Joe Willock became the youngest player in the Premier League to score six consecutive goals in six games. The Arsenal loanee has been supplied Newcastle with a host of game-winning goals in his short time on Tyneside and today was not any different.
Despite Sheffield United's early chances from David McGoldrick, Newcastle United were the better side overall in the game. With the Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pulling out three good saves throughout the match to keep the scoreline low. Sheffield United never indeed looked like scoring with again McGoldrick coming close as his 20-yard effort hit the crossbar.
Allan Saint-Maximin had another impressive performance before an injury forced his day to end early, but the fan favourite dazzled. The Magpies head to Fulham in the last game of the season with nothing to play for.
Story of the Match
The Newcastle fans showed the Premier League why St James' Park is considered one of the best atmospheres in the division with a constant chorus of chants, some positive about players, some negative about the hierarchy, some about Allan Saint-Maximin.
Newcastle started positively with Miguel Almiron testing Aaron Ramsdale. Sheffield United had a flurry of chances since David McGoldrick twice got free, but the veteran striker missed the target twice.
Even with Sheffield United controlling the early spell of the game, the Geordie fans lead a huge uproar every time Allan Saint-Maximin got on the ball, and the Frenchman had a couple of promising runs that hinted the game could be decided on his output.
Newcastle grew into the game more and more as the first half trickled on. A lovely cross in from Matt Ritchie allowed Jonjo Shelvey to rise surely to head the ball home, but Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale pulled off an outstanding save. Just shy of the half-hour.
The chances kept on coming for the Magpies as Jacob Murphy fired a superb ball into the box, a truly lovely cross, but Joelinton could not get the header on target.
Saint-Maximin broke away and pushed Newcastle forward the Frenchman and fired the ball from the left into the penalty area, and Joe Willock fires first time at Ramsdale. The young goalkeeper saved brilliantly. The flag was up on Willock regardless, but Ramsdale kept Sheffield at 0-0. Until the added time that was.
Saint-Maxmin again came in from the left and fired a brilliant ball over to Murphy down the right. Murphys floated cross found Willock arriving. Willock did not miss this time and headed home. St James' Park erupted for the loanee who became the first Newcastle player since Papiss Cisse to score in six consecutive games.
The second half started as the first finished with Saint-Maximin charged down both wings, causing problems for all of Sheffield United's defenders.
A flurry of free kicks for both sides as the referee Robert Jones got his nerve for conflicting decisions for both teams, neither team happy with the rewards of Jones.
Sheffield United gained confidence with the free kicks, but McGoldrick missed the target again from 20 yards.
The Blades may have had the possession, but again, Saint-Maximin showed his quality with a gut-busting run down the left-hand side on the counter-attack. The winger found himself one on one with Ramsdale at a difficult angle, and the goalkeeper again came out on top.
On the hour, Newcastle again were forcing the issue, but Saint-Maximin's final ball was poor on several occasions.
The Frenchmans day ended early as he lost the ball and his footing at the same time and hobbled off with 20 minutes to go in the game. Saint-Maximin was the difference in the Newcastle side today and gave the Sheffield United players a heap of trouble. Magpies fans will be hoping his recovery is swift.
Joe Willock was determined to extend his scoring streak even further as he runs 20 yards and shoots straight into Ramsdale arms. McGoldrick also tried his luck from 20 yards out, his effort clipping the bar and dreadfully unlucky not to go in.
In the last ten minutes, Newcastle's injury problems worsened as both Martin Dubravka and Joe Willock experienced problems. Head coach Steve Bruce opted for Willock to come off, leaving Dubravka needing treatment every few minutes, but even with these issues, Newcastle were not troubled by Sheffield United late on and rode out to the three points.
Allan Saint-Maxmin is a star
This news is not brand new news to many fans of Newcastle United. However, with each game, he plays the Frenchman gets more and more confident. When running down the left-hand side at Sheffield United, defenders backed off and ran away from the tricky winger. Despite his injury earlier on in the season, Saint-Maximin is the top player in completed dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. If Newcastle can keep him fit, he will win them games. It is plain to see. Saint-Maximin is not perfect. Of course, he missed a crucial one on one against Ramsdale that, had he slotted home, would have cemented a perfect day at the office. The finishing needs some work from 'ASM', but a fans favourite gets a pass from many.
No goals again for Sheffield United
It is a worrying sign for any team not to score goals, but 18 in a season will get you relegated. Despite the sterling reputation of Chris Wilder to sort out Sheffield United's defence which tarnished and withered away much like Wilder himself at the end of his reign. A lead of seven goals from David McGoldrick this season is poor from the whole squad of the Blades. If any hope of promotion is upon Sheffield United next season, players like Rhian Brewster must find their shooting boots.
Newcastle United: Dubravka; Murphy, Krafth, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie; Shelvey, Willock, Almiron; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton.
Sheffield United: Ramsdale; Bogle, Stevens, Basham, Egan, Robinson; Fleck, Norwood, Osborn, Jebbison; McGoldrick.