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Sheffield United collapse after red card as Newcastle United ease to victory

Sheffield United headed to Newcastle in the knowledge that a win could elevate them into 5th spot, while a win for the home side would probably be enough to ensure safety for another year.

Sheffield United also had the advantage of having a game under their belts since the league restarted, so you would’ve expected them to look sharper than their opponents.

Line-ups:

Newcastle United – 4-4-1-1: Dubravka, Manquillo, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose, Saint-Maximin, Shelvey, Haden, Ritchie, Amiron, Joelinton

Subs: 79′ Carroll for Joelinton, 79′ Bentaleb for Saint-Maximin, 85′ Schar for Shelvey, 85′ Lazaro for Almiron, 92′ Yedlin for Ritchie

Sheffield United – 3-5-2: Henderson, Robinson, Egan, Basham, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McBurnie, Sharp

Subs: 66′ Lundstram for Berge, 73′ L. Freeman for Fleck, 74′ Zivkovic for Sharp, 85′ K. Freeman for McBurnie

 

First Half:

Both sides struggled to create any real openings, with a lot of promising counter-attacking opportunities ruined by a wasteful final ball.

Sheffield United’s best chance came from an early corner where Robinson was inexplicably given the entire back post to himself, but Norwood’s delivery was just too high and he couldn’t get an effort on target.

Joelinton has struggled for goals and form since his arrival, but he was given a huge chance when he went through on goal.

Unfortunately he looks like a striker who is trying to overthink things, and he tried to be too precise and just made a total mess of the effort:

Chris Wilder’s men didn’t create anything else of note and although Norwood was delivering some lovely corners to the back post, nobody was getting there to make them count.

Second Half:

Newcastle were handed a huge boost at the start of the second half where Joelinton’s hard work gave him the chance to break at goal, but Egan just grabbed onto him and the ref gave him a second yellow and sent him on his way.

It was possible that it was a clear goal scoring opportunity so a straight red may have been justified, but the second yellow was probably the easy option, and it gave Newcastle a man advantage for the remaining 40 minutes.

Newcastle were able to take control shortly afterwards as Enda Stevens failed to cut out a cross, and Saint-Maximin was able to slam the ball home at the back post:

The game was effectively over on the 69th minute as Matt Ritchie was allowed to drive to the edge of Sheffield’s box and wind up a shot, so it was no surprise to see the ball fly past Dean Henderson into the net.

Chris Wilder tried to freshen things up front and there were a few balls into the box, but the final goal came for Joelinton as he tapped the ball home from inside the 6 yard box.

Stats:

Courtesy of Sky Sports

Post Match thoughts:

Newcastle looked like winning the game when it was 11 v 11, but the red card really hurt Sheffield United and Steve Bruce’s men were able to win comfortably in the end.

Chris Wilder must be worried that a magical season may fizzle out into nothing if this run of form continues, so he’ll be hoping they manage to bounce back in their next game.

Newcastle now look safe and all eyes will be on the potential takeover, and it will be interesting to see if that puts more pressure on the players to prove they still have a place in the team once they start spending money.