Monday 19 February 2018

Newcastle fans make their feelings clear as pressure increases on Steve McClaren

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejected as his team lost to Bournemouth
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren looks dejected as his team lost to Bournemouth

Josh King handed Bournemouth back-to-back Barclays Premier League victories and left troubled Newcastle staring relegation full in the face.

King saw his 28th-minute cross diverted past keeper Rob Elliot by defender Steven Taylor and then smashed home a second 20 minutes from time to hand all three points to the visitors despite Ayoze Perez's late consolation strike and a third for the visitors from full-back Charlie Daniels.

On a day when under-pressure Magpies head coach Steve McClaren received the backing of his players off the pitch in a public statement, he did not get enough on it and while Bournemouth's fears of being dragged into the scrap at the bottom are all but over, Newcastle, who were booed off by the home fans among a crowd of 52,107, are looking like certainties for the drop.

Newcastle simply did not see enough of the ball to take control as Bournemouth passed and moved with ease, comfortably evading the Magpies' lacklustre press and pinning the home side back deep inside their own half.

Emmanuel Riviere had only just failed to connect with Moussa Sissoko's early cross and skipper Jonjo Shelvey fired narrowly wide from 20 yards, but once the visitors settled, it was they who set the tempo.

Benik Afobe volleyed wastefully over after controlling Adam Smith's cross on his chest, and might have done better when he was handed the chance to run at a decimated home defence after Matt Ritchie's 24th-minute pass had sparked a lightning break.

But the deadlock was broken four minutes later when Max Gradel's quick footwork allowed him to feed the ball out to King and his cross was deflected past Elliot by Taylor.

Newcastle, who might have taken a 23rd-minute lead themselves when Riviere, making his first league start since May last year, saw his goal-bound effort unwittingly diverted past the post by defender Simon Francis, were pedestrian in attack and desperate in defence for much of the half.

However, Taylor almost made amends for his own goal on the stroke of half-time when he surged forward and controlled Riviere's cross before his shot was blocked just wide.

Riviere was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic at the break, but the visitors might have increased their lead within six minutes of the restart when Elliot got down well to parry Smith's drive.

The Cherries were utterly dominant with their hosts clinging on for dear life, although Mitrovic went close with a curling 61st-minute effort which beat keeper Artur Boruc, but also the far post. Boruc then had to turn away Daryl Janmaat's stinging 64th-minute drive.

But the game was over with 20 minutes remaining when King ran on to Ritchie's through-ball and and lashed a shot past Elliot into the roof of the net.

Perez gave the home side hope when he reduced the deficit with nine minutes remaining, but Daniels powered a shot past the helpless Elliot in added time to finish it.


"Sack McLaren!! Better yet resign!" - ex-Newcastle striker Faustino Asprilla (@TinoasprillaH).



Rob Elliot: 5

Daryl Janmaat: 5

Steven Taylor: 5

Jamaal Lascelles: 4

Paul Dummett (Anita, 31 mins): 5

Jack Colback: 5

Jonjo Shelvey: 6

Moussa Sissoko (Aarons, 69 mins): 4

Georginio Wijnaldum: 4

Ayoze Perez: 6

Emmanuel Riviere (Mitrovic, 46 mins): 6


Vurnon Anita: 5

Aleksandar Mitrovic: 6

Rolando Aarons: 5


Artur Boruc: 6

Adam Smith: 7

Simon Francis: 7

Steve Cook: 7

Charlie Daniels: 6

Matt Ritchie: 7

Dan Gosling: 7

Andrew Surman: 6

Max Gradel (Pugh, 60 mins): 7

Josh King: 8

Benik Afobe (Grabban, 69 mins): 6


Marc Pugh: 6

Lewis Grabban: 6


Josh King was instrumental in much of Bournemouth's better work on a day when they out-classed Newcastle in every department, and he played key roles in both goals.


King's 70th-minute strike, which wrapped up the win, was the perfect compliment to Matt Ritchie's superb pass as the Magpies' defence capitulated horribly.


Steve McClaren's best-laid plans fell apart because his side did not see enough of the ball to implement them for long periods. Defensively porous and toothless in attack, they were barely in the game. Opposite number Eddie Howe's only complaint could have been his side's failure to wrap up victory long before the final whistle as chances went begging.


Benik Afobe, a man the Magpies rather than Bournemouth might have signed in January, did well for his team, but hit the ground on at least three occasions looking for a penalty, but failed to impress referee Paul Tierney.


Leicester v Newcastle (Barclays Premier League, Monday, March 14)

Bournemouth v Swansea (Barclays Premier League, Saturday, March 12)

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