An horrendous day for Newcastle United.
Yet another FA Cup capitulation. What a shocker this was.
The risk of the weakened side really badly exposed by League One Oxford Utd.
Much has been said about Aleksandar Mitrovic this season. With some fans he has a cult hero status, many felt he’d tear it up this season, but he’s been largely a massive disappointment.
I recall watching him lead the line at home to Blackburn and thinking then, ‘this kid has so much to learn about playing centre forward for this football club’.
Sadly, it’s gone from bad to worse when he was handed his chance. The nightmare crowned when he missed a penalty to make it 1-1.
The manager has gambled on his selection today and he’s come unstuck. Hate to criticise a man of Rafa’s standing, but he’s fluffed it today, as have the players who came in.
While the defeat stings, and many will disagree with me here, it is probably better to be out of the cup at this stage of the season. The league is the absolute focus.
I suspect Brighton will be saying the same after an even worse day than us – a 3-1 loss at conference side Lincoln. Ouch!
The downside is what the result does to momentum and player confidence.
Benitez has the tools and the talent to pick them up and get us right back on track. That’s the task now. Bouncing back from this totally rubbish day.
My sympathies to all who paid to go and see that.
Oxford 3 Newcastle 0 – Saturday 28 January 2017 3pm
FA Cup 4th Round
Stats from BBC Sport:
Oxford 3 Newcastle 0
Oxford: Hemmings 46, Nelson 79, Martinez 87
Possession was Oxford 48% Newcastle 52%
Total shots were Oxford 14 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Oxford 5 Newcastle 5
Corners were Oxford 9 Newcastle 10
Referee: David Coote
Crowd: 11,819 (Newcastle 1,800)
Sels, Good, Hanley, Gamez, Haidara (Ritchie 77), Lazaar, Hayden, Barlaser, El-Mhanni (Gouffran 68), Perez, Mitrovic
Elliot, Yedlin, Dummett, Lascelles, Shelvey
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the game go HERE)