A convincing 3-0 win over Barnsley and claiming the title, the curtain came down on the 16/17 Championship season. Because of this, I decided to review Newcastle’s season. These articles will be split up into three parts. Part two will be out on Sunday with the final one coming out next Tuesday.
The season started with an away trip to Fulham. Expectations were high as the new season kicked off. A dismal performance was topped off by a Matt Smith goal right on the stroke of half-time, Fulham ran out 1-0 winners. Next up was a home match against Huddersfield and the first match of the season at St James’ Park. Another wasteful performance where Newcastle should’ve scored at least three goals ended in a 2-1 win for Huddersfield. 0 points out of a possible six, things were looking bleak. A win was desperately needed. A 4-1 win against Reading proved to be a turning point of the season, with goals from Hayden; a Ritchie penalty; and two from Gayle secured the win. A lovely freekick from Gayle was the highlight of the evening. After that was a less convincing 1-0 win against Bristol away, but a win nonetheless. A Gayle goal secured Newcastle’s second win of the season. Next was an EFL second round cup game. An Ayoze Perez double fired Newcastle into the next round. The last match of August was a home match against automatic promotion rivals Brighton. A glancing header from captain Lascelles and a beautifully curved free kick from Shelvey secured all three points.
The first match of September was an away match against Derby County. Yoan Gouffran opened the scoring with a powerful strike into the bottom left and Yedlin finished the match off after he bundled the ball into the net. Next up was one of the highlights of the season with a 6-0 demolition of QPR. Shelvey scored the first of the match when his shot deflected past the keeper, Perez got a goal when he slid the ball into the net, Shelvey got his second when he curled a fantastic ball into the net, Clark scored his first of the season with a header from a corner, Mitrovic tapped in his first of the season and Hanley finished off the rout with a nicely placed shot. Eventually, the winning streak was broken when Wolves scored two with no reply. Everything went badly with a Mbemba own goal and an Anita red card. Newcastle had a chance for immediate revenge against Wolves in the EFL Cup. They took their chances and won 2-0, goals from Ritchie and a stunning half-volley from Gouffran. Aston Villa away was next on the agenda. A Tommy Elphick own goal kept Newcastle ahead for most of the match but a Matz Sels error at a late corner undid everything Newcastle did. After that was an exhilarating 4-3 victory over Norwich. The home side found themselves 3-1 down after 70 minutes and a sinking without a trace but two last-gasp goals from Gayle and Gouffran set St James’ into absolute raptures.
October started with a 1-0 win over Rotherham. A brilliant Christian Atsu strike made the difference. Next was a home match vs Brentford. A Gayle double and Clark’s second of the season made sure of the victory. Barnsley away came next with another Dwight Gayle (his 11th goal of the season) kept Newcastle’s unbeaten run going. Newcastle’s dominance over the league would not relent with a 3-0 victory over Ipswich. A brilliantly worked team goal was finished by Ayoze put Newcastle 1-0 up. Another Perez goal and a final from Ritchie completed the result. Newcastle marched into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a convincing 6-0 win over Preston. Two from Mitrovic, two from Diame, one from Ritchie, and a late Perez goal sent Newcastle into a quarter-final match against Hull. The final match of the month was an away trek to Preston. This wasn’t as great of a performance as the cup match but Newcastle still got the three points. A Mitrovic double and a Preston goal late in the day rounded off the month.
Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy