Newcastle 5-1 Sheffield United: Blades relegation confirmed as Isak shines again

Jason Soutar
Sheffield United players look dejected after conceding a goal
Sheffield United players look dejected after conceding a goal

Sheffield United’s relegation to the Championship has been confirmed after a 5-1 defeat away to Newcastle United.

The Blades took a deserved fifth-minute lead through Anel Ahmedhodzic to silence a crowd of 52,196 at St James’ Park as the Magpies turned in a dismal first-half performance, yet still went in level at the break courtesy of Isak’s sweet strike.

They scored four times inside 18 second-half minutes through Bruno Guimaraes, Isak, Ben Osborn’s own goal and substitute Callum Wilson to secure a 5-1 win which relegated the visitors and took their total against them in two games this season to a Premier League record 13 goals following September’s 8-0 victory at Bramall Lane.

Eddie Howe’s men fell behind with just five minutes gone when the visitors worked a short corner move for Ahmedhodzic to head Gustavo Hamer’s cross past Martin Dubravka.

It might have been 2-0 within three minutes had Dan Burn not managed to intervene as Cameron Archer, whose pace allied with Ben Brereton Diaz’s physicality proved a problem throughout, prepared to shoot after breaking from his own half with the hosts in disarray.

Ahmedhodzic blocked a Sean Longstaff shot after Guimaraes had slid him in with the Magpies slowly emerging from their torpor, although Burn had to make another important block to deny Archer after the striker had comprehensively beaten Fabian Schar.

Brereton Diaz capitalised on Schar’s misjudgement under a high ball to race in and test Dubravka at his near post, but the home side were level with 26 minutes gone when Jacob Murphy played the perfect ball into Isak’s run in behind Auston Trusty and the striker finished with aplomb.

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The Sweden international fired just wide of Wes Foderingham’s right-hand post with a speculative effort, but Burn prevented Brereton Diaz’s shot from crossing the line after he had rounded Dubravka at the other end before Mason Holgate headed against the crossbar and Andre Brooks blazed wide from the resulting corner.

Foderingham clawed away Lewis Hall’s stoppage-time attempt, but Howe welcomed his players back to the dressing room with harsh words in the offing.

But the home side took the lead with 54 minutes gone when Anthony Gordon curled a free-kick to the far post where the unmarked Guimaraes dived to head home.

Foderingham interrupted Gordon’s surge into the penalty area as he tried to set up Isak, but Dubravka had to palm away Brereton Diaz’s shot after Hamer had broken at pace.

The Magpies extended their lead when Isak coolly converted a 61st-minute penalty after Holgate had bundled Gordon to the ground, and it was 4-1 within four minutes when Ben Osborn back-heeled the ball into his own net as he tried to clear.

Foderingham denied Wilson within five minutes of his arrival but could not prevent him from making it 5-1 with a smart finish after fellow substitute Harvey Barnes had played him in.

The visitors were awarded a last-minute penalty for substitute Alex Murphy’s challenge on Jayden Bogle, but their misery was complete when referee Tony Harrington reversed his decision after being called to the pitchside monitor.

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