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That was shocking for neutrals to watch…but we aren’t neutrals – Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2

2 months ago
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Never mind the entertainment, just feel the points.

Though having said that, nothing is more entertaining than winning as an away fan.

Yes we all crave entertainment and attacking football but when you are travelling home knackered after an away game with work to come after a few hours sleep, it is winning that gives you that adrenaline rush all the way back to Tyneside.

I have thrown out a few four letter words in my time when Steve Bruce’s name has been mentioned but there is only one in my mind at this moment – luck!

What a rubbish game plan but it worked!!

I have to say the away end weren’t too impressed in those first 15 minutes, Newcastle defending even deeper than what we have become accustomed to this season.

The midfield standing right on the toes of the defence and Almiron & Saint-Maximin playing so far back it was pretty much a seven man defence, with Shelvey and Hayden in front and Carroll shuffling back and forwards as Sheffield United played the ball around.

However, the mood changed in an instant, which is what goals have a habit of doing.

A superb Javier Manquillo cross from the right and a towering header from…Allan Saint-Maximin.

An amazing leap to get above the defender and give the keeper no chance as it ended up in the bottom corner.

The goal gave both Newcastle’s defence and fans something  to hang onto and we never let go…

The defence full of their usual grit and discipline and Martin Dubrvaka man of the match, which tells you everything.

The big moment coming shortly after ASM’s opener, an easier chance from a very similar position but McBurnie’s header not of the same quality but Dubravka still having to make a superb save as he was given a chance to keep it out that should never have been the case.

As an away fan when your team is leading, there is nothing better.

A great viewpoint behind the goal doing no harm, the complete opposite of where we stick away fans.

The pattern was set for the rest of the game as Sheffield United moved and moved the ball around but found themselves up against an immovable defence.

Occasionally they did get some joy in finding a way through but as I said, Dubravka proved his value when called upon. He must have been worth at least seven or eight points already this season.

As the game went on and Newcastle looked ever more resolute in their determination to defend and not show any ambition to get forward, Sheffield United visibly drained of belief. Like the tide smashing against the rocks it eventually gradually receded, the final moment that stemmed that tide of pressure for good, coming on 70 minutes.

With Sheffield United still pressing for the equaliser in vain, a long ball hopeful ball was flicked on by Andy Carroll and the linesman’s flag went up for offside.

As everybody else stopped, Jonjo Shelvey jogged onto the ball and the referee kept on going with his whistle unused.

Never before will Shelvey have ‘outpaced’ the opposition from the halfway line and scored, it helping of course that nobody was running after him of course.

Henderson in the home goal made no effort to stop the sidefoot shot from the Newcastle midfielder and all eyes were on the referee.

It dawned on us that this was quite possibly actually a goal…

The ref waiting on VAR and the answer came back, Carroll had been clearly onside so 2-0 and that was that.

The final 20 minutes played out tamely, apart from in the away end of course.

Jingle bells arriving early this festive season.

The players took the deserved applause after the final whistle, players took off and passed their shirts to fans in the away end.

On nights like this we can forget about our daily stresses and Mike Ashley for 90 minutes.

Plus, this was our local ‘derby’ this season!

Yes, amazingly Sheffield is our shortest away trip of the season and a brilliant night enjoyed by all….

That was shocking for neutrals to watch…but we aren’t neutrals – Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2.

 

Stats from BBC Sport:

Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2  – Thursday 5 December 7.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Saint-Maximin 15, Shelvey 70

Possession was Sheff Utd 73%, Newcastle 27%

Total shots were Sheff Utd 13, Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Sheff Utd 6, Newcastle 4

Corners were Sheff Utd 8, Newcastle 1

Crowd: 30,409 (2,900 Newcastle)

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Newcastle team v Sheffield Utd:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Dummett, Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 81), Almiron (Krafth 88), Carroll (Joelinton 72)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Schar, Sean Longstaff, Gayle

(Steve Bruce defends boring tactics following criticism after beating Sheffield United 2-0 – Read HERE)

(Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Thursday’s win – Read HERE)

(Chris Wilder blames VAR and Steve Bruce’s super negative tactics for defeat at Bramall Lane – Read HERE)

(3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2 – Read HERE)

(Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2 – Watch official match highlights and both goals here! – Read HERE)

(Sheffield United 0 Newcastle 2 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

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