News. Season review - January

09 Jun 17

We look back at Newcastle United's title-winning 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season.

In truth, it was to prove a mixed month. Though they still ended January at the top of the table, the Magpies were eliminated from the Cup in limp fashion at League One side Oxford United, while leading marksman Dwight Gayle suffered an injury which was to hamper the rest of his own campaign.

Monday, 2nd January

Blackburn Rovers 1 Newcastle United 0

Having stumbled at home to Rovers six weeks prior, it proved to be a case of déjà vu for the Magpies at Ewood Park.

Just as he had done on Tyneside, defender Charlie Mulgrew notched the only goal of the game, despatching a late free-kick after a largely dominant performance from Newcastle.

Dropping to second, United still led third-placed Reading by six points, though the Royals had a game in hand on Rafa Benitez’s side.

Saturday, 7th January

Birmingham City 1 Newcastle United 1

The Magpies’ FA Cup campaign got off to something of a low-key start at St. Andrew’s.

Daryl Murphy struck his first goal for United early on, but the Blues restored parity before the break through Lukas Jutkiewicz.

Though Jutkiewicz twice headed off-target late on, goalmouth action was in short supply in the second half.

Saturday, 14th January

Brentford 1 Newcastle United 2

In what was to prove a record-breaking season away from home, United’s bruising victory at Griffin Park epitomised their knack of digging deep to grind out points on the road.

Gayle took his tally to the season for 20 with a powerful drive midway through the first half, before being forced to leave the field with a hamstring injury.

Lasse Vibe equalised for Brentford just after the interval, but Murphy – Gayle’s replacement – headed home a fine Ayoze Perez cross to put the Magpies back in front.

The visitors then had to come through almost ten minutes of stoppage time to seal a priceless victory, with Vibe and substitute Jota among those to go close for Brentford.

Wednesday, 18th January

Newcastle United 3 Birmingham City 1

A week and a half on from their first meeting, United made light work of a poor Birmingham side to progress to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012.

Youngsters Stuart Findlay, Dan Barlaser and Yasin Ben El-Mhanni were all handed their debuts by boss Benitez, but it was two more seasoned campaigners who saw the Magpies through.

Matt Ritchie opened the scoring from the spot, before Yoan Gouffran chipped in with a fine individual effort. David Cotterill pulled one back for Birmingham, but Ritchie’s late tap-in made sure of Newcastle’s passage to the last 32.

Saturday, 21st January

Newcastle United 4 Rotherham United 0

Beleaguered Rotherham already looked doomed to relegation come May, but the Millers belied their lowly position in the table with a resilient first-half display.

But, seconds before the break, Murphy notched his first Newcastle goal at St. James’ Park, and from there, there was no turning back.

Ritchie helped himself to another brace in the second half, with Perez nodding in the Magpies’ third in between.

Saturday, 28th January

Oxford United 3 Newcastle United 0

In what was to prove their heaviest defeat of the season, a hugely disappointing second-half display put paid to the Magpies’ FA Cup ambitions for another year.

Kane Hemmings opened the scoring for Oxford just after the interval, before Aleksandar Mitrovic saw a 65th-minute penalty kept out by Simon Eastwood.

A quarter of an hour later, Curtis Nelson doubled the U’s’ advantage, with debutant Toni Martinez getting in on the action late on.

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