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Sheff Wed 2-1 Newcastle | Match Report

Newcastle suffered a very disappointing defeat to play-off battlers Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, in which they lost 2-1. So how did it all go wrong for the Magpies?

Well, Newcastle seemed doomed right from the kick off, with the same pass sideways/backward tactic being implemented from the kick off, so it was clear we were going to be set for a boring, smash and grab match. Wednesday almost scored with just over a minute gone, as Paul Dummet's horrific clearance found the feet of Gary Hooper in the box. Luckily for us, his shot hit the crossbar. However, that wasn't the only attack Wednesday had from the first half. In fact, there was many more to come...

Newcastle had most of the possession at that point, but it was ruined by the same pass back/sideways tactic that Rafa so dearly needs to change. It led to not getting anywhere near the Owls' goal for almost the whole half; and, ultimately: them dominating our goal. As just 14 minutes later, Gary Hooper once again found the ball (even though he was in an offside position anyway) before giving ex-mackem striker Steven Fletcher the chance of his life, a one on one chance a few yards out. But, he ended up volleying it just wide of the left post. Giving us our second blessing of the game.

Later on, midfielder Barry Bannan made a sliding tackle on Matt Ritchie which could've been given as a red card as he collided head on with Ritchie as he went in for the challenge and Ritchie seemed to be in serious discomfort, having to wait on the sidelines for a few minutes before re-entering the pitch. A lucky escape to what would've been a devastating blow to this Newcastle squad so late into the season. That wasn't our only injury problem in the match, as Dwight Gayle collapsed to the floor with what appeared to be an injured hamstring, surely ruling him out for the rest of the season, Murphy has been very good when he plays full games, so I'm happy to see him starting games for now on.

The attacks didn't stop there either, Mbemba failed to give off the ball quick enough, and the ball was crossed into Steven Fletcher in the 6 yard box, Karl Darlow somehow managed to get low enough to get a palm to it, before it was cleared by Chancel Mbemba. However, that was our 3 wishes gone, as there was no miracles left to save us. Right at the end of the half, however. Jonjo Shelvey had a shot from inside his own half hit the crossbar and rebound out to Ritchie, who ended up squandering the chance to smash it into an open net from just outside the box. If Shelvey's shot had gone in, it could've changed the whole game.

The second half was more of the same but we had a bit more of the ball, with more attacks. Ultimately, it was an utter defensive collapse from Newcastle. Sheffield Wednesday got their first goal in the 59th minute as Tom Lees headed in a corner while being marked by FOUR Newcastle defenders, none of them even coming close to the ball. Lees' header went right over Karl Darlow before sinking into the bottom right corner, that was just the start of the mess. As just NINE minutes later, the man who has caused us so much pain before: Steven Fletcher, headed it into the net and celebrated like a prancing bird. Finishing the game off, giving us our ninth loss of the season, this campaign has been a failure compared to the last season we were down in this division.

There was still a little bit of fight/panic left in us, we dominated the last 10 minutes, and we even bagged a goal! (somehow) Mitrovic's half volley was parried by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood straight into the path of Jonjo Shelvey, who tapped it in for 2-1! Some people thought we would then come back, poor souls... Our only chance to make it 2-2 was a free kick on the edge of the box, which was squandered since it hit the wall...

This is certainly disappointing, especially how we're now off top spot. We play Leeds united at home on Friday night and I have no hope we'll get anything from the game at all. We HAVE to change this tactic. It's been unbearable to watch, I just wish we could go back to how we played in October and November when we would win all the time, and play well all the time. Now it's just unbearable to watch. Win on Friday, or we kiss the title goodbye...

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