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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Newcastle 0 Leicester 3

10 months ago
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Wednesday afternoon ended Newcastle 0 Leicester 3.

A game that Leicester totally dominated, although Joelinton could and should have put United ahead when through one on one with Kasper Schmeichel, with Newcastle’s only real chance of the match.

Injuries obviously became a big talking point with four forced off the pitch but the game was lost long before that.

Ahead of each match we ask one of our writers to come up with 3 positives and 3 negatives following the game.

This time it is Jamie Smith who has the pleasure…:

POSITIVES

Unlucky mind

It looked a bit ominous pre-match, with a plethora of defensive injuries threatening our team’s usual strongpoint.

However, the injury situation just went mental when we lost four people within less than 10 minutes of game time. I realise we were two down by this point but the slim chance of an second half comeback was completely extinguished by this madness.

Damage Limitation

Given the unpleasant scenario of three straight defeats, I expected 16th or 17th place when I dared check the table.

So 13th is, I suppose, tolerable under the circumstances. We can recover.

Bounce back ability

When Miggy Almiron snatched a win v Crystal Palace pre-Christmas, you sensed things may not go well in the games after Santa.

Without being dismissive, maybe the FA Cup match at Rochdale will give a chance to get things back on track. I’m clutching here but howay…

NEGATIVES

But…

Who plays at Rochdale by the way?

A few weeks back the cup team would have written itself but now it’s a dilemma between drastic injury risks and the unpleasant prospect of a humiliating 3rd round exit (er, again).

With a bit better luck since Christmas Eve, stuff could have been more promising heading to Lancashire…

Defensive frailties

Our centre halves are our strong point, without doubt. However, I think there’s a degree of logic that passes over most people.

Lascelles as captain controls things. He talks well, organises and keeps calm heads. When he’s out of the team it notices unless his natural replacement steps in: Ciaran Clark.

Yes, Schar, Lejeune and Fernandez are better, sexier footballers than both of the above, but put them all together and you’re missing the straight man.

I wonder if Lejeune would have been allowed to play that suicidal pass across the box to let Perez in for the first goal if Clark or Jamaal had been there to scream “NO!!!” when he looked up?

Just what everyone is thinking

I can’t avoid the obvious, that the string of bad results this week is the obvious outcome when your luck runs out.

Weeks of nicking wins and strangling draws from games with 25% of possession have been suggested as papering over the obvious cracks of a team that’s never going to do anything but struggle.

If the course can be corrected soon then maybe there’s a case for the positive but Wolves, Chelsea and Everton has the look of a second consecutive zero points from nine if we’re being practical here…

Stats (half-time stats in brackets) from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 (Newcastle 0 Leicester 2) – Wednesday 1 January 3pm

Goals:

Leicester:

Perez 36, Maddison 39, Choudhury 87

Possession was Leicester 77% (71%), Newcastle 23% (29%)

Total shots were Leicester 16 (9), Newcastle 5 (4)

Shots on target were Leicester 9 (5), Newcastle 2 (2)

Corners were Leicester 5 (4), Newcastle 4 (3)

Crowd: 52,178 (3,000 Leicester and 10,000 free NUFC season ticket holders, although a massive  number of empty seats all around St James Park)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Newcastle team v Leicester:

Dubravka, Manquillo (Krafth 45+3), Schar (forced off on 51 minutes and NUFC down to 10 men), Lejeune, Fernandez, Willems (Yedlin 45), Hayden, Shelvey (Sean Longstaff 46), Almiron, Muto, Joelinton

Unused Subs

Darlow, Atsu, Carroll, Gayle

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s defeat – Read HERE)

(Watch official match highlights HERE)

(Steve Bruce confirms Newcastle United now have 11 injured after 6 additions – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 0 Leicester 3 – Thousands of empty seats as injuries save Steve Bruce from proper hammering – Read HERE)

(Today was the first time I have ever felt sorry for Steve Bruce and then I woke up – Read HERE)

Follow Jamie on Twitter @Mr_Dolf

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