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Opinion

3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Oxford 2 Newcastle 3

2 weeks ago
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Tuesday night ended Oxford 2 Newcastle 3.

Goals in the 15th and 30th minutes looked to have set the Magpies up for a rare comfortable win.

However, control gradually slipped away and Oxford arguably deserved to take the game to extra time with their two late goals, that added 30 minutes seeing a cup-tie that could have gone either way…

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 Davey Hat-Trick who has the honour…:

POSITIVES

We’re in Round 5

Don’t ask me how but we find ourselves in mid-table and round 5 of the FA Cup, and I’d have settled for that (bitten your hand off, to be honest) when Steve Bruce hauled his bulky frame into the Newcastle dugout back in August.

We are also unbeaten in 8 games if you want to stretch the point.

Strong Team Again

Once again, we couldn’t complain about the names on the team sheet.

Bruce promised to take the Cup(s) seriously.

If at times the players look like they didn’t get that memo, it makes a pleasant change to see a first(ish)-choice team take the field in the Cup this season.

A Stunner to Win It

I wasn’t sure where a winner would come from in extra time.

The teams looked like a couple of sluggers swinging wildly in the final round of a heavyweight fight.

It could have gone either way but a bit of class from Monsieur Maximin delivered the knockout blow.

It avoided penalties and sent the long-suffering away support into raptures. It’s the least they deserved.

NEGATIVES

Perfecting the Art of Falling Apart

Anyone watching the first match would have struggled to work out which was the Premier League side and which rubs shoulders with the mackems. That was not the case for most of this game.

The 2-0 lead we had did not flatter us at all.

Yet a bit of pressure from Oxford saw Newcastle begin to relinquish control, conceding a goal saw us hand over the initiative completely, and a second became almost inevitable.

It’s hard to believe so much confidence dissipated so rapidly but it did.

Oxford Did a Newcastle on Us

I suppose it had to happen at some point, but having scored winners and equalisers deep into stoppage time lately, it happened to us.

Only 20 minutes earlier, we looked like the game was ours for the taking, then we fell for the same trick.

There is no greater joy when it’s Lejeune or Hayden delivering a sucker punch for us but it’s miserable when we’re on the receiving end.

We Looked Worse Without Joelinton

A lot worse.

For all the criticism he receives and for all that he deserves a lot of it, he provides a focal point that in the absence of Carroll and Gayle, we just don’t have otherwise.

He played quite well until injury forced him off and scored a decent goal.

Once he went off we lacked an outlet and – I hate to say it – a bit of movement up front. That’s a worry!

Stats from BBC Sport:

Oxford 2 Newcastle 3 (AET) – Tuesday 4 February 8.05pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Sean Longstaff, 15, Joelinton 30, ASM 116

Oxford United:

Kelly 84, Holland 90+4

Possession was Oxford 50%, Newcastle 50%

Total shots were Oxford 20 Newcastle 16

Shots on target were Oxford 5, Newcastle 7

Corners were Oxford 6, Newcastle 4

Crowd: 11,520 (incl 1,800 Newcastle)

Referee: Peter Bankes

Newcastle team v Oxford:

Darlow, Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune (Clark 97), Ritchie, Sean Longstaff, Bentaleb (Atsu 103), Matty Longstaff, Almiron (Hayden 90), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 37)

Unused Subs

Elliot, Fernandez, Allan

(Oxford boss gutted after 3-2 defeat to Newcastle United: “I thought we outplayed them” – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce says Mike Ashley ‘delighted’ to reach FA Cup fifth round for very first time – Read HERE)

(Watch all 3 Newcastle United goals including cracking ASM winner – Oxford 2 Newcastle 3 – Read HERE)

(Oxford 2 Newcastle 3 (AET) – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Oxford 2 Newcastle 3 (AET) – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Tuesday night’s dramatic win – Read HERE)

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