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Season 2021-22
Watford (a) Premier League


Saturday 25th September 2021, 3pm

 Vicarage Road

Conditions: Profligate

Programme: 3.50





1 - 1





23 mins Danny Rose conceded a corner down the Newcastle right that Matt Ritchie swung over and a home player headed on; the ball running towards the opposite corner. Miggy Almiron retrieved it and found Saint-Maximin infield, who quickly laid it off to Sean Longstaff in space.

He netted with a hypersonic right-footer from outside the box in front of the Rookery Stand, despite Ben Foster getting both hands to the shot. 1-0

Half time: Hornets 0 Magpies 1

Full time: Hornets 1 Magpies 1

72 mins
Almiron needlessly conceded a corner that Danny Rose took, finding Josh King who got ahead of Matt Ritchie to nod on across the area. Ismaila Sarr was left completely unattended and headed home at the back post from just inside the six yard box - Joe Willock looking to have been drawn towards a cluster of players and away from the home side's top scorer. 1-1

We Said

The lying king said:

"Weve played well again, and created enough chances to win three games. Ive got to take the positives again. Ive enjoyed watching us again, its just a shame we didnt take the chances that came our way.

"Its not new to us that we played a back four. We changed after Brighton
(away, last season). Weve got have the ability to change, and, certainly, weve played well in the last couple of games with it.'

"The game should have been put out of sight but you can't come here and dominate the way we did and create the chances we had and miss them.

"We nearly got punished for it at the end, which would have been totally unjust in my opinion. Our performance was terrific, we've done okay of late and haven't managed to get that first win.

"We were sloppy on too many occasions. The hardest part of the game is to score a goal, and that is a bit of mentality; you've got to go cold in front of goal.

"You need to get a win to turn the corner, but I thought weve played well against Leeds. For an hour against Man U I thought we played very well, large parts against Aston Villa you need to get a win, thats the only way you can turn a corner.

"We've played very well and should have come here and won the game comprehensively. You can't dominate like we did and only be 1-0 up. The game should be over.

And we nearly got punished: Watford always had some part in the game and in the last 10 minutes they caused us problems but overall we were by far the better team.

"Both teams wanted to win it and we know how crucial it is to get our first win. We went all out for it. It's disappointing we didn't get it. We've got the makings of a half-decent team and we've got to remember that.

"When you are up against it, you have to see it through. All I'm trying to concentrate on is the team and how I can affect a match.

"I've got to try and ignore everything else. It's not very pleasing, I understand their frustrations but I'm not walking away."

On the unexpected participation of Joe Willock:

"He actually kicked the floor on Tuesday, and it was a sore one where we actually thought, the medical people, that hed maybe done a metatarsal.

"We put him in a boot, because he was sore. And then hes had a scan, and hes done something to the bottom of his foot. Its an impact injury.

"Joe walked in on Friday, and said he felt much better and wanted to give it a go. So we encouraged him to train, which he did. He came through it, and I thought did very well.

"Its a pity he didnt take one of his chances. I thought, when I first looked at it, it was a penalty, but unfortunately it wasnt.

They Said

Xisco Munoz said:

"I'm a little disappointed about the performance.

"I think we are more ready to have consistency in the games, to be more solid in defence and to be more aggressive in offence.

"It was not our best first half and after the reaction in the second half I think we were, for ten or 15 minutes trying to win the game.

"I need this ambition and this power all the game, not only in 20 minutes.

"I'm also disappointed about the last actions, we can't give these important chances to our opponents in the Premier League because sometimes you lose like this."


The Magpies are now winless in their opening six PL games, their worst start  to a season since 2018/19 when it took them 11 games to break their duck.

was Newcastle's eleventh top-flight visit here and they still await an away success (six draws, five losses). In terms of Premier League visits only, United have drawn four and lost three.

As was the case in both of their previous two visits to Vicarage Road, Newcastle once again led 1-0 at half time again but failed to win.

Sean Longstaff netted his third PL goal for the club, following strikes at home to Burnley in February 2019 and away at Bournemouth in July 2020.

The Ashley era - NUFC after six PL games:

2007/08: 11 points, 5th
2008/09: 4 points, 19th
2010/11: 7 points, 10th
2011/12: 12 points, 4th
2012/13: 9 points, 9th
2013/14: 7 points, 16th
2014/15: 3 points, 19th
2015/16: 2 points, 19th
2017/18: 9 points, 9th
2018/19: 2 points, 18th
2019/20: 5 points, 17th
2020/21: 8 points, 14th
2021/22: 3 points, 17th

Magpies @ Vicarage Road - all-time:

2021/22 Drew 1-1 S.Longstaff
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)

Having worn their black and gold change kit at Villa and home shirts at Manchester United, Newcastle debuted their blue change kit here.


A match Newcastle seemed destined to win but then apparently lost ended up yielding a first away point of the season on Saturday - but yet again, their inability to retain a lead was to prove costly.

United had never won at Vicarage Road in ten previous top-flight visits, but should have prospered following Sean Longstaff's long-range strike. The midfielder had sent two previous efforts wide of the target but made no mistake with the third - a sweetly-struck effort from outside the box.

However Lobby's failure to find an empty net after Allan Saint-Maximin had gobbled up Craig Cathcart's back pass and caught out goalkeeper Ben Foster just before half time was the first of several massive chances to seal the victory that the visitors squandered.

Foster denied both Miggy Almiron and Joelinton in the 65th minute before surprise starter Joe Willock (ruled out by Steve Bruce on Friday due to a toe injury) was unable to force his shot home soon after.

That level of wastefulness was almost inevitably punished, Ismaila Sarr heading home after a 72nd minute corner from old boy Danny Rose was flicked on by Josh King. That Miggy gave the corner away needlessly only added to the anguish.

The goal was slightly against the run of play, although United in general were fading and Saint-Maximin in particular was struggling in his role of leading the line. There would be a brief cameo appearance by Dwight Gayle late on - his first PL minutes of the season.

Chances were still made and missed by the blue-clad Magpies though; Ciaran Clark holding his head in his hands after nodding a Matt Ritchie centre wide of the target from close range on 80 minutes.

Three minutes from the end the Hornets looked to have completed their comeback when Karl Darlow pushed a shot from ex-Magpie Moussa Sissoko into the path of  Joshua King, who finished with ease.

King peeled off his shirt (without being cautioned) and celebrated wildly with colleagues and fans - only for VAR official Craig Pawson to rule that the scorer was offside and chalk the goal off.

Having woken up the home crowd, Watford tried to find a legitimate winner as Newcastle stonewalled for a point - evidenced by Karl Darlow's yellow card for apparent time-wasting.

It was to be United who missed the most glaring opportunity to collect three points in added time though; Jacob Murphy galloping forward in the last of fourth additional minutes but failing to chip Foster as he came off his line.

Massive relief for Newcastle's Head Coach then that his side avoided defeat and have now lost just once in their last four outings. Ticking along with an accumulation of points in his eyes, woefully underachieving in ours.

While he may claim to see progress on the field though, it was another day of frustration for the travelling support, watching their side repeatedly pin the opposition on the ropes but fail to administer the knockout blow.

For all Bruce's talk of terrific performances, his side blew the chance of victory against what were sitting ducks and for much of the game were able to get away with free kicks and throw-ins that were beyond sloppy. Set pieces are meant to be a threat to the opposition, not ourselves.

Again there was no lack of effort and retaining the four at the back that they ended the last game with served United well. The absence of Callum Wilson for a third game however overshadows our attacking efforts and and puts too much emphasis on Saint-Maximin. 

It also has to be said that Newcastle enjoyed some moments of good fortune that were ultimately instrumental in them taking a point from this game.

In addition to the home goal being disallowed, United also benefited from another positive VAR decision; Pawson advising that a melee in our box failed to meet the criteria for a penalty.

Debutant referee Gillett meanwhile contrived to award a free kick in favour of Karl Darlow after he cleaned out Tom Cleverley in the first half - and ignored Javier Manquillo braying the ball away when a foul was called, despite the full back already having a yellow card. It's a good job it wasn't Mike Dean.

All that in our favour and we still failed to break our duck at the sixth time of asking, leaving the question hanging of just who we are going to beat. On what we've seen so far, if these teams do meet again next season it's a fair bet it will be in the Championship.


Page last updated 21 June, 2022