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Season 2015-16
Norwich City (h) Premier League

In association 


Date: Sunday 18th October 2015, 4pm. 
Live on Sky Sports

 St. James' Park

Conditions: unexpectedly prolific


Newcastle United

Norwich City

6 - 2




14mins An attempted exchange of passes between Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez on the edge of City's box broke down, but Moussa Sissoko gained possession and after skipping past two challenges threaded a pass through for Georginio Wijnaldum to calmly tuck the ball inside the far post - Mitrovic hovering to seize on any scraps 1-0

20mins Daryl Janmaat's failure to occupy the right back slot gave City the freedom of that wing and he was the nearest man to Brady in a central position as he knocked the ball out to Martin Olsson on the overlap.

With Sissoko giving up on an attempt to track back and Tiote ambling across the box to no obvious purpose, a low centre was swept home from close in by Mbokani Bezua, Chancel Mbemba missing what seemed an easy opportunity to cut out the cross 1-1

26mins Fabricio Coloccini's long punt forward was destined for Mitrovic but John Ruddy rushed off his line to whack clear at the expense of a throw in. Daryl Janmaat took that and found Sissoko, who skipped away from Dorrans and set off for the penalty box before supply a neat cross that Wijnaldum reached ahead of Steven Whittaker and headed in from eight yards out  2-1

33mins The sort of goal that Newcastle United very seldom score: Jack Colback blocked a shot on the edge of his own area and Sissoko took possession before travelling upfield - messrs Mitrovic, Ayoze Perez and a trio of back-pedalling defenders around him.

Flicking the ball out to the right, the Spaniard received it and took a couple of touches before attempting a shot from just inside the box. That first effort struck Olsson but when the rebound reached Perez, he coolly put the ball past Ruddy, clad entirely in a hideous, luminous pink kit 3-1

A virtual re-run of Norwich's first goal saw the visitors allowed to attack down the left and another unopposed Olsson cross from the left cracked home by Nathan Redmond, who stole in behind Paul Dummett at the far post 3-2 

Half time: Magpies 3 Canaries 2

64mins Another goal from a move that began at the opposite end of the field: Janmaat and Sissoko this time wrestling possession from City down in the Strawberry corner and the latter playing an elongated one two with Perez before continuing his charge upfield as opponents stood off him.

Sissoko's delicious pass reached Aleksandar Mitrovic on the edge of the box and he chested the ball down before hammering it in with his left foot at the Leazes End in a manner reminiscent of a certain sheet metal worker's son from Gosforth 4-2 

66mins A Norwich attack broke down outside the United box and Colback set Perez charging forward. Although he was felled on halfway by Dorrans (who was later booked for it), the ball reached Sissoko on the overlap and he took the ball forward before threading it infield to Gini.

The Dutchman calmly rolled the ball back out to the right wing as Janmaat caught up with play, and he crossed for Wijnaldum to head home from point blank range. 5-2

The icing on the cake as another great combination between Sissoko and Perez around the centre circle releaseed Wijnaldum away down the left. As Mitrovic made a run across him that distracted two defenders, Gini advanced and slammed home a dipping shot from distance via a slight deflection off a defender that left Ruddy helpless. Game, set and match ball 6-2

Full time: Magpies 6 Canaries 2

We Said

Steve McClaren:

"I am relieved for the supporters and players who have endured a lot.

"You are going to get protests and people not happy when you change the coaches
(this appears to be a reference to players and staff rather than fans, as he's received nothing in the way of grief from fans at any stage). There is so much potential, but still a long way to go.

"It's Newcastle, is it possible to make any sense? That's what we are fast discovering.

"We knew a win was around the corner, but we didn't know when it would come.

"We played some really good football. We kept the faith with the players - everyone around us is saying what they've been saying, but we've got to keep tight.

"Against Chelsea and Man City we looked like scoring - today it was the same but we were clinical in our finishing.

"What a game in the first half. I didn't know what was happening. We looked like scoring and conceding. We then settled down and produced some quality.

"The front four were excellent, especially Gini Wijnaldum. Moussa Sissoko showed strength and power and he showed why he is coveted by the top four.

"I thought the score could have been anything. We rode our luck and defended quite well. On the break we were terrific.

"Relief? Yes, But then we move on, and we’re thinking we have to prepare and do it again next week. The feeling is very short. Football is about momentum. You can have it the other way which we have had. Now we want it forward.

“Of course you need that first win. Behind the scenes it is a huge relief. It showed our capabilities. We have been sensing that.

"We didn't get too down. And we won't get too high. But we showed what we are capable of doing. We have been calm and vocal and focused in our support for the players,

“We never got too down after Man City. Or too high. There is a long way to go and lots of work to do but this showed the potential. It showed the supporters what we are capable of doing.

"It wasn't a game under control from anyone. That will lose and win you games in the long run. We have to get more control. But going forward we can be a threat.

"We shake everyone’s hands and we say well done and prepare next week for a big big game. We need to keep it going.

On Wijnaldum:

"He showed what he is capable of doing, it is why we brought him here. He can and will be and showed today that he is a Premier League player. 

"We need a little bit more consistency from everyone - they have all got a lot to do. Sustainability and consistency is the key in individual and team performances. 

"It is no good performing like that one week and then going on to lose the next.”

They Said

Alex Neil:

"Offensively, we looked dangerous, scored two really good goals, hit the post twice, had other good opportunities to score; but defensively as a be honest, I thought the game was wide-open - it was a bit like a basketball match. I thought both teams were wide-open.

"It could have ended pretty much 8-8, but the opportunities we had, unfortunately we didn't score, we hit the post or whatever, and pretty much most of the opportunities Newcastle had ended up in the back of the net.

"I thought both teams were really, really open and we could have scored four, five or six ourselves. For them to score six based on the game itself, you could argue it was harsh, but we have got to defend better.

"I think it’s difficult. Conceding six goals is never nice, everybody is really frustrated and disappointed.

"The game was sort of split into two. I thought offensively we looked a real threat, scored two goals, hit the post twice, but defensively as a group we were hurt on the counter-attack. We tried to force the issue in the second half.

"We looked disjointed at times because the game was spread so much and we had so many players up the pitch. With the pace they had on the counter-attack, that really caused us some issues.

"I made the decision to take Alex (Tettey) off because at that point we were losing anyway. There was no point in trying to safeguard what we’ve not got.

"I’ll take responsibility for that, but I think the players know that they’re going to have to take responsibility for the fact that as a group they didn’t defend anywhere near well enough.

"I think they get home truths after every game, whether we’ve played well or not played well, so that will remain the same. We will pick through it, pick out the bits that were poor and the bits that were good.

"It’s difficult after a game like that. It’s easy to say it shouldn’t be a 6-2 scoreline, but after you defend like that it’s always going to be tough.”

Punts - in association with

United came into this game having won their last four at SJP against City, during which they'd developed a regular habit of scoring early and remaining in front for the duration.

And once again that came to pass, with William Hill paying out on their 9/2 offer on a Newcastle goal in the first 15 minutes and 6/1 on them leading at half & full time. 

Given a lack of clean sheets by either side this season, Bet365's pricing of 4/6 on both teams scoring also came in handy.

Find all the latest offers for new punters online here


Four he's a jolly good fellow!

Newcastle gained a first PL win this season in their ninth game - a year to the day they broke their duck for 2014/15 with a 1-0 home win over Leicester City (our eighth game of that season).

In collecting maximum points, United also ensured that the record for their worst-ever start to a season remains intact (which was no win in the first ten games of the 1898/99 season).

Georginio Wijnaldum
became only the second Magpie to score more than three goals in a PL game, after Alan Shearer's five here back in 1999.

The Dutchman is the tenth player to have bagged a PL treble in our colours and his was the thirteenth hat trick completed by those ten.

Peter Beardsley v Wimbledon (h)
1993/94 Andy Cole v Liverpool (h)
1993/94 Andy Cole v Coventry City (h)
1995/96 Les Ferdinand v Wimbledon (h)
1996/97 Alan Shearer v Leicester City (h)
1999/00 Alan Shearer v Sheffield Wednesday (h) (5)
2005/06 Michael Owen v West Ham (a)
2010/11 Andy Carroll v Aston Villa (h)
2010/11 Kevin Nolan v mackems (h)
2010/11 Leon Best v West Ham (h)
2011/12 Demba Ba v Blackburn Rovers (h)
Demba Ba v Stoke City (a)
Georginio Wijnaldum v Norwich (h) (4)

Unlike Wor Al, who netted two spot kicks in his five goal haul, Gini's quartet all came from open play. The last treble scored by a Newcastle player from open play was Demba Ba's against Blackburn Rovers back in September 2011.

PL stats claim that Moussa Sissoko's three assists were the most by an NUFC player since Andy Cole supplied three against West Ham in March 1994 - had Perez not scored his goal via a rebound it would have been four. 

NUFC's largest Premier League victories (all at SJP):

v Sheffield Wednesday, September 1999  
v Swindon Town, March 1994
v Spurs, December 1996
v Everton, March 2002
6-2 v Norwich City, October 2015
v Wimbledon, October 1995
v Aston Villa, August 2010

The feat of Newcastle conceding six goals in a game and then scoring six goals in the next fixture is rare, but not unique:

Sep 27th 1902 West Bromwich Albion (a) lost 1-6
Oct 4th 1902 Notts County (h) won 6-1

NUFC's four goal heroes (league games only):

Gini's four goal haul was the 22nd in our history and he's the 15th man to achieve it (league only):

Oct 1896
Darwen (h) Richard Smellie (5-1)
Oct 1902 Notts County (h) Ronald Orr (8-0)
Dec 1909 Liverpool (a) Albert Shepherd (5-6)
Jan 1910 Preston North End (h) Albert Shepherd (5-2)
Oct 1910 Liverpool (h) Albert Shepherd (6-1)
Dec 1910 Nottingham Forest (h) Albert Shepherd (4-1)
Jan 1926 Bolton Wanderers (h) Hughie Gallacher (5-1)
Aug 1926 Aston Villa (h) Hughie Gallacher (4-0)
Nov 1929 Portsmouth (h) Hughie Gallacher (4-1)
Sep 1936 West Ham (h) Billy Cairns (5-3)
Nov 1936 Doncaster Rovers (h) Jack Smith (7-0)
Sep 1938 West Bromwich Albion (h) Billy Cairns (5-1)
Oct 1946 Newport County (h) Len Shackleton* (13-0)
Oct 1946 Newport County  (h) Charlie Wayman (13-0)
Nov 1946 Sheffield Wednesday (h) Charlie Wayman (4-0)
Sep 1951 Burnley (h) George Robledo (7-1)
Sep 1954 Aston Villa (h) Len White (5-3)
Nov 1955 Huddersfield Town (a) Vic Keeble (6-2)
Oct 1982 Rotherham United (a) Kevin Keegan (5-1)
Aug 1989 Leeds United (h) Mick Quinn (5-2)
Sep 1999 Sheffield Wednesday (h) Alan Shearer ^ (8-0)
Oct 2015 Norwich City (h) Gini Wijnaldum (6-2)

* scored 6 (although one is disputed)
^ scored 5

Magpies versus Canaries - post WWII:

2015/16 won 6-2 Wijnaldum 4, Perez, Mitrovic
won 2-1 Remy, Gouffran
2012/13 won 1-0 Ba
2011/12 won 1-0 Cisse
2004/05 won 2-1 Jenas, Sh.Ameobi (LC)
2004/05 drew 2-2 Bellamy, Hughes
1994/95 won 3-0 Beardsley 2(1pen), Kitson
1993/94 won 3-0 Cole, Lee, Beardsley
1988/89 lost 0-2
1987/88 lost 1-3 Gazza
1986/87 won 4-1 Goddard, Gazza, McDonald, Jackson
1984/85 drew 1-1 Waddle
1981/82 won 2-1 Varadi, Mills
1977/78 drew 2-2 Burns, Kennedy
1976/77 won 5-1 T.Craig, Gowling, Oates, McCaffery 2
1975/76 won 5-2 Gowling 2, Macdonald 2, OG
1973/74 drew 0-0
1972/73 won 3-1 Tudor 2, Guthrie
1964/65 won 2-0 Cummings, Robson
1963/64 won 2-0 Cummings, Iley
1962/63 won 2-1 Fell, Thomas
1961/62 drew 0-0

Full record against Norwich:
  P W D L F A
SJP 26 16 6 4 54 23
TN/CR 25 6 9 10 28 32
League 51 22 15 14 82 55
SJP(FA) 0 0 0 0 0 0
CR 1 0 0 1 0 5
SJP(LC) 1 1 0 0 2 1
CR 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 2 1 0 1 2 6
Tot 53 23 15 15 84 61

Gini Wijnaldum has scored four times in a game previously, for Feyenoord in a 5-1 home win over Groningen in February 2011. Unlike today though, two of those four strikes came from the penalty spot (23, 31, 48 & 83mins). 

If you're wondering why he looked rather pleased when his third went in, it may have been because he failed to complete a hat trick on each of the last six occasions that he bagged a brace for PSV.

Ayoze Perez scored his ninth PL goal, moving one ahead of Philippe Albert, Lee Clark, Duncan Ferguson and Temuri Ketsbaia. Level with Tino Asprilla, Jermaine Jenas, Peter Lovenkrands and Charles N'Zogbia he's now just one behind Moussa Sissoko, Leon Best and Paul Kitson.

0 mins NUFC 20th position, 3 points, 6 goals
90 mins NUFC 18th position, 6 points, 12 goals





Just eight days after thirty sweaty Scots and Samoans trampled across it, the St.James' Park playing surface looked in remarkably good nick as Newcastle once again attempted to solve the problem of what their coach had called "bloody winning football matches."

By full time that objective had thankfully been achieved - and in a manner emphatic enough to wonder whether the Gallowgate groundsman had planted magic beans while repairing the pitch.

If Steve McClaren's chronologically-challenged assertion that the season started today was indeed correct, then on this evidence the seats unoccupied for this game will soon become hot tickets, as word spreads that the Entertainers have reformed.

It's over a century since a Magpies XI conceded six in a game and then promptly scored that many next time out, but their display today here was more reminiscent of twenty years past; the frailty of the defence matched by the potency of the attack. We're gonna score one more than you indeed...

Of course it's another former England boss at the helm here rather than Kevin Keegan, but many similar traits were evident, from Daryl Janmaat reprising John Beresford's role as the full back left totally exposed by his colleagues to Moussa Sissoko echoing David Ginola in his strutting pomp. 

Smiles replaced frowns in home sections and relieved supporters stayed on to salute the whole side at full time - pre-game aspirations of scraping a 1-0 success in the manner of Leicester's visit a year ago spectacularly upgraded to the stuff of outlandish fantasy 90 minutes later.

Particular praise was afforded to four goal hero Gini Wijnaldum, but wonderful though his exploits were at the sharp end, perhaps the pivotal point of his performance was a 53rd minute goal line clearance to prevent old boy Sebastien Bassong from making it 3-3. 

Had that happened, then the course of this game, this season and even this administration could have all been radically altered.

Awful though the Manchester City defeat was, until the 49th minute it was a genuine contest. The extent of our brittleness became evident when Aguero put his side in front for the first time at that time and so it was today that we had a flat 15 minutes before Mitrovic scored. 


Fortunately though, Norwich weren't quite smart enough to find a way through; their dangerman Redmond underused and a level of defensive responsibility from the midfield crucially repelling the visitors until their attacking flow resumed.

After a run of misfortune since he arrived, everything went right for McClaren here - from having no full backs in his last game to the comparative luxury of being able to welcome back Janmaat and give both Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara some pitch time.

And having revealed how little he's seen of top flight football in eighteen months by believing that Tim Krul's absence would cost us points, the return of Rob Elliot paid off - although he did seem in some discomfort late on and caused some excitement in the Woodman household.

Elliot was blameless for the goals but grateful to see City rattle the post twice and Anthony Taylor miss some Janmaat shirt-pulling in the box (although the referee may just have ignored that given the number of times the visitors indulged in the same trick).

Had Siem De Jong appeared from the bench then our resurrection would have been complete. As it is though, his future remains the subject of much conjecture, as does that of Florian Thauvin (and from our own perspective, the self-created problem arising from Coloccini's contract extension).


Putting aside Gini's goal-laden contribution, the difference between the sides and the basis of our victory was Moussa Sissoko. For all his lofty aspirations, so often he's flattered to deceive and rarely even played the role of a flat track bully against lesser opposition. 

Today he was handed - or just assumed - a free role and devoted his energies to running and passing to great effect. One would think that was a given for a player of his stature (and salary) but it's often possible to look back on our games and wonder just how he managed to occupy himself for an hour and a half without adding anything particularly positive or memorable.

It's not all sweetness and light though for Moussa, again a reluctant participant in the post-match festivities on the field. This shouldn't be a frivolous business though, he can be as surly and sulky as he chooses all week until that whistle goes, as long as he contributes this level of performance. 

Having lost all five derby games he's played in, this Sunday would seem to be a perfect opportunity for Sissoko to put that record straight. Defeats for the mackems and Aston Villa on Saturday mean that this victory elevated us two places to the dizzy heights of eighteenth - much more of this and we might even achieve a plus goal difference for the first time in living memory.

Given what has passed for entertainment here in 2015, there was enough commitment, confidence and competence was from United on show to gladden the heart of their most despondent fan. 

Any sort of victory was vital, but if going on the offensive and trying to score goals was pleasing - then actually achieving that for once was wonderful. Whether it's a consequence of playing two strikers or not is debatable, but certainly the physicality and mobility of Mitrovic were as important to our success as players making forward runs. In fairness we've lacked both for too long. 

Messrs Perez, Wijnaldum, Sissoko and Mitrovic all complemented each other admirably, with the Serbian's goal the point at which a collective feeling of apprehension gave way to joy and relief. Quite what that all does to the transfer meeting agenda remains to be seen, but the defence must remain high on the list of priorities. 


McClaren's talk of potential in the team is only half the story - there's enormous potential in the club and the region as a whole, not just in providing a backdrop for thousands of rugby fans to party. 

Today was just a little bit of payback for devotion and commitment beyond logic - we've still won just twice here in 2015, due to flawed decision making off the pitch and weaknesses on it.  

The uplift this result should give to both players and fans needs to be built on urgently this Sunday before we can even begin to have illusions of mediocrity. Although a giant step in the context of what came before, this remains no more than a foothold on the side of a ravine for now.


Page last updated 20 June, 2016