Newcastle United

Rafael Benitez hails Newcastle’s confidence-boosting win over Blackburn

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez hailed the character of his players after the Magpies’ 4-2 extra-time victory over Blackburn in their FA Cup third-round replay at Ewood Park. The visitors – whose starting line-up showed eight changes from the 2-1 Premier League loss at Chelsea on Saturday – went 2-0 up early on via efforts from Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts, two 21-year-olds each scoring their first goal for the club. Championship outfit Blackburn fought back with goals from former Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong and Darragh Lenihan before half-time. Benitez’s men subsequently secured a spot in the fourth round, in which they will host Watford, following extra-time strikes from Joselu and substitute Ayoze Perez. The manager, who had two defenders come off injured in Ciaran Clark and Jam...

Result: Extra-time goals from Joselu and Ayoze Perez send Newcastle through

Sean Longstaff and Callum Roberts had earlier scored their first goals for Newcastle. Joselu and Ayoze Perez scored in extra time as Newcastle advanced to the FA Cup fourth round with a 4-2 third-round replay win over Blackburn at Ewood Park. The Magpies progressed to face Watford after Joselu struck just before half-time in the additional period – an effort it appeared should have been disallowed for offside – and substitute Perez added a powerful finish just after the interval. Newcastle had gone 2-0 up early on via two 21-year-olds scoring their first goals for the club, Sean Longstaff netting with a deflected shot in the opening minute and Callum Roberts then marking his full debut with a 22nd-minute volley. Blackburn responded impressively, with former Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong...

Premier League Team of the Week – Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, David de Gea

Sports Mole selects its Premier League team of the week for gameweek 22, including Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba, David de Gea and three Chelsea players. The gap at the top of the Premier League table remains four points after gameweek 22 as Liverpool‘s 1-0 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion was followed up by a 3-0 win for Manchester City against Wolverhampton Wanderers. It looks like developing into a two-horse title race once again, though, with Tottenham Hotspur falling to a costly defeat at home to Manchester United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer extended his 100% start at the helm. United now sit level on points with Arsenal after the Gunners were beaten by West Ham United on Saturday lunchtime, and both sides sit six points behind Chelsea, who beat Newcastle United this weekend. Hud...

Hazard playing as a false nine helps us defensively, insists Sarri

Maurizio Sarri likes to play Eden Hazard as Chelsea’s ‘false nine’ for a better balance defensively. Chelsea’s reliance on Hazard was evident again in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Newcastle. The 28-year-old Belgian created the decisive goal, scored brilliantly by Willian, who netted for just the third time in the league this season. The Blues have scored just 13 goals in their last 11 Premier League games and Sarri is increasingly favouring an attacking focal point of Hazard, rather than recognised strikers Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata. Eden Hazard is being deployed in place of a recognised striker more regularly for Chelsea (Steven Paston/PA) “At the moment in the defensive phase we are doing very well and one of the reasons, in my opinion, is that Eden is playing in that position,” Sarri ...

Willian rules out January move away from Chelsea

Willian dismissed the prospect of a January move from Chelsea after his strike earned a 2-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday. The Brazil playmaker, who joined from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013, was linked with a £50million switch to Barcelona earlier this week. Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri on Friday insisted it was “impossible” to lose Willian. And the 30-year-old showed his value to Chelsea by scoring the goal which has given the Blues a six-point cushion over fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification. “My future is at Chelsea,” Willian told BT Sport. Sarri afterwards repeated his view on Willian, who has 18 months remaining on his current contract, but Chelsea could be busy in the winter transfer window, nonetheless. Cesc Fabregas completed his move to Monaco on F...

Result: Willian strengthens Chelsea’s grip on fourth place

Chelsea beat relegation-threatened Newcastle United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to move six points clear of Arsenal in fourth place. Willian‘s second-half strike has earned Chelsea a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge that strengthens their grip on fourth place in the Premier League. The Brazilian forward, linked with a move to Barcelona before the transfer window closes, curled the ball past Martin Dubravka shortly before the hour to move his side six points in front of fifth-placed Arsenal. Newcastle have now lost 10 in a row away to the division’s established top six, but they put up a good fight in West London, levelling up through Ciaran Clark after Pedro opened the scoring, only for Willian to win the match for Chelsea. © Reuters After failing to score in their l...

Benitez calls for united Newcastle as club fights to avoid drop

Rafael Benitez has called on Newcastle fans to unite behind the club in their fight to steer clear of relegation. The Magpies have slipped to within two points of the drop zone after winning only one of their last eight Premier League matches and Benitez senses an air of gloom among supporters. Talks between a consortium led by former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon and the club over a possible takeover are ongoing, while no players have yet been signed during the transfer window. “This is a big city and it’s a massive club and some people are thinking ‘you have to do this and you have to do that’,” Benitez said before Saturday’s trip to Chelsea. “The reality is when we stick together, when we are working hard together, w...

West Ham United to move for Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey?

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is reportedly a target for West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini. West Ham United are considering a move for Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, according to a report. The 26-year-old is currently nursing a thigh injury and has been used just 12 times by Toon boss Rafael Benitez this season. Despite his reduced playing time at St James’ Park in 2018-19, however, the Daily Mail claims that Shelvey has attracted interest from Premier League rivals West Ham. Manuel Pellegrini is said to admire the six-cap England international and would jump at the possibility to bring him to East London this month. However, opposite number Benitez will not sanction Shelvey’s sale unless a suitable replacement in the region of £20m is signed. West ...

Benitez determined to stay at Newcastle despite interest from elsewhere

Rafael Benitez has revealed he has turned down approaches from other clubs in order to stay at Newcastle. Benitez returns to former club Chelsea on Saturday with the Magpies, who are chasing their first Premier League win in five matches. The Spaniard’s squad has yet to be strengthened during the transfer window and as fans wait to learn of any progress with on going takeover talks, an air of despondency has descended on St James’ Park. “I had teams, agents, talking with more money than here,” said Benitez, whose side have slipped to within two points of the drop zone. “When I say more money, more money than here. But still I want to do something here, I want to stay in England. “I’m close to my family, the fans have been fantastic, so you try to do something properly. It’s a challenge, bu...

Sarri: Chelsea could beat England but are still a work in progress

Maurizio Sarri says his Chelsea side could beat Gareth Southgate’s England team, even though the Italian has not had time to fully mould the Blues to play as he wishes. The 60-year-old on Friday spoke of his disinterest for international football, including last summer’s World Cup, saying all top-level club teams could beat international sides. Sarri, though, insisted his Blues team are a work in progress, due to his arrival in mid-July and the lack of quality training time, and because of Chelsea’s hectic fixture schedule. Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he is not interested in international football (Andrew Matthews/PA) “Our level is not less than the England national team,” Sarri said. “We can draw, we can lose, we can win. Maybe (I have had) more time than a national team but not enou...

Gracia not surprised by speculation surrounding Doucoure

Watford boss Javi Gracia is not surprised to hear that Adboulaye Doucoure is reportedly attracting the attention of other clubs. Stories this week have linked the 25-year-old with French champions Paris St Germain, while former Hornets manager Marco Silva is also a known admirer of the midfielder and could try and take him to Everton. During the summer Doucoure was linked with Liverpool and Tottenham, before he signed a new five-year contract on the eve of the current campaign. “For me Doucoure is a great player, a very important player for us. It doesn’t surprise me other clubs want to sign him because he’s a very good player,” said Gracia at his pre-match press conference ahead of the home game against Newcastle. “Last season, every week we were talking about Liverpool or Everton, all th...

‘No chance’ of Shelvey leaving Newcastle in January, insists boss Benitez

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has gagged himself ahead of a potentially pivotal January transfer window – but has insisted Jonjo Shelvey is not up for grabs. Benitez will send out his side at Watford on Saturday having caused something of a stir last weekend with his claim that it would be “a miracle” if the Magpies retained their Premier League status this season. That was interpreted as a shot across the bows of owner Mike Ashley ahead of January, with the manager still bemoaning the club’s summer transfer dealings, which he believes left them at a disadvantage in the battle for survival, with their rivals having invested heavily. However, he was maintaining a silence over transfers at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon and insisted it was his decision. Benitez said: “I d...

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