Newcastle hoped to secure their first away points of the season and did so in style, scoring eight goals through a mixture of individual mistakes from Sheffield United, as well as individual brilliance, as they left the Steel City with all three points and moved up to eighth.
It was the first time the two teams had met at Bramall Lane since early 2021. In that game, Sheffield United claimed their first win after 18 attempts. It was a memorable but surprising win for the Blades in a season most Sheffield United fans would otherwise wish to forget. That victory feels a while ago now, however, and Sheffield United were reminded of the gap between them and the top sides in England.
Newcastle made four changes to the lineup from the game against AC Milan in midweek. Callum Wilson, Elliot Anderson, Miguel Almirón and Harvey Barnes came in for the Magpies. The latter was making his second consecutive Premier League start, having started the last Premier League game at St James Park.
Paul Heckingbottom's men made a fitting tribute to the late Maddy Cusack before the game, after the Sheffield United vice-captain sadly passed away this week.
Sheffield United were looking to kickstart their season with a first win of the Premier League campaign, whilst Newcastle were looking to build some momentum after a morale-boosting victory over Brentford was followed by a respectable point away at the San Siro.
Story of the game
The first opening of the game came in the 13th minute when a deft outside of the foot cross from James McAtee was spurned on the volley by Luke Thomas. A tricky player, McAtee looked threatening in the early stages, but it took just 21 minutes for Newcastle United to hit their groove.
After an injury early on to Harvey Barnes, Anthony Gordon tormented the Sheffield United defence. The wide player constantly looked dangerous and showed a willingness to run at the Sheffield United back line every time he was in possession.
His eagerness to get on the ball paid off in the 21st minute when, after a Dan Burn throw-in played him in behind, Gordon just about kept the ball in to turn Ahmedodzic and cut the ball back for Sean Longstaff to fire home.
Ahmedodzic was struggling to get to grips with the wide player and the Bosnian was also at fault when an inch-perfect delivery from a Kieran Trippier corner was met emphatically by a diving header from Dan Burn on 31 minutes. The Tyneside native does not score many goals, but this would prove an important one to put the North East team firmly in the ascendency. The goal was not without controversy as the ball struck Fabian Schär's arm, before being tipped over the bar by Wes Foderingham for the corner which led to the goal.
Sheffield United however consistently did poorly to deal with the threat Newcastle posed from set-pieces and were punished again four minutes later for their failure in this department, this time a Kieran Trippier free kick was met by Dutchman Sven Botman, who flicked a header past the helpless Foderingham.
Not long before halftime, the Geordies felt they should have had the opportunity to score from the spot when Anthony Gordon went down in the area under the challenge of Jayden Bogle but referee Stuart Atwell adjudged the incident to be simulation.
Leading 3-0 at the break, Newcastle were in the driving seat and, bar some smart stops from Foderingham, they would have had more. The Magpies recorded eight shots on target in the first half, their most ever in a Premier League game.
It did not take Newcastle long to find the fourth as the match restarted however. Again Trippier was the provider, as Callum Wilson fired past from a cross on the 56th minute. Anthony Gordon should have added a fifth goal minutes later as he was stopped one-on-one by Foderingham. He did not need to wait long however, as his curling effort found the bottom corner to make it 5-0 to the away side on the 61st minute. It was no less than Gordon deserved, his performance from the subs bench one of the factors which inspired this emphatic victory.
On 68 minutes, it was 6-0, the pain mounting for the Sheffield United fans. Bruno Guimarães was given far too much time on the ball and played the ball through to Miguel Almirón who made no mistake.
Soon it was 7, as a deflected shot fell fortunately for Bruno Guimaraes who controlled well and put a well-placed finish into the top corner. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours, and Sheffield United made another mistake as Tom Davies was caught in possession and Alexander Isak cut in, leaving Robinson sliding on the floor, and Isak cooly slotted home past Foderingham.
The Blades have conceded three times as many goals as any other team in the league this season and it will be tough for Sheffield United to bounce back from this defeat. They round up a bottom three made up exclusively of the promoted teams. The next two games will be a test of their character as they look to pick up a result in two games on the road against West Ham and then Fulham.
For Newcastle, the outlook looks so much brighter than a few weeks ago as they inflicted a record home defeat on Sheffield United. They were boosted by great performances all over the pitch with eight different scorers.
The Geordies could be criticised for lacking confidence and belief in recent weeks in front of goal, but found their swagger again this afternoon. They also critically kept their third successive clean sheet. Eddie Howe was eager to highlight this fact, as the Geordies look to replicate the defensive numbers they posted last season.
Newcastle have now moved level on goals with champions Manchester City and that is the level they will want to replicate. They will pit themselves against the champions in midweek as they face each other for the second time this season.
Newcastle will look to enact revenge on the Citizens who beat them in the league game earlier this season. They will play the EFL Cup looking to win the competition in which they fell at the final hurdle last campaign.
Player of the game: Kieran Trippier
With eight different scorers, there are various contenders with brilliant performances across the pitch. There are also very few games where a goalkeeper makes seven saves and misses out on man of the match. Unfortunately for him, Newcastle were rampant.
Kieran Trippier, after putting in a tremendous defensive, captain-like performance in midweek in Milan, did exactly that again. The English international showed another side to his game and showcased his world-class ability from set pieces as he notched three assists.
Truthfully, there were many contenders as Anthony Gordon changed the trajectory of the game and added a threat when Sheffield United posed a threat. Bruno Guimaraes is rumoured to be signing a new contract, and celebrated doing so in style. The Brazilian looks back to his best and looked impeccable in possession.