Yesterday, Newcastle United drew 1-1 with Birmingham City in the third round of the FA Cup. However, the afternoon was overshadowed by a potentially serious injury to Aleksandar Mitrović.
Newcastle rocked up with an interesting looking side with 8 changes from the loss against Blackburn. From what I can work out, Newcastle were playing a 4-4-2. Sels, Haidara, Hanley, Yedlin and Lascelles made up the back five; Lazaar, Tiote, Anita and Colback started in the midfield; with Murphy partnering Mitrović up front. It’s obvious that Rafa was preparing for a very scrappy match with a lot of crosses being played, hence the two target men up-front. The two strikers were a pleasing sight, with many fans crying out for this change. Substitute-wise Gouffran, Hayden, and Ritchie came on in the 10th, 65th and 69th minute respectively.
Newcastle opened the scoring five minutes in when Murphy got on the end of a loose ball from a corner. However, whilst this went on, Birmingham’s keeper caught Mitrović on the leg and seriously hurt the Serbian. The striker had to be stretchered off and given oxygen. Initially, the injury looked severe and could have been a broken leg or a knee injury. However, it now appears to be only a knee cut and the striker has been ordered to rest for 10 days. As seen from this tweet from Lee Ryder:
Aleksandar Mitrovic ordered to rest for 10 days, but injury (cut knee) not as bad as first feared. #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) January 7, 2017
Birmingham then levelled the scoring a few moments before the break. Lukas Jutkiewicz got on the end of a cross from Jonathan Grounds leaving Sels no chance.
Yoan Gouffran could’ve doubled Newcastle’s lead early on when he knocked the ball past the keeper but held on to the ball a bit too long and couldn’t convert the chance.
Birmingham almost took the lead late on but Jutkiewicz dragged a header wide, missing his chance to double his tally for the match. Jutkiewicz missed another identical chance four minutes later. The English striker went on to rue his missed chances as the draw forced a replay.
The replay will be played on Wednesday the 11th at St James’ Park. Newcastle will be eager to end their streak of annual heartbreak in the third round of the FA Cup.
Feature Image credit: Martin Le Roy