Newcastle ended their 3 match winning streak with a disappointing away defeat to Brighton, the team that Newcastle previously got the double over and beat to the title in their promotion campaign of 2016/17.
The toon army definitely deserved to go home with at least something, but easy chances being missed and poor use of possession by Newcastle made sure that the toon faithful would be going home empty handed.
Newcastle's lineup was unchanged from their victory against Stoke, despite Joselu missing 3 sitters, Brighton saw a return of veteran defender Bruno as he recovered from a recent back injury. Ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul was an unused substitute for the seagulls
As usual, Newcastle weren't up to much in the first 20 minutes, apart from an early chance from a corner as Mikel Merino tried an out-of-the-box volley that almost went in, but Matthew Ryan made a great save to keep it out. Minutes later, Tomer Hemed attempted a long shot during a Brighton counter attack, however the shot was low and poor so Rob Elliot caught it.
I understand why Rafa didn't choose to drop Joselu for this game so his confidence didn't drop too low, but it must be time to drop him now after yet another sitter being squandered by the Spaniard. As with 22 minutes gone a deflected Ayoze Perez cross found it's way to Joselu from about 5 yards out, he somehow managed to hit the ball with the side of his foot and ended up curling the ball round the post. Joselu has now missed 4 sitters in a row.
Perez had a terrible game too,two awful misses within two minutes proving that, one of which ended up looking like a poor cross. I don't get how he still gets 90 minutes a game, he makes Diame look class if you were to compare the two. I believe Diame should be playing against Liverpool (and in every other game until we buy someone better) as he's far superior to Perez in almost every department.
Brighton finally got their goal just 5 minutes after the start of the second half. A free kick came into the box before Dale Stephens headed it to the path of Tomer Hemed who sneaked the ball over his head and into the net despite being surrounded by Newcastle defenders who should've cleared the ball away.
Newcastle could've conceded yet again if not for a brilliant save by Elliot, saving it on the line with his foot. Newcastle really needed to wake up, changes were clearly needed.
However, it took 12 more minutes to finally bring on a sub, Jonjo Shelvey replacing Isaac Hayden who didn't have his best game. Shelvey almost scored directly from a corner soon after coming on but Matthew Ryan saved it off the line.
In the last 20 minutes Newcastle put the pressure on when they put on Dwight Gayle for Joselu. However right when we needed the simple substitution of Diame on for Perez. We bring on Gamez for Mbemba which changed absolutely nothing in the match and confirmed the loss. The match ended with Brighton as the victors.
There was an incident during the second half involving Hemed and Yedlin, where Hemed appeared to stamp on Yedlin after their previous heated exchange. Hemed has since been charged with violent conduct for the stamp, finally ending the unfair decisions and inconsistency Newcastle have had to put up with all season. For now.
Our next match will be very difficult as we host Liverpool this Sunday. They don't have Mane back just yet so it will be slightly easier for us, the last time we played Liverpool at home we beat them 2-0. We got relegated that year, so we could easily win. It would also be a very Newcastle United thing to happen, losing against one of the worst teams one week and beating one of the best the next. All we can do is hope.