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Match Reports


23 February 2019

Match Reports


23 February 2019

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Two goals in the space of seven minutes wrapped up all three points for Newcastle at St. James' Park on an afternoon where Tommy Smith saw red.

Smith's 20th minute red card made the task all that bit tougher, and although the Terriers somehow withstood a number of key Magpies' chances, Salomón Rondón and Ayoze Pérez turned the screw after the restart to round off a disappointing afternoon on Tyneside.

The starting XI witnessed three changes from the defeat to Arsenal. Jonas Lössl and Chris Löwe had recovered from respective illnesses to take the places of Ben Hamer and Terence Kongolo, as Laurent Depoitre also earned a recall to the starting XI where Adama Diakhaby dropped out due to a hamstring issue.

Both Jonathan Hogg and Jason Puncheon reached milestones in the North East; Hoggy made his 300th career appearance, whilst Punch made his 400th career start.

The illuminous Terriers orchestrated a bright start which ultimately wasn't taken advantage of. Patient play finally worked its way to Tommy Smith down the right, and the skipper's low cross looked to be destined for the run of Elias Kachunga although Jamaal Lascelles timed his sliding clearance to perfection.

Newcastle - who named January recruit Miguel Almirón from MLS outfit Atlanta United in the team for the first time - thought they had a great opening for an early opener as Matt Ritchie's flighted cross dropped at the far post. Relief for Town though, as Florian Lejeune was adjudged to have pushed Zanka as he used the Danish international as leverage to rise highest.

That may have been relieving; but the next passage of play was an even bigger let off the hook. Caught on the break, Almirón breezed through on goal and was only denied by the post having instinctively chipped Jonas Lössl one-on-one. The Terriers still didn't clear; Salomón Rondón had time to unleash a follow-up effort which also clattered off the same post to prevent Rafa Benitez's hosts from taking a lead inside 15 minutes.

For all that the majority of possession was, the Magpies were intent on reminding Jan Siewert's men to be alert on the counter. Once again, the black and whites broke with a man-over advantage, but on this occasion Ayoze Pérez tamely fired at Lössl with possibly better options on either side.

United were really beginning to threaten. Salomón Rondón, the next man to pose a threat inside the area, swiftly turning to draw a great save from Jonas Lössl.

Then a key moment in the half. Referee Kevin Friend produced a straight red card in the direction of Tommy Smith; the Captain dismissed for a strong challenge on Almirón as the ball crossed the half-way line.

The Paraguayan playmaker sprung to his feet to carve out another chance for his side. Lössl once more diving to his right to produce a save that prevented the deadlock from being broken.

Almirón was causing havoc in the Terriers rear-guard. A creative run into the box deceived Christopher Schindler, and a resulting left-footed effort squirmed under the grasp of Lössl to which Chris Löwe's excellent awareness duly concluded with a last-ditch clearance off-the-line and out of harm's way.

As the interval approached, Rondón somehow kept the encounter score-less. The Venezuelan flung himself in the air to meet a DeAndre Yedlin cross at the far-post, but the striker's connection lacked accuracy to send the sides into the dressing room all square.

He definitely made up for that miss just moments into the second-half. Rondón picked up the loose ball inside the six-yard box and was allowed time to turn and subsequently finish from close range as the worst possible restart became a reality.

And within the space of seven minutes, the game was pretty much out of reach for Siewert and his Terriers. Ayoze Pérez swept home a kind knock-down to cap a devastating spell which virtually handed Toon the points.

Town found it hard to trouble a resolute United back-line, as ventures forward became something of a luxury with damage limitation the main theme of the second period it light of the sending off.

Pérez came within a whisker of poaching a third; the Spaniard flicking wide of the target from Almirón's assist - a man who was having quite the effect on his home debut, unfortunately for the men from HD1.

Substitute Kenedy also applied pressure for a third. A spectacular rasping first-time volley thundered off the cross-bar with 20 minutes to play.

Local lad Sean Longstaff followed suit to curl a peach onto the frame of the goal from a considerable distance.

That was that, as a trademark Rafael Benítez tactical switch saw the hosts ease over the finishing line.

There isn't too long to wait until the Terriers return to action, as Wolverhampton Wanderers visit the John Smith's Stadium on Tuesday evening (26 February 2019, 7:45pm).

TOWN (4-1-2-1-2)

Jonas Lössl; Chris Löwe, Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Tommy Smith (c) (Sent Off, 21'); Jonathan Hogg; Juninho Bacuna (Philip Billing, 69'), Aaron Mooy; Jason Puncheon (Florent Hadergjonaj, 24'); Elias Kachunga, Laurent Depoitre (Steve Mounié, 76')


Ben Hamer, Terence Kongolo, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Karlan Grant


Martin Dúbravka; Fabian Schär, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Florian Lejeune; DeAndre Yedlin, Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden, Matt Ritchie (Kenedy, 68'); Miguel Almirón (Christian Atsu, 81'); Salomón Rondón (Joselu, 84'), Ayoze Pérez


Freddie Woodman, Paul Dummett, Javier Manquillo, Ki Sungyueng


Kevin Friend


52,174 (2,324 Town)

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