Well it wasn’t pretty, and the first half was a tough watch at times, but a goalkeeping masterclass, staunch defending, a much improved second 45 and one of the most ridiculous VAR incidents we’ve seen has given Bruce and the boys a fantastic 3 points!
The spirit of this group of lads really is something to be admired. It wasn’t pretty at times (well, for most of it in fact), but our effort levels, organisation, grit and determination was superb.
There can’t be a single Newcastle fan who enjoyed the first half. I don’t think I’ve ever been so annoyed watching us when we’ve been winning!
We couldn’t string two passes together, forcing Martin Dubravka to put in a goalkeeping performance we haven’t seen since Tim Krul at Spurs. Going into the break at 0-0 would’ve been a huge result on another day, yet we found ourselves 1-0 up at half time thanks to a great header from Allan Saint Maximin – a goal which game from a fantastic cross from the hugely underrated (yes you read that right) Javier Manquillo.
The only other significant moment for us that didn’t involve Dubravka was when Andy Carroll won a header from a set piece and went berserk at his team mates for no one taking a gamble on his flick on. Little did he know a player gambling would be key to our victory, but more on Jonjo Shelvey in a second.
I remember being at Bramall Lane when a deflected Ryan Taylor goal gave us a backs to the wall win during the 2008/09 promotion season after a pretty poor performance. I thought if we were to get anything from this game it would be a similar story and we’d need a moment of brilliance or a slice of luck, but no one could have predicted that! Absolute nonsense!
Another Carroll flick on came with 20 minuts left, but this time there was a player gambling – Jonjo Shelvey. Watch the goal below:
Shelvey deserves huge credit for playing to the whistle.
Sheffield United have every reason to be annoyed with the linesman, but Chris Wilder should be furious with his players for stopping – and Steve Bruce must be absolutely delighted with Jonjo for doing the exact opposite.
From that point on the game was dead. The Blades were struggling to find a way through our 11-man defence at 0-1, so the wind was well and truly taken out of their sales after Shelvey made it two.
Up to 11th, closer to Europe than relegation and chugging along quite nicely.
4 points from the last two games is absolutely fantastic and Southampton is a great chance to push on and look up.