fourth goal - Matt Ritchie setting Wilson away down the right and United's number 9 rolling the ball across the box for Barnes to slam in.

Youngster Ben Parkinson got further pitch time in the closing stages, while there was a also first senior outing for Guinea-born U21 winger Amadou Diallo before the full time whistle sounded.

Most of the 34,621 crowd stayed on to salute the players and coaches as they completed a lap of honour while a temporary stage was erected on the pitch.

Club captain Jamaal Lascelles was then presented with the cup, another friendly trophy to go with the Diriyah Season Cup won in December 2022.

And so ends pre-season; seven games without defeat watched by over 260,000 fans. Existing players in form, youngsters realising their potential and new arrivals showing their promise. Save for the injuries to Fabian Schar and Joe Willock it's all immensely positive.

Eddie Howe's main challenge is how to best deploy the wealth of attacking options at his disposal - and also manage the expectations of those not selected.

Despite their form last season however, doubts remain in our mind about the back line in front of Pope - not least the unresolved left back question and concerns over cover in central defence.    

Fighting on four fronts for the first time in a decade will necessarily require different team selections: the signing of Tino Livramento an admission that Kieran Trippier cannot be a man for all seasons and all games, but he's not the only one.

Trusting that the experience of Dummett and Lascelles can outweigh their lack of pace seems like a risk, while the long-term absence of Emil Krafth means that he'll have a lot of catching up to do. 

Notwithstanding the encouraging start Alex Murphy has made, not to sign further defensive reinforcements seems like an unnecessary risk. Still, there's three weeks of the window to go


We were sorry to learn that reader Barry Sweeney died today ( Sunday) after a short illness.  Known to many as the father of MH17 plane crash victim Liam, he was also a local league referee of many years standing. Our condolences to his friends and family.

Page last updated 09 August, 2023