Newcastle United are OUT of the Carabao Cup, losing 4-3 on penalties to Burnley after a goalless draw at St James’ Park.
For many fans, the last game they saw at St James’ Park before Covid arrived and kept fans away was a 0-0 draw with Burnley back on the 29th February, 2020.
Fast forward 18 months and the 30,082 inside the stadium were treat to something pretty similar. We had 18 shots to their 6 in normal time, had 55% possession and the far better chances – Hendrick, Gayle and Manquillo with the best of them – however this one went to penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.
Sadly, Saint-Maximin started the shootout with an awful penalty and Almiron missed just moments after a big Freddie Woodman save got us back in it.
We had the chances to win it in normal time – meaning the two who missed penalties shouldn’t take all the flak – and were the better side for large parts, but a lack of quality in the final third, poor finishing and some equally unconvincing penalties have cost us in the end.
Steve Bruce made NINE changes for this one, with Murphy, Schar, Fernandez, Ritchie, Hayden, Willock, Almrion, Saint-Maximin and Wilson being replaced by Manquillo, Krafth, Clark, Lewis, Sean Longstaff, Hendrick, Fraser, Joelinton and Gayle.
STARTING XI: (5-3-2) – Woodman – Manquillo, Krafth Lascelles, Clark, Lewis – Hendrick, S Longstaff, Fraser – Joelinton, Gayle.
SUBS: Gillespie, Schar, Matty Longstaff, Saint-Maximin, Murphy, Almiron, Willock.
The first half chance of the game fell to Jeff Hendrick, however the former Burnley man dragged his shot just wide from 25 yards.
Saying that, the Irishman started well against his old club, with Joelinton also starting the game with a few nice touches.
Aside from that, a few wayward passes and a speculative effort from Jay Rodriguez, there was nothing to report until the game briefly sprung into life around the 25 minute mark.
Joelinton had a chance well blocked after the Brazilian was released by Longstaff, Fraser swung in a few teasing deliveries and looked to have the better of Bardsley when he and Lewis linked up down our left.
That said, Burnley could’ve easily taken the lead minutes later when a Dwight McNeil header was met by Ben Mee – only for the big centre back to glance wide.
Sean Longstaff got the crowd up with a crunching tackle on Jack Cork and a flurry of corners soon followed, but the fact this got the biggest roar of the first half probably summed up the lack of goalmouth activity.
Joelinton then did brilliantly 10 minutes before the break, holding the ball up superbly before releasing the impressive Manquillo who almost got in behind. Clear cut chances were few and far between, however we looked up for it and were growing into the game after a pretty awful first 20.
Saying that, the final stages of the first 45 saw neither side were create a clear cut chance or test either goalkeeper before the whistle went for half-time.
Hendrick had been better than expected, Manquillo was lively down the right, Fraser looked dangerous when we got him into good areas and Joelinton showed flashes of quality, however the game itself was lacking in quality and a predictably scrappy affair at times.
Gayle had been anonymous at this point and Lewis still looked like a player lacking in confidence, being caught on the ball in bad areas a couple of times.
The second half kicked off and immediately saw Joelinton force a corner after being played in behind via a searching ball from Fraser.
A few minutes later and it should’ve been 1-0 Newcastle as Joelinton’s miss-kick put it on a plate for Hendrick. He was only six yards out and the ball fell perfectly to him, but his low effort was too close to Hennessey, allowing the Welsh stopper to pull off a superb point blank save.
Gayle then came even closer just before the hour mark. After being released down the left from Clark’s ball in behind, he saw a left-footed shot clip the underside of the bar and bounce clear.
A penalty shout arrived for the visitors after a coming together between Lascelles and Rodriguez, but all claims were waved away.
The game went flat once again with 20 minutes to play and Saint-Maximin was sent to warm up. We nearly found the net without him just moments later, with Joelinton squaring for Gayle after the Brazilian was put in behind, however our back-up striker was denied by Hennessey.
Joelinton then created another big chance, this time for Manquillo. The Spaniard was played in by the Brazilian, but saw his powerful strike tipped over after bursting into the box!
A big roar then went up inside St James’ Park as Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock were called upon by Bruce. Off came Gayle – who cut a frustrated figure as he left the field – and the impressive Javier Manquillo, with us switching to a back four at this point.
ASM immediately injected some life into our play, getting Brownhill booked after the Burnley midfielder took him out at the end of a superb solo run.
83 minutes in and Miguel Almiron then entered the game. He replaced Ryan Fraser and only had 10 minutes to make an impact, otherwise this one was going to penalties.
Three minutes were added on and, after surviving a few Burnley corners late on, the game ended 0-0 and we were heading to penalties.
You feared for us at this point based on Hennessey’s form across the 90 and he started the shootout with a save to deny Allan Saint-Maximin – although the Frenchman’s spot kick was awful in truth.
Chris Wood then gave Burnley a lead in the shootout before Joe Willock smashed home to make it 1-1, only for Barnes to edge the visitors back in the lead moments later.
Joelinton then stepped up and slotted into the bottom corner to make it 2-2 and next up stepped Dwight McNeil. The winger made no mistake and lifted it just above Woodman’s outstretched arm to make it 2-3.
Sean Longstaff next and he needed to score – and did exactly that, sending Hennessey the wrong way as he blasted high into the net. 3-3.
Next up for Burnley and it was Brownhill. Woodman guessed right and we were back level – only for Miguel Almiron to see his tame penalty saved seconds later.
Charlie Taylor then had the chance to win it for the Clarets and he did exactly that, slotting past Woodman to win it 4-3.
Newcastle United dumped out and another disappointing night on Tyneside.
Next up, a Southampton side who followed up a 1-1 draw vs Man Utd with a confidence boosting 8-0 win over Newport on Wednesday night.