Newcastle 1 Blackburn 0 – United somehow survive and go through as the visitors dominate

Ryan Fraser

Newcastle 1 Blackburn 0 – Tuesday 15 September 7.30pm

Newcastle kicked off their League Cup campaign at St James Park on Tuesday night, at 7.30pm behind closed doors.

The Magpies looking to build on the promise of that 2-0 win at West Ham on Saturday.

At his press conference on Monday morning, Steve Bruce had indicated that there would be a fair few changes to the team that started on Saturday.

The NUFC Head Coach partly justifying that by saying he thought that the Newcastle United squad was far stronger than this time last year.

Steve Bruce was true to his word, as he made a massive 10 changes to his side, only Javier Manquillo staying in and he having to move to the left, with nobody to play left-back as Jamal Lewis was rested.

A starting line-up of: Gillespie, Manquillo, Krafth, Clark, Yedlin, Ritchie (Captain), Barlaser, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Fraser, Joelinton

(As compared to this team that started against West Ham on Saturday – Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lewis, Shelvey, Hayden, Hendrick, Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Carroll)

Starting the game dominating possession, the visitors should have taken the lead on 10 minutes. Holtby putting a great chance wide after Dolan and Nyambe linked up down the right.

Fifteen minutes in and Blackburn break through the middle, only for Rankin-Costello to put his effort well wide.

Newcastle took 20 minutes to at last show any kind of a threat, link-up play between Almiron and the Brazilian, ending up with Joelinton failing to get his shot away and Rovers cleared the danger.

Almiron started to get into the game a bit and the visitors forced to concede a few set-pieces. Better delivery from Ritchie after a poor corner earlier on but Krafth heads wide.

However, very little quality from Newcastle overall on the night, with the 35th minute very much out of place. Miguel Almiron doing really well to set up Ryan Fraser who going one on one, just did enough to beat the keeper for a goal on his debut.

For Newcastle fans looking to their team to go on and dictate play, they will still be waiting now…

The second half saw United sink into a deeper malaise as Blackburn continued to see more of the ball and create chances.

Mark Gillespie earned his clean sheet with a few decent saves but Rovers let Steve Bruce’s team off the hook any number of times with wayward finishing.

Dan Barlaser and Sean Longstaff totally failed to control the middle of the pitch, whilst of the four attacking players, Fraser had a few moments plus the goal, but Miguel Almiron looking like the only player in midfield and attack who really believes he should be in the starting eleven on Sunday when Brighton visit.

Ritchie not really involved enough and as for Joelinton…

Last season it became a bit of a joke that Steve Bruce persevered with him in the first team.

On this showing, he will be lucky to make the second eleven cup side.

Blackburn pushed and pushed for the equaliser and nobody trying harder than Adam Armstrong who had came off the bench.

Happily though it wasn’t to be for the former NUFC striker or any of his teammates. as Newcastle clung on for grim life to make it through to round three next week.

People sometimes say that statistics are misleading but not tonight, as you can see below Blackburn dominated possession (64% v 36%), shots (14 v 5)and corners (10 v 3).

As for Newcastle, you can say they dominated the only statistic that really matters, scoring one of the two shots they had on target all night. However, whilst always the most important thing is the result, in this case Steve Bruce can take little reassurance from a second string team that was expected to dominate and brush aside Blackburn.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Blackburn 0 – Tuesday 15 September 7.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Fraser 35

Possession was Blackburn 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Blackburn 14 Newcastle 5

Shots on target were Blackburn 3 Newcastle 2

Corners were Blackburn 10 Newcastle 3

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Newcastle United:

Gillespie, Manquillo, Krafth, Clark, Yedlin, Ritchie (Atsu 80), Barlaser, Sean Longstaff, Almiron, Fraser (Murphy 58), Joelinton (ASM 73)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Lascelles, Hayden, Hendrick

Crowd: 00,000

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