Updated: Dec 9, 2019
A first showing for Newcastle United on Amazon ended in delight for those all those in black and white. A first goal for United from Saint-Maximin and a first VAR review goal for United from Shelvey lifting the Magpies to the dizzy heights of 11th in the league.
You’d be forgiven to scrambling for match highlights to see a Saint-Maximin worldie, instead you’ll find him fighting for and winning a back post header after a delightful cross from Manquillo.
And whilst Sheffield United had more possession than in any game this season they would end up losing by more than 1 goal for the first time at home since they were in League 1 as United sealed the points in bizarre circumstances.
A long ball flicked on from Carroll allowing Shelvey to stroll clean through to pass the ball past a keeper who virtually stopped playing like the rest of his team after seeing the flag. There would be no whistle however and a VAR showed both Newcastle players were easily on side and the goal was allowed to stand.
A heroic defensive performance from the entire team meant there was little but scraps for Sheffield to feed on. Clark and Dubravka perhaps the pick of the bunch.
Just the one change before this one with Carroll getting his first start since returning to the Magpies, coming in for Joelinton who would only make the bench.
STARTING XI: Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu, 81), Almiron (Krafth, 87), Carroll (Joelinton, 72)
It was a perfect early start for United.
The scorer Saint-Maximin, in least expected fashion.
With just 15 minutes on the clock a wonderful cross from Javier Manquillo we met by the United number 10 who headed back across goal and into the bottom right corner of Henderson’s goal. A wonderful moment for the enigmatic Frenchman.
A brilliant start and a platform to defend. And oh my word did United defend.
And then, normal service resumed (see every other match report for attack v defence analogies).
Dubravka had already made a couple of good saves before the United goal and would be called into action after it too. Safe hands again after a good header from Egan.
On 37 minutes through Sheffield United should have been level. A lovely cross should have been nodded home by a totally unmarked O’Connell who totally fluffed their lines.
Bruce’s men fighting their way to half time with their lead in tact.
The defensive wall continued to do it’s job in the second half. Sheffield United enjoying well over 60% but becoming more and more frustrated.
On 70 minutes a VAR masterstroke. A long ball to Carroll who flicked on to Shelvey led the entire Sheffield United team to stop in their tracks claiming offside. Shelvey though, clear through did what every schoolboy is taught and ran through, side-footing passed Henderson in the Sheffield goal. Even Henderson was so convinced the move was offside his attempt to save the shot was no more than a half hearted arm waved at the ball.
For Stuart Attwell there was also a decision to make, seeing the linesman’s flag raised he momentarily put the whistle to his mouth before remembering the rule and allowing the moved to conclude. Bring on VAR, which agreed with what was obvious even from the very first replay, both Carroll and Shelvey were both well onside.
Goal given, binocular celebration, brilliant.
And that would be that.
The win puts Newcastle five points ahead of Everton who now occupy the final relegation slot after the recent winning run of results from United’s next opponents, Southampton, left the Toffees in the bottom three and today managerless. An important win it would seem.