The Jog on the Tyne

Newcastle United 0 Leicester City 2

St James Park, 29th September 2018

Report by Colin Murrant

As I set out Saturday morning the omens were good.  Two magpies flew off into the distance as my car approached and, as it turned out, that was a portent for the afternoon at St James; the Magpies barely putting in an appearance.

The visit to Newcastle is one of my favourite trips of the season, a mammoth stadium just 200 metres outside the City Centre. The view is not great as an away fan as you sit up with gods, but if nothing else it is a rare if not unique experience. Being so high up, and behind the goal, the match plays out in front of you like a game of chess, and the chess grandmasters were all playing for The Foxes.

So, who were the grandmasters? Papy Mendy was immense again, his work rate, his passing, exceptional. He was all over the pitch breaking up play, passing the ball accurately, and generally setting the tempo for City. He is now fulfilling the promise and potential that Claudio saw in him.

If Mendy, with Ndidi, is the engine room of the team then the creativity comes from James Maddison. His passing accuracy, his ability to turn and switch play, is a joy to behold; his set piece delivery is another excellent attribute he has in his locker. Gareth Southgate watching in the crowd would not have been disappointed.

The third of the trio of grandmasters on show was Maguire, barely putting a foot wrong he was steady and strong in defence, bringing the ball forward and crowned his display with a thunderous header; so dominant in either box and reminiscent of his efforts in the World Cup.

On a fine afternoon City kicked off attacking the Gallowgate end of the stadium. They were quickly on the front foot and into their passing game although the best chances in the opening minutes fell to Newcastle. Firstly, Perez tried to put Joselu in before Perez himself had a chance before Ndidi cleared the danger.

On 10 minutes some fine interchange of passing by City put Ricardo in but Dubravka saved at the foot of his post and put the ball behind for a corner. Although City were controlling the match, the Magpies had another chance when Diame headed just wide when in a great position.

City pressed forward and won a series of corners the third of which led to City’s opener. The corner fell eventually to Maguire who shot and the ball was handled above his head by Yedlin. Newcastle protested at length but Vardy kept his calm and slotted the ball in the corner; the score after thirty minutes no less than City deserved.

City maintained control and were comfortable as half time came although the feeling was they needed another goal. The Magpies had mustered one shot on target, a shot from inside his own half from Shelvey who tried to catch Schmeichel off his line.

The second half started in the same fashion but on 49 minutes Perez fell into Maguire and went down in the box. Although Perez seemed to be the aggressor, the player and the crowd were in uproar but the referee Simon Hooper ignored the protestations. The referee had a good game keeping control and playing the advantage when at all possible. Then followed a volley by Maguire from the edge of the opponent’s box which he made a real mess of, so much so that the ball dropped to himself and he had a second attempt. This time the ball went wide of the far post although never really threatening the goal.

Shelvey was dishing out some tough tackles and Vardy was a victim as he attempted to clear the ball from a Newcastle attack. As a result, Vardy needed lengthy treatment and never really recovered before being substituted for Albrighton in the 75th minute. Two minutes earlier City had gone two goals up with the accurate Maddison corner and the header by Maguire.

For the rest of the match it was City well on top and Newcastle looking increasingly woeful. Mike Ashley was in attendance at a Newcastle United home game for the first time since May 2017. It is hoped he is his thick skinned because the abusive chants aimed at him by the Geordie fans was intense; although there is a feeling it does not concern him. News before the match was that former Chelsea and Manchester United Chief Executive, Peter Kenyon, is trying to put a consortium together to buy the Club.

There is not much time for sympathy for others in football, but it would be really welcome for the good times to return to Newcastle for the sake of the Geordie fans who deserve better than this dreadful team. The stadium was quiet today generally but when they are stirred it is a fearful noise they create. Nearly 50,000 turned out again but a large number had gone before the end.

As bad as Newcastle were, City were good but they will have much harder days than this. The match was a jog in the park for them if not a stroll. The control they exerted today as they did in the second half against Huddersfield, will have done wonders for their confidence. Both opponents in the bottom three of the Premier League, but you can only beat what is put in front of you and City have done this when they have failed to do so against poor opposition in the past.  This game was checkmate long before the end with City holding all the major pieces. Tonight, they sit seventh in the table, a promising start.

Teams

Newcastle: Dubravka, Yedlin*, Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy, Ritchie**, Diame, Shelvey, Atsu, Perez***, Joselu.  Subs: Schar, Murphy**, Muto***, Hayden, Manquillo*, Darlow, Longstaff

Leicester:  Schmeichel, Amartey, Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Ndidi, Ricardo, Iheanacho, Maddison#, Vardy##. Subs: Evans, Albrighton##, Ward, Okazaki, Iborra#, Fuchs, Ghezzal

Referee: Hooper               Attendance 51,523 

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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View from the oppo – Newcastle

View from the oppo – Newcastle

Name: Jane Castle

Current home town: Leicester

Birthplace: Newcastle

Fan for how long? 30 years

Favourite thing about your home ground: The atmosphere can be fantastic

Favourite Game: Any time we beat Sunderland!

Favourite player: Alan Shearer

Current favourite: Joselu if he can find more goals

Who could unlock the game: Jonjo Shelvey – excellent passer

Player you fear: Vardy – always a threat

Player to watch: Freddie Woodman, great young keeper

Score: I think it will be 2-1 to Newcastle

Where will you finish: Anywhere above mid table would be good!

What about your summer transfer activity: Well publicised lack of spending, but if Rondon (injured for this match) can recreate some of his West Brom form he will be a threat – presently he hasn’t made an impact though.  As for Muto – he’s barely been on the pitch!

Relegation prediction: Southampton, Cardiff and West Ham

Who will win the league? Man City but Liverpool might run them closer this year!

Any other comments: Poor start but hard teams to play and the easier ones we’ve drawn away from home. On paper we need to win this at home

Next Up – Newcastle – 29th September 2018

Next Up – Newcastle – 29th September 2018

Manager     Rafael Benitez

Founded     1892             Ground         St James' Park

Address       St James' Park Strawberry Place Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4ST

Capacity         52,345     

Squad:

1              Republic of Ireland          GK          Rob Elliot

2              Republic of Ireland          DF           Ciaran Clark

3              Wales                              DF           Paul Dummett

4              South Korea                    MF         Ki Sung-yueng

5              Switzerland                     DF           Fabian Schär

6              England                           DF           Jamaal Lascelles (C- excellent passer of the ballaptain)

7              England                           MF         Jacob Murphy

8              England                           MF         Jonjo Shelvey

9              Venezuela                       FW         Salomón Rondón (on loan from West Bromwich Albion)

10           Senegal                            MF         Mohamed Diamé

11           Scotland                            MF         Matt Ritchie

12           Slovakia                            GK         Martin Dúbravka

13           Japan                                 FW       Yoshinori Muto

14           England                             MF        Isaac Hayden

15           Brazil                                  MF        Kenedy (on loan from Chelsea)

17           Spain                                  FW       Ayoze Pérez

18           Argentina                            DF        Federico Fernández

19           Spain                                   DF        Javier Manquillo

20           France                                 DF        Florian Lejeune

21           Spain                                   FW       Joselu

22           United States                      DF        DeAndre Yedlin

25           England                                DF       Jamie Sterry

26           England                                GK       Karl Darlow

30           Ghana                                  MF       Christian Atsu

36           England                                MF       Sean Longstaff

37           England                                MF       Cal Roberts

41           England                               GK        Freddie Woodman

57           Morocco                              DF         Achraf Lazaar

We have tried our best to ensure factual accuracy at the date of going to press – apologies in advance for any errors or out of date information.

For the very latest updates please follow the link below to the club web site: http://www.nufc.co.uk

DAN’S THE MAN AS CITY SURVIVE SHOOTOUT

Wolves 0  City 0 (City win 3 – 1 on penalties)

Report by Colin Hall

Goalkeeper Danny Ward proved to be Leicester City's hero as the Foxes advanced to the 3rd round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 penalty shootout victory over hosts Wolves.

The Welshman, deputising for the rested Kasper Schmeichel, kept his second clean sheet in as many City appearances, and then saved three spot-kicks during a tension-filled finale to the evening's proceedings.

It was a sign of the times at City that Claude Puel, despite making eight changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's victory over Huddersfield, was still able to name a starting line-up containing NINE full internationals.

Yet with the exception of Ward, and possibly Vicente Iborra too, none of the understudies made an entirely convincing case to be considered to start in the regular side.

As the 0-0 scoreline suggests, neither side were quite able to find a cutting edge to break the deadlock in normal time.

Despite being forced to defend for lengthy spells, and seeing strikers struggle to make an impact against a three-man home central defence, City produced the bulk of the scoring opportunities, but could not find a means to convert any of them.

The closest the visitors came to finding the net was shortly after the half-hour, when a Rachid Ghezzal header was cleared off the line by home skipper Coady. Marc Albrighton also saw a number of efforts blocked by keeper Ruddy.

Wolves' closest effort came deep into second-half stoppage-time when substitute Bennett outjumped the City defence at a free-kick but saw his header fly narrowly over the bar.

Seconds later, City sub Demarai Gray caused a major worry to the travelling supporters when he collapsed in obvious distress following an awkward fall. He was treated for several minutes before being stretchered away, but later tests revealed damage to ligaments rather than (as initially feared) bones.

Nevertheless, he is still likely to be sidelined for some time, and the incident provided a reminder why many top-flight managers, including Puel and home counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo, are reluctant to field key players at this stage of the competition.

Although reduced to 10 men for the second time this season against these opponents, City were able to see out the closing moments and thus secure the opportunity to progress via the shootout.

Given the side's recent record in such deciders – including defeats by Hull and Manchester City in this competition – few in the Foxes fanbase were optimistic of success, particularly when Christian Fuchs, City's first penalty taker, struck the woodwork with his attempt.

The club needed Ward to rise to the occasion, and he did so in no uncertain terms, denying Saiss and Jota in quick succession. Although Hamza Choudhury gave some hope to the home side with a tame effort sent straight at Ruddy, Ward restored the visitors' advantage with a save from Traore.

This gave Kelechi Iheanacho the chance to seal City's victory, and the Nigeria striker made no mistake, displaying a composure which has not always been in evidence during his time at the club.

But while the Blue Army retain hopes of a trip to Wembley, Puel will be aware that improvements will be needed to make those dreams a reality.

Too many of the players on duty at Molineux failed to do themselves justice, and some may not be seen again in a City shirt for some time.

Wolves (3-4-3): Ruddy; Dendoncker, Coady (c), Hause; Otto (Bennett 75), Saiss, Gibbs-White, Vinaigre; Traore, Bonatini (Ashley-Seal 83), Cavaleiro (Jota 57). Subs not used: Norris, Giles, Watt, Goncalves.

Booked: Jota

City (4-2-3-1): Ward: Ricardo, Morgan (c), Evans, Fuchs; Iborra, Silva (Choudhury 84); Ghezzal, Okazaki (Gray 61), Albrighton; Vardy (Iheanacho 61). Subs not used: Jakupovic, Amartey, Soyuncu, Diabate.

Booked: Morgan, Evans.

Shootout details

Fuchs (Leicester) – missed 0-0

Saiss (Wolves) – saved 0-0

Ghezzal (Leicester) – scored 0-1

Jota (Wolves) – saved 0-1

Choudhury (Leicester) – saved 0-1

Ashley-Seal (Wolves) – scored 1-1

Iborra (Leicester) – scored 1-2

Traore (Wolves) – saved 1-2

Iheanacho (Leicester) – scored 1-3

Referee: Paul Tierney     Attendance: 21562

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation

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Going to Newcastle ?

By Car  NE1 4ST

At the end of the A1(M) continue on the A1 and then the A184 towards Newcastle. Continue along this road, bearing left onto the A189. Continue over the River Tyne on the Redheugh Bridge, from which the ground can be clearly seen. Carry on straight up the dual carriageway (St James Boulevard). This leads directly to the Gallowgate end of the ground. As the ground is so central there are a number of pay and display car parks in the vicinity.

An easier way into the City is to stay on the A1 until the exit for Westerhope. Leave the A1 go straight over two roundabouts and then follow the signs for the Royal Victoria Infirmary (Queen Victoria Road) – parking here is in a multi storey and allows a reasonably quick getaway after the game.

Two park and ride schemes are currently in operation: from Newcastle Great Park (just to the west of the A1) and also the 'Soccerbus' that operates from Metro Centre. With tickets on sale on the buses for £2 return, this offers a great way to avoid the hassle of finding (and paying for) a parking spot in the city centre. The Park & Ride site is ideally located just off the A1 at Newcastle Great Park.

It is well signed within Newcastle Great Park and is just one minute from the junction with the A1 – City North/Gosforth (A1056). For those with Sat Nav use the NE13 9NR – the Park & Ride site is on the opposite side of the road to the SAGE building. No need to book, just turn up on the day – both park and rides are operational from around 3 hours before the game and 3 hours afterwards to make your journey as flexible as possible.

Approx 186 Mls 3 hours 20 mins

Pubs

You are only a few minutes walk from the main shopping areas of Newcastle. There are plenty of bars to choose from in the city centre, but most away fans tend to favour the pubs opposite and around Newcastle Railway Station. The 'A Head Of Steam' 'The Lounge' and 'O'Neills' are all recommended, but some of these bars will only admit fans if colours are covered and none of them admitted children. Also nearby is a Wetherspoons outlet called the Union Rooms.

By Train

Newcastle Central station is located around 15 minute walk from St. James' Park, and is well signposted. Cross the road from the station, and walk up Pink Lane, passing the Forth Hotel. Turn right onto Clayton Street, then left onto Westgate Street. Outside Tilleys Bar, bear right onto Bath Lane, passing Fujiyama Restaurant. After 200 metres, turn right and then left onto Gallowgate, and the ground will be obvious from here. 

Alternatively, take the Metro from Central Station to Haymarket. Cross the road, and turn left. At Mordon Street (next to the Goose), turn right and then left, walking around the back of Eldon Gardens. The ground is at the end of this road (Strawberry Place), just beyond the Strawberry Pub

Trains take approx 3 hours 20 mins going, last train to get back Saturday is 19-35 which takes nearly 5 hours  Off peak return £106.00

By Bus

Newcastle has two major bus stations, Haymarket (for services from Northumberland and the North) and Eldon Square (services from County Durham and the south). These are located adjacent to each other on Percy Street, next to Haymarket Metro station. From both bus stations, cross over to the far side of the road, then walk up the passageway next to the Goose public house, and turn left. 

The Stagecoach buses which operate within Newcastle and Gateshead city boundaries do not stop at either of the bus stations, but stop in the centre of town, from where the ground is signposted and easily walkable

Please check the cost and times of trains etc. All information is provided in good faith but the Foxes Trust cannot be held responsible for any errors. Thanks to the Football Ground Guide.

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