Sheffield Wednesday 2 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 8 April 2017 5.30pm
We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:
“Apart from two short spells we were never in that, so 2-1 wasn’t as bad as it could and should have been.
“Our inability to defend set-pieces will worry Benitez, as will lack-lustre perfomances from most of the supporting cast.
“Only Shelvey, Ritchie and Darlow looked like leaders out there.
“A bit ragged, a bit tired, a few injuries but still 10 points clear in second, next weekend may see us promoted.
“We will need to play better than we did today but it is over a season that you are judged and not over 90 minutes, just as well for some of our players this evening.
“Shelvey though eh? Jumpers for goalposts. Marvellous.”
“Poor, manager’s fault.
“Plan B better than plan A.”
“Woeful performance and result today. Totally out-played.
“A bit of determination and desire from Ritchie and Shelvey – everybody else was terrible.
“Perez is a total waste of space, Diame is a shadow of his former self, no service for Murphy when he came on, Gouffran back to his anonymous worst, Mbemba and Lascelles were both dreadful….could go on!
“Appointing Lascelles as captain is increasingly looking like a poor decision.
“Style of play has been a big let-down and this season has been far from enjoyable despite our impending promotion.
“When’s the last time we actually played well and imposed ourselves on the opposition?!
“No flair, imagination or penetration – sadly, a very un-Newcastle team.
“Will deservedly lose out on the title to Brighton now but still a decent season of consolidation from Rafa under difficult circumstances.
“Would gladly have taken 2nd place at the start of the season. Nearly over the line now. HWTL!”
“Worst of the season for me,
“Not suprised if Rafa is fuming, players looked complacent.
Leazes Park Ender:
“A really disappointing night in terms of the result and the performance, not to mention the failure to cash in on Huddersfield losing, and the ceding of top spot to Brighton.
“We now need them to slip up.
“The manager and the players will have to have big rethink ahead of the Leeds game. Find the solutions, as Rafa will no doubt say.
“Shorn of a few nailed on starters it has been pretty lacklustre tonight. The midweek battle maybe a factor, but no excuse.
“There is also lot of pressure on, given that we’re so close to the promotion mark, but there remains breathing space to get the job done.
“The loss of Gayle isn’t ideal ahead of the final five games. Others will need to step up. Young Perez is driving us all crackers at the moment.
“We have to bounce back from this and I think we will, but it will be nervy.
“I’m sure David Prutton at Sky Sports will be doing his knee slides, after all a stopped clock is right twice a day.”
“Ironically, our one decent spell was at the start of the second half, abruptly ended by Wednesday’s opener.
“The vulnerability at set-pieces has been shocking all season and needs to be addressed, as both goals were amateurish to concede.
“In the context of the weekend you could say promotion has moved closer as the ten point gap remains with 5 to play, thanks to favours from others.
“Unfortunately, that (favours) is exactly what we now need to be champions, with Brighton in the clear. Disappointing.”
“Well… other results went for us, so we can still get this sorted.
“But it doesn’t help when there’s not a lot of help for the defence.
“Learn from it, pick ourselves up, and move on.
“Sometimes I think we just like the suspense. Then I remember I don’t want suspense. I want to be promoted.”
“The only positive is that the teams chasing us don’t have enough games left to overtake us.
“Brighton are deserved champions if they get it.”
“That defeat has been coming, bearing in mind our recent performances.
“Thanks to Huddersfield and Reading cracking under the pressure, it’s not as bad as it could have been.
“Time to focus on beating Leeds at home and have us go into the Easter weekend with smiles on our faces.”
“They will want to play us every week.
“Massively have our number and some of our lightweight bods like Perez just got lost.
“Jonjo came to the party with his best performance in donkey’s but he was as good as Big Mo was bad. Too much of that today.
“Still going to stumble over the line, whether first or second is anyone’s guess – but if we can muster up a win against Leeds we will not be far off.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Sheffield Wednesday 2 Newcastle 1
Sheffield Wednesday: Lees 59 Fletcher 68
Newcastle: Shelvey 88
Possession was Sheff Wed 48% Newcastle 52%
Total shots were Sheff Wed 11 Newcastle 16
Shots on target were Sheff Wed 3 Newcastle 8
Corners were Sheff Wed 3 Newcastle 4
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett, Ritchie (Mitrovic 78), Shelvey, Diame (Atsu 72), Gouffran, Gayle (Murphy 29), Perez
Elliot, Gamez, Haidara, Ameobi
Crowd: 28,883 (Newcastle 3,100)
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