Date: Monday 27th December 2021, 8.00pm
Live on Sky Sports
Venue: St. James' Park
1 - 1
7 mins A throw-in taken inside
his own half on the right flank by Emil Krath dropped for Sean Longstaff,
whose back header reached Callum Wilson. The Magpies striker nodded the ball
down but looked to be shoved in the back by Raphael Varane.
The visiting defender turned away in possession but was promptly robbed by
the onrushing Longstaff. With Wilson galloping away ahead of him, Lobby spread the ball out to
Allan Saint-Maximin on the Newcastle left.
The Frenchman jinked inside Digo Dalot and looked like
he'd run into trouble, but stretched while falling to get his right-footed shot
away from 18 yards as Harry Maguire reached him. That effort found the far corner of the Leazes goal; David de Gea watching the ball
sail past him.
Half time: Magpies
1 Red Devils
A familiar ploy from the visitors of trying to drop a diagonal ball behind
makeshift left back Javier Manquillo finally came off; Harry Maguire
reaching halfway and playing a simple ball to Bruno Fernandes in centre
midfield, who turn to dink a pass out to the overlapping Dalot.
The Portuguese defender advanced before firing a pass that picked out Edinson Cavani,
lurking unattended on the penalty spot - with a trio of defenders clustered
on the six yard box ahead of him.
The visiting substitute's first shot was
blocked by Fabian Schar, but the rebound fell straight back to Cavani, who prodded out his
right leg, the ball hitting his shin and dribbling past both Jamaal
Lascelles and Schar before ending up in the net beyond Martin Dubravka - who
was still scrambling to his feet after reacting to the initial effort from
Cavani. A soft goal.
1 Red Devils
Eddie Howe said:
"We're disappointed, we felt we deserved to win. I don't think we
deserved to concede. How
(David) De Gea saved that shot from
(Miguel) Almiron, I don't know. But hopefully we've seen the
beginning of a new team. But for a bit more luck, we could have won
"We need to build on what we've seen in this game: I
think there were large elements in the Liverpool game and the
Manchester City game that we saw similar to be honest but,
ultimately, the results in those games weren't as good.
Sometimes, that gets lost.
"Obviously, we conceded some disappointing goals in both of those
I think we've had three pretty consistent performances.
"No doubt today's was the best in terms of our defensive delivery
and our attacking performance. That was the best we've seen since
I've come here but, hopefully, we've been improving to deliver that
today and we've got a lot more to go.
"We know the games only get harder - they don't get easier - but I'm
very boosted by what we've seen from the players today."
About the injuries:
"Callum's injury looks severe, weeks maybe months. I feared for him when he
went down with nobody around him. A pull, not a knock.
"The lads gave everything but we are thin on the ground in terms of bodies. These are difficult moments for us. I believe it's 13 plus a goalkeeper
(available, to meet the PL squad criteria to play a game). We're going to be dangerously close
to that number.
"Allan, I don't think is as serious (as Wilson) but serious enough to
bring him off."
"Initially, we thought we would play him as a No 10, but we went to 10
men against Norwich at home and we reshuffled to play him as an 8 and I
thought that night he was brilliant defensively. His tactical knowledge of
the position was excellent.
"The question mark against any attacking player moving into midfield
is whether he can defend but he has been absolutely brilliant defensively
for us. The work-rate and the amount of ground that he covers is incredible
really. I cannot praise him enough."
Ralf Rangnick said:
"I didn't like it (the performance)
at all. We’ve been trying to get better at controlling games - today, we
didn't control the game apart from a few moments.
"It's all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls and
the transitional moments and, in all those areas, we were not at our
best. In the end, we got a point but the performance overall needs to
"Against Palace, we were better, that was a different game and we played
at home. We then had two away games at Norwich and here at Newcastle
and, as I said, it’s about physicality, it’s about energy… you have to
be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often
"Even when we were in possession of the ball, we had too many giveaways,
including the goal that we conceded and, if after seven minutes you are
one-goal down at St James’ Park, then it doesn't make things easier.
"Today was not a question of body language, it was a question of body
physicality. The body language was not that much of a problem today, but
if you want to be competitive here against Newcastle, then you have to
get physical and this was not the case in many parts of the game and,
therefore, we were struggling."
We shouldn't be looking for excuses. We have to meet the demands in
terms of speed, tempo, rhythm, transitions. We had chances to score but so did Newcastle. The good thing is we got
the point after being 1-0 down but the performance has to get better.
"We still have steps to go. Today was not a step forward. We need to
decrease the number of giveaways and unforced errors and those steps of
development we need to take. We have to take it game by game. We have physical games coming up
against Burnley and Wolves.
"Results are on track but we have to get
better than what we showed today.I think we were better in some games so
far in the past, but it’s also about getting results and again the good
thing today was we came back and we got the equaliser.
"In the end it could have been 2-2 – again there were two or three
fantastic saves from David De Gea, similar to the game at Norwich, but
we also had our chances to score a second goal. For sure, David is one
of the best goalkeepers in the world - he showed that at Norwich and in
the game today."
Allan Saint-Maximin netted his fourth goal PL of the season and
remains second in the 2021/22 scoring charts behind Callum Wilson, with six.
ASM moves on to 10 PL goals for the club, level with Jonjo Shelvey
and one ahead of fellow SJP colleague Jamaal Lascelles.
At the halfway point of the PL season, Newcastle have 19 goals from 19
games. Their lowest return in a game season remains 35 in 1997/98.
Sadly the Magpies failed to keep a PL clean sheet once again, managing just
one from their 19 games. They've conceded 42, hardly inspiring
confidence that they'll avoid exceeding their previous high total of 68 in
This was the ninth time Newcastle have scored first in the PL
this season - but they've gone on to win just one of them, drawing five
and losing three.
only eight of their nine permitted substitutes and included two goalkeepers;
Freddie Woodman and Mark Gillespie.
Federico Fernandez, Jamal Lewis and Paul Dummett were already unavailable
due to injury, with Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie, Joe Willock and Karl
Darlow all missing amid confirmation that an unspecified number of positive
COVID tests had been logged in the camp.
Red Devils @ SJP - Premier era:
2021/22 drew 1-1 Saint-Maximin
2020/21 lost 1-4 og(Shaw)
2019/20 won 1-0 M.Longstaff
2018/19 lost 0-2
2017/18 won 1-0 Ritchie
2015/16 drew 3-3 Wijnaldum, Mitrovic(pen), Dummett
2014/15 lost 0-1
2013/14 lost 0-4
2012/13 lost 0-3
2011/12 won 3-0 Ba, Cabaye, og(Jones)
2010/11 drew 0-0
2008/09 lost 1-2 Lovenkrands
2007/08 lost 1-5 Ab.Faye
2006/07 drew 2-2 Milner, Edgar
2005/06 lost 0-2
2004/05 lost 1-3 Shearer
2003/04 lost 1-2 Shearer
2002/03 lost 2-6 Jenas, Ameobi
2001/02 won 4-3 Robert, Lee, Dabizas, og(Brown)
2000/01 drew 1-1 Glass
1999/00 won 3-0 Ferguson, Shearer 2
1998/99 lost 1-2 Solano
1997/98 lost 0-1
1996/97 won 5-0 D.Peacock, Ginola, Ferdinand, Shearer, Albert
1995/96 lost 0-1
1994/95 drew 1-1 Kitson
1994/95 won 2-0 Albert, Kitson (LC)
1993/94 drew 1-1 Cole
Halfway - 19 games in, last 12
2021/22 11 points 19th (scored 19, conceded 42)
2020/21 19 points, 16th (scored 18, conceded 32)
2019/20 25 points, 10th (scored 18, conceded 28)
2018/19 17 points, 15th (scored 14, conceded 26)
2017/18 18 points, 15th (scored 19, conceded 29)
2015/16 17 points, 18th (scored 19, conceded 34) (relegated)
2014/15 26 points, 9th (scored 22, conceded 28)
2013/14 33 points, 8th (scored 29, conceded 24)
2012/13 20 points, 15th (scored 23, conceded 30)
2011/12 30 points, 7th (scored 26, conceded 25)
2010/11 22 points, 13th (scored 28, conceded 29)
2008/09 22 points, 12th (scored 25, conceded 27) (relegated)
Following a trio of demoralising pre-Christmas defeats,
Newcastle's final game of 2021 saw them revive to such an extent that even
hostile elements of the media conceded that they'd deserved three points
rather than just one.
The much-prized and unlikely victory that a diluted but composed side
deserved eluded Eddie Howe's side, but there was much to warm a partisan
holiday crowd under the lights on a chilly Tyneside night.
Whether by accident or design, the Magpies side that took to field after
injury, illness and suspension succeeded in achieving the elusive balance between
attack and defence - and crucially discovered some much-needed resilience in
That latter attribute was aided in part by one of Jonjo Shelvey's "brain in
gear" games, plus the sort of committed display that we worried was no
longer in Sean Longstaff's locker. Completing that triumvirate of wise men
though was Joelinton - now truly a star rising in the North East, having
prospered to an unheralded degree in left midfield. He was colossal.
As ever though with this club, the negatives weren't far behind the
positives: a wonderful opening goal but a failure to double the advantage
leading to the feared moment of defensive inadequacy, due in part to a
cobbled together backline including two right backs.
And worse still, extending past tonight's battle were further onfield
casualties in the shape of the entire front three of Callum Wilson, Allan
Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser leaving the field with ailments of varying
Wilson's enforced withdrawal and the lack of a parallel replacement on the
bench (Howe echoing Steve Bruce in not believing Dwight Gayle can play
there) resulted in the hosts allowing the visitors to initiate attacks with
less interference: Saint-Maximin unable to emulate the solo press.
Despite that though, they more than held their own all night against a Red
Devils side who looked ill-prepared after a 16 day break following a COVID
outbreak among staff and players that had closed their training ground.
Saint-Maximin's fine opener set the tone and Shelvey came close to a second
before Wilson poked home a disallowed effort. Chances continued to appear
for the black and whites in the second half; none more so than early on when
Saint-Maximin could only direct a first-time shot at De Gea from close range
with the goal seemingly gaping.
Fraser then took advantage of a marvellous Joelinton run and threaded pass
but tried in vain to beat De Gea at his front post. And after Ralf
Rangnick's side had scabbed an equaliser, a late raid from Newcastle came
agonisingly close to winning it: Jacob Murphy hitting the post and
fellow substitute Miguel Almiron bringing the save of the game out of De Gea
from the rebound.
Dubravka dropped the ball during six minutes of added time but got away with
his mistake and Joelinton claimed a penalty when his shot hit an arm,
although VAR showed the contact was outside the area.
The full time whistle brought mixed feelings: yet another game when one
point should have been three, but satisfaction in having gone toe to toe
with illustrious opponents, given them a game and emerged with some reward.
The stark reality is that failing to win here increases the probability of
our relegation, but you'd have to go a long way to encounter despondency
round these parts tonight. Call it pride, defiance or realism, people are on
board with whatever this "project" is; responding to what looks to be an
effort to repair the damage done by haphazard stewardship of club and squad
Having bought the tickets, waved the flags and sung the songs, those fans
now wait to see whether the new owners respond to the emerging situation
with affirmative action in the transfer market next month. Having just about
got away with the Emery/Howe issue early in their reign on a goodwill basis,
not doing so risks ending the honeymoon period abruptedly.
If a striker
wasn't on the shopping list before though, it has to be now; although it's
hard to believe that Howe would ignore his own previous experience of
managing Wilson and his SJP medical file, and believe that he would have
Although it's tempting to go down the route of planning for the 2022/23
Championship XI, our opinion remains that this season is salvageable and
there are three teams we can finish above.
Failing to bolster the squad in the areas that are required wouldn't be a
complete shock given what players have to buy into in order to sign here - but
managing the message better than in previous seasons might mitigate the
disappointment. Rearranging the words, "line
over the couldn't it get" really wouldn't be a good idea for a press
release or press conference soundbite on February 2nd....
PS: While writing this report, confirmation came that the Premier League had
granted Newcastle's request to postpone their next game away at Everton on
December 30th, which raises the possibility of the visit to Southampton
three days later suffering a similar fate.
That has to be a positive given our dwindling resources, also balancing out
what was becoming a significant disparity between the games played by sides
towards the bottom end of the table. It does of course allow for the game
(or games) to be played with the benefit of incoming transfers.