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3 Positives and 3 Negatives from Friday night – Leicester 2 Newcastle 4

5 months ago

Friday night’s match ended Leicester 2 Newcastle 4.

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

A surprising but thrilling match that saw Newcastle United produce their best performance of the season, scoring four of the six goals in the end to end match.

This time it is Billy Miller:


An Excellent 80 Minutes

If this had been a rugby game, I would have been lauding a perfect performance and job well done. There were another ten minutes to play though and Leicester made it a game over that period. We saw the win out and it was a big one but of course we made hard work of it.

I could have named several players as positives as there were great performances all round.

Dummett got his first goal in five years. The defence was solid, with both wing backs covering loads of ground and supporting the attacks as well as being disciplined off the ball. Wilson got his first goals after a long lay-off and his general leading of the line was exemplary as ever. Dubravka made some vital saves. Had one of the early Leicester chances gone in it would have been a completely different game. I think, and don’t quote me on this, I think I saw Shelvey burst into a sprint at one point.

Although I am ecstatic with the result, it could have easily been vastly different. Leicester had nearly double the shots and 69% possession. If they had got the first goal, I think we would have crumbled. They didn’t though and we pressed and harassed, especially in the first half, and made the most of a poor Leicester performance.

We’re Safe

Maybe not mathematically but I will eat my retro Newcastle United facemask if we go down now.

Fulham have won five games all season, there’s no way they’re winning the next four. Besides I’m sure we’ll pick up a point from our last three, so the relegation issue is over as far as I’m concerned.

Willock Started

It’s only taken Steve Bruce three games and three important substitute goals to see that this man had to be given an opportunity to start.

Shame it was for Longstaff instead of Shelvey. Still, the Arsenal loanee took his chance.

When Soyuncu tried to be clever and turned into trouble, Willock was onto it quicker than Ashley on a failing high street brand. He took his goal exceptionally well.

He put himself about all game, making tackles, trying to take people on and make things happen.

I’ve said for a while that I think Hayden’s gritty defensive qualities would be complemented perfectly by an energetic box-to-box midfielder. I think we’ve finally got him.

Shame it’s only for another trio of matches. He’s playing himself out of our price range now.


No Perfect Hat-trick

When Wilson played a one-two off the post and steered in a left footed shot from a tight angle, I was instantly imagining a headed third goal. I was willing Ritchie or Murphy to whip one in for him to power home. After grabbing his first couple of goals after his return it would have been great for him to wrap it up with a hat-trick of any sort. A perfect one would have been extra special. Not even Shearer got one of those.

Then again, whilst Wilson is excellent at finishing with both of his feet, I’ve noticed this season that he has the heading ability of Anne Boleyn. He has scored a header but he’s missed a lot of sitters too.

No Clean Sheet

Shame we couldn’t get a fifth goal to pay Leicester back for doing that to us in the same fixture last season. Bigger shame that we didn’t keep a clean sheet. Biggest shame that with only ten minutes left we somehow went from comfortable winners to clinging on.

I’m sure there’s a parallel universe somewhere that saw Newcastle fans rue Perez pulling it back to 3-4. Imagine if they had dragged it back to 4-4. That would have blown away our own equivalent against Arsenal due to the limited timeframe that Leicester would have turned it around in.

We Had Better Get Used To Bruce

If no takeover happens in between, we’ll have to brace ourselves for another season of Steve Bruce.

I don’t doubt we would have been seeing that anyway, even if we’d been relegated. But this would have sealed it I’d imagine. If we’d stayed up but lost all of our last four games, then we would have finished on less points than our last relegation season. That might have shamed Bruce into quitting. But probably not.

Even in his post-match conference after this massive win he managed to wind me up. Two things he said ticked me off.

One was, ‘Only we could give away two goals at the end.’ That isn’t really something a manager should say about his own team. It’s like he forgets that organising his team and game management is part of his role. I know these things happen in football but don’t say it could only happen to us like he expects us to become sloppy.

Even more ridiculous was when he stated that someone had just told him that we had gone up to thirteenth. Did he really not know before the game where a win would take us? What sort of manager doesn’t know where they could end up after a win? That shows that either he had no faith in us winning or he doesn’t even have the foresight/interest to work out what a win could mean for us in the table.

Or he was just trying to be aloof…but why do that when it makes you look like a moron? Still, I shouldn’t be shocked.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Friday 7 May 8pm



Willock 22, Dummett 34, Wilson 64, 73


80 Albrighton, 87 Iheanacho

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Leicester 69% (67%) Newcastle 31% (33%)

Total shots were Leicester 25 (7)  Newcastle 14 (9)

Shots on target were Leicester 9 (4) Newcastle 6 (3)

Corners were Leicester 9 (2) Newcastle 6 (5)

Referee: Darren England

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Murphy, Fernandez, Krafth, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Willock (Sean Longstaff 77), Almiron (Hendrick 88), Wilson, Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 84)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Lewis, Manquillo, Carroll, Clark, Gayle

Crowd: 00,000

(Steve Bruce is a proud man ‘We are in the dizzying heights of 13th’ – Read HERE)

(Brendan Rodgers declares ‘We could have had 5 goals’ v Newcastle and points to missing star – Read HERE)

(Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – What have I just watched??? – Read HERE)

Leicester 2 Newcastle 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Friday’s 6 goal thriller – Read HERE)

You can follow the author on Twitter @billymerlin


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