Even the winning goal came after yet another stunning Karl Darlow save – Watch it here
Newcastle 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1 – Monday 26 December 7.45pm
I can think of no higher praise for Karl Darlow than to say his performance against Sheffield Wednesday reminded me of Shay Given.
In his 10 years at St James Park, Newcastle fans were spoilt by goalkeeper Shay Given, much like we were by Alan Shearer at the other end of the pitch.
Very good saves were taken for granted and exceptional ones were commonplace.
On Boxing Day night only Karl Darlow stood between Newcastle and a three or four goal defeat.
Rafa Benitez claimed that Newcastle had some really good chances before Wednesday took the lead but I struggle to think of any really difficult saves the visiting keeper made.
On the other hand, Karl Darlow made some breathtaking ones, with maybe the two very best ones a tip over the bar in the first half that was pure reflex, then early in the second a superb one from point blank range that was Peter Schmeichel at his best as the United keeper spread himself.
Both ourselves and Rafa Benitez can be really grateful that Darlow didn’t spit his dummy out in the summer when the United boss blundered and brought in Matz Sels ahead of him.
Watch below yet another fine save from Karl Darlow last night but he could do nothing with the follow-up that brought the winner.
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1
Sheffield Wednesday: Loovens 53
Possession was Sheff Wed 36% Newcastle 64%
Total shots were Sheff Wed 13 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Sheff Wed 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Sheff Wed 5 Newcastle 11
Newcastle starting 11:
Darlow, Anita, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Colback (Mitrovic 80), Ritchie, Gouffran (Atsu 62), Diame (Perez 69), Gayle
Sels, Mbemba, Yedlin, Lazaar,
Referee: Paul Tierney
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction go HERE)
(To view our interactive Newcastle v Sheff Wed player ratings and to add your own, go HERE)
— Sky Sports EFL ⚽️ (@SkySportsEFL) 26 December 2016
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