“We don’t demand a club that wins, we demand a club that tries”. That is a quote that rings true of all Newcastle United supporters and that is exactly what we are getting now. Newcastle advanced to the 5th round for the first time under Mike Ashley’s ownership.
It wasn’t easy though. Newcastle needed 120 minutes to do so but a win is a win. The atmosphere was great, the away support fantastic and Mike Ashley was there to witness the club for hopefully the last time ;)
Lineups: Darlow, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Yedlin, Ritchie, Bentaleb, Matty Longstaff, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Joelinton
Subs: Elliot, Clark, Fernandez, Hayden, Saint-Maximin, Allan, Atsu
Another strong lineup for the cup tie. At First glance it looks like the 3-5-2 that Newcastle has been running of late. Or that 5-4-1. Secondly, it was odd to give St. Max rest but not Almiron. Lastly, I was happy for Tom Allan getting another bench spot.
When the match started, the formation took shape. Joelinton was up top alongside Almiron and Sean Longstaff was playing the 10. Matty and Bentaleb we’re behind Sean. Ritchie and Yedlin on the wings.
The first 10 minutes we saw a very open match. A lot of attacking intent but no luck in the final 3rd. Then, magic struck!
15th Minute: GOAL! 1-0 NUFC (S. Longstaff)
Almiron won the ball and did what he does best bringing it up the field, Ritchie wins a header to Almiron and he passes it to Joelinton. Big Jo passed to Longstaff and he squares up and hits a beautiful ball into the top right corner for the lead!
Immediately after the goal, NUFC were on the break again. Bentaleb brought the ball up and hit a cross that fell right in front of Big Jo and the ball took a bounce off of his shin and went wide. Jo was in the 6 yard box and completely missed the target. Unacceptable in my opinion.
For the next ten minutes, we saw S. Longstaff get really comfortable at the #10 position. He looked really composed and made great decisions on the ball throughout this game but especially in this ten minute period.
Another thing to look out for was Joelinton went down on the ground injured. He was holding his hip and needed treatment but was able to continue.
30th Minute: GOAL! 2-0 NUFC (Joelinton)
A wonderful counter-attacking goal! Matty Longstaff forced Oxford wide on a set piece and then Almiron was able to get possesion from them. The ball finds Sean Longstaff and he puts a great ball over the top and behind Oxford United’s defense which sent in Joelinton one-on-one vs the keeper. He had plenty of time to think about this one but he stayed composed and comfortably put the ball in the net to make this 2-0.
Shortly after this Darlow and Lascelles combined to make a great play and kept it at 2-0. Mackie had a great shot which Darlow was able to save but the rebound went out to Long and he fired a shot that would of gone in had it not been for Lascelles clearing it off the line.
Joelinton went down again holding his hip/ribs area. It was time for a sub.
37th Minute Substitution: Joelinton OFF, St. Maximin ON
This sub moved St. Max and Almiron up top as two strikers (Spoiler: Let’s not do that ever again).
Half-Time 2-0 NUFC
It was a great first half, we looked far and away the better team. Had a two goal lead and Sean Longstaff in my opinion was our best player. He was excellent at the 10. I am aware of the opponent, but I wouldn’t mind trying that out again in the Premier League.
Second half was underway and there was a lot of attacking confusion from Newcastle United. Miggy and St. Max were interchanging a lot and were all over the place. Doing that makes things difficult for the midfield to ever know where the strikers are going to be.
There was a penalty shout from Newcastle when St. Max played in Almiron and he was taken down. I think it was a good call. No pen, no card for diving, just a good overall play.
The 2nd half saw St. Maximin looking fantastic as well. He was my MOTM against Norwich and picked up the steam once again. Was looking lively, playing short passes instead of long dribbles, and always looked a threat.
The game grew to a pretty slow pace and it looked as if both sides were comfortable is seeing the rest of the match out. You saw Longstaff and Lascelles communicating to players to try to move up the pitch but it seemed no one outside of Almiron and St. Max were interested.
84th Minute: Goal! Oxford United 2-1 (Kelly)
Oxford had a free kick in a dangerous area and Kelly stepped up and curled a beautiful right-footed kick. A great goal and Oxford got one back in the 84th minute.
Right after the goal was Almiron’s best chance. He sprinted right through the middle of two defenders but he forced himself to wide and had to force an awkward shot which was saved.
Then another chance for NUFC. St. Maximin picks up the ball on the left and cuts into the box, lays it off to Sean Longstaff and this should of easily been a goal. However, Longy sent the ball wide of the right post.
90th Minute: Substitution - Almiron OFF, Hayden ON
90+4 Minute: Goal! Oxford United 2-2 (Holland)
Now we know how it feels to be Everton. This was disgraceful to give up a 2 goal lead to this side. But to be fair, Oxford looked the better team since the 80 minute mark.
This one came from a set piece. They sent their goalie up and the ball eventually landed to Holland who hits a great finish at the edge of the area for a fantastic goal to send this one to Extra-Time.
End of Full-Time: 2-2
A complete failure for NUFC to allow this to go to Extra-Time but here we are.
ET started and Oxford immediately had a chance to make it 3-2. There was a scramble in the box and Darlow was able to make a save and the rebound came out and it looked like a wide open net but NUFC were able to clear it off the line.
Since Almiron came off, Oxford was completely dominate and St. Max was the loan figure up top and it just wasn’t working. NUFC needed another difference maker on the pitch but with a lack of attacking options, I doubted they would be able to do so.
97th Minute: Substitution - Lejeune OFF, Clark ON
Now we have St. Max up top alone, S. Longstaff as the 10, Matty and Hayden behind Sean AND Bentaleb. But for some reason, we still weren’t able to control the midfield. They were forced to get deeper and deeper and Oxford kept pushing.
103rd Minute: Substitution - Bentaleb OFF, Atsu ON
Atsu was put to the top alongside St. Maximin. S. Longstaff was the 10 with Matty and Hayden behind him. Atsu almost instantly caused problems which opened things up a bit more, but we headed to HT of ET.
Half-Time of Extra-Time 2-2
The 2nd half started and Atsu immediately attacked on the right hand side which went out for a corner. The ensuing corner was close, but still no cigar. The rest of the 2nd half consisted of Atsu and St. Maximin equally pushing forward to make something happen and finally, it did!
116th Minute: GOAL! 3-2 NUFC (St. Maximin)
What. A. Goal. St. Max picked up the ball on the left hand side, cut inside, gets past two defenders, and blasts a ball past the keeper and into the net putting Newcastle into the 5th round of the FA Cup! The ensuing celebrations included a St. Max dance, and a helicopter (if you don’t understand, search ‘Viagra NUFC’ on Twitter).
FINAL! NUFC 3-2
It is a great feeling to know that we have a cup run. It’s something these fans and the city of Newcastle deserve. It hasn’t been pretty and frankly, with this team, it won’t be. But the fact of the matter is that NUFC are in the final 16.
Stats and Things:
- Newcastle are unbeaten in the last 8 matches in all comps
- NUFC lost 6 straight 4th round matches until tonight.
- Newcastle advanced to the 5th round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2006.
- Sunderland are still in League One
“I thought we deserved it. I know it turned into a hairy cup tie in the last 10 minutes and was great for the neutral although bloody awful for myself. If you’re a Newcastle fan, I’m sure parts of it weren’t great.
”It wouldn’t be Newcastle without a story and if that’s the story let’s go to West Bromwich Albion and carry it on.
”When you look back and put your slippers on the FA Cup final is still a huge moment in this country.
”A club like Newcastle can win five games and get to Wembley.
”I know what it means for the city and the supporters, who have come a million miles to get here tonight, a couple of thousand of them.
”We are into the next round. We have made hard work of it against Rochdale and now Oxford but I think we thoroughly deserved to get through.
”I think it is significant for the club to get into the fifth round for the first time since 2006.
”Joelinton got a whack to his ribs. He’s sore in there. Let’s hope there’s no fracture or break. Almiron - I think he’s just sore and stiff and tired.
”We lost our focal point when Joelinton went off. We had three or four real big chances to make it three (in normal time) and didn’t, and they made a cup tie of it.
”(It was) A magnificent winning goal. That bit of quality has won us the tie. I think, overall, we deserved it but we made hard work of it. You want to get the third one to kill the game but I thought the better team won.
”I thought we were in control up until the last ten minutes. We had a difficult 5/10 minutes at start of extra time but I thought overall the better team won the cup tie.
”We’re into the fifth round for the first time in 14 years, and a club like ours has got to be doing better than that. Let’s enjoy it.”