Newcastle 3 Luton 1 – Saturday 6 January 2018 3pm
We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.
Newcastle United into the fourth round of the FA Cup!
“If my nose wasn’t frozen I’d now have a nose bleed from getting through to the 4th round under the fat cockney chap.
“Full strength team toiled, then strolled, then stumbled.
“Couple of scrappy goals from Ayoze topped with a quality third from Jonjo made the second half seem a formality. Erm it wasn’t.
“We turned in a weird one and could have scored another four or five but over cooked or under cooked everything, whilst at the back we wobbled to allow Luton back in with a goal, bar rattled and a comedy disallowed goal celebration.
“Either way, in the hat.
“Hope Luton fans enjoyed their day out and judging by how mortal half were, I’m sure they will have.”
“As Rafa said, with only one game a week for the rest of the season we can afford to play a first team in this competition and though we have been in that position in the past, it looks like this year we have a manager who wants to do just that.
“Even if it is just to stick it up Ashley as much as he can, I welcome our new ‘play a first team’ Cup approach.
“After today, I would suggest our first team is Lascelles and 10 others.
“Again, defensively we were a different team without him.
“We were a bit of a shambles at times but that made it good fun and a good cup tie.
“Cagey for a bit, comfortable for a bit, entertaining for a bit, UFC for a bit, nervy for a bit, jumpers for goalposts for a bit.
“The FA Cup does have everything.
“Even a Fourth Round, which I had never noticed before.”
“Well done to Rafa for picking a very strong team.
“If you are like me and think Shelvey & Merino is our best centre midfield combo, plus Gayle & Perez is our best partnership up top, you could say this team was stronger than a lot of our Premier League games so far.
“Banana skin avoided…who’s next?”
“Probably the very best outcome as an attacking display will have boosted confidence among the likes of Murphy, Ritchie and the two goal scorers.
“For round four I want a home tie against the lowest ranked team left in the hat and anyone who says different is mental.
“Luton had a real go second half and made it a real match when you might have thought we’d run away with it at the break.
“The only negative to take is the early injury.
“Someone needs to tell me what happened to Lascelles (ED: Rafa says a precaution and NUFC Captain is ‘fine’, looking after a groin problem) and that he’s absolutely fine now.”
“Great to be in the 4th round of the Cup.
“Great to see a few goals at home.
“Not so great that Captain Lascelles could be out.
“All in all though, a great day!”
“Pleased to see a strong line up put out for this one, with the hope the lads would get back to winning ways at home with a few goals.
“All was going well in the first half but we got sucked into a game in the second, which I’d put down to our inability to hit the target more often that we did.
“Happy to be in the hat for the next round!”
“A thoroughly professional first team has got the job done.
“That’s what you get when you put a strong side out in the cup.
“A few edgy moments after the break but the game was pretty much killed off clean with that nine minute burst – a Perez brace and one for Shelvey.
“The Ashley era has been characterised by FA Cup misery, so it’s nice to see the fourth round for a change.
“It’s all about the draw now. We’ll need a nice draw to make further progress, so fingers crossed.
“Final mention to Luton Town. Fantastic following from them today.
“Their team gave it a right good go when the game looked gone.”
“Thoroughly professional job.
“All about being in the next round.
“Keeps the momentum going and bring on Swansea next week.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 3 Luton 1
Goals – Newcastle Perez 30, 36 Shelvey 39
Goals – Luton Hylton 49
Possession was Luton 51% Newcastle 49%
Total shots were Luton 9 Newcastle 25
Shots on target were Luton 2 Newcastle 7
Corners were Luton 7 Newcastle 7
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Woodman, Manquillo, Lascelles (Hayden 31), Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Merino (Saivet 80), Shelvey (Diame 71), Murphy, Perez, Gayle
Darlow, Joselu, Haidara, Aarons
Crowd: 47,069 (Approx 7,500 Luton)