Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United0NewcastleNewcastle United2

Sheffield United 0-2 Newcastle: Jonjo Shelvey goal given by VAR as visitors win

By Gary RoseBBC Sport
Jonjo Shelvey
Shelvey has now scored in back-to-back games after netting in the 2-2 draw with Manchester City

Jonjo Shelvey had a goal awarded by VAR as Newcastle stunned Sheffield United at Bramall Lane to climb to 11th in the Premier League.

The controversy arrived in the second half when Andy Carroll was flagged offside after flicking on for Shelvey. The midfielder ran through before slotting past Dean Henderson, whose half-hearted challenge suggested he was expecting the effort to be ruled out.

However, with referee Stuart Attwell having waved play on the goal was checked by VAR, which correctly awarded it after replays showed Carroll was onside when he provided the assist.

Allan Saint-Maximin had earlier opened the scoring with his first goal for Newcastle, heading home Javier Manquillo's cross.

The frustrated hosts dominated much of the game only to find Martin Dubravka in wonderful form, the Newcastle goalkeeper twice saving excellent headers from Oli McBurnie, as well as keeping out a deflected Enda Stevens strike.

The result ends Sheffield United's seven-game unbeaten Premier League run, stretching back to a 1-0 defeat by Liverpool on 28 September.

Play to whistle - VAR does its job

VAR has provided plenty of moments of controversy this season, but in this case did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Without it, an incorrect offside call would have been missed and Newcastle would have entered the closing stages of the game trying to protect a one-goal lead against determined hosts who, until that moment, had looked the more likely to add to the scoring.

"We've spoke many times about whether VAR is adding or taking away from the game but that's exactly why it came in," former Everton midfielder Leon Osman told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Without it, Newcastle would have had that goal taken away from them when he was clearly onside.

"Great credit must go to Stuart Attwell too for just following Jonjo Shelvey as he ran forward and slotted it into the net as the Sheffield United players stopped."

Blades frustrated but play well again

While this was Sheffield United's first defeat in seven games, it was a fourth consecutive game without a win - a run that may be starting to concern some fans following their fine early-season form.

But recent results are perhaps not a fair reflection of their performances.

Against Newcastle, they once again played some slick, expansive football and had their opponents pegged back in their own half for almost the entirety of the game.

However, in Dubravka they came up against a goalkeeper in inspired form and his save in the first five minutes from Stevens' deflected effort was particularly crucial. Had that gone in it could have been a very different game.

Man of the match - Martin Dubravka

Martin Dubravka
Goalkeeper Dubravka made a number of excellent saves to ensure Newcastle secured a massive victory

'The game's changed. It is sucking the life out of me' - what they said

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, speaking to BBC Sport: "A missed opportunity. I am OK with that performance, it was always going to be difficult against a team that never shifted. The first goal is really important and it is super difficult when you go behind against a team like Newcastle.

"I was told at the start of the season that the linesman would not put his flag up and let it go. He put his flag up and the referee was about to blow his whistle.

"Everyone in the ground stopped. Jonjo Shelvey even nonchalantly went up and took an opportunity. His body language said to me he had seen the linesman had put the flag up and he was going to be offside.

"The game has changed. This game now is completely different to what I experienced as a 16-year-old lad as an apprentice. This game in a heartbeat has changed. I don't know where it is going and it is sucking the life out of me and the supporters."

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce: "I was delighted with the spirit of the players. To come here has never been easy over a number of years. Chris Wilder has done a remarkable job."

On the second goal: "Down the line we are going to have a few that will go against us. I have to say well done to Jonjo for keeping on going. If that is an opportunity the linesman keeps his flag down because it looked borderline. Maybe he could have kept the flag down and checked later. Ultimately it was the correct decision.

"The referee will not blow the whistle and he has done that. Usually it is clear and obvious for the linesman to put his flag up but let's remind everyone it was the second goal, which wasn't important anyway."

Carroll's long wait ends - the stats

  • Newcastle have won three of their last five Premier League games (D1 L1), as many as they had in their previous 13 combined before this (W3 D4 L6).
  • Sheffield United have lost each of their last four league meetings with Newcastle, their longest ever such losing run against them.
  • Only Southampton (five) have lost more Premier League games on home soil this season than Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (four).
  • Saint-Maximin's goal (14:58) was the earliest Sheffield United have conceded in a league game at Bramall Lane since March 2017, when Ricky Holmes scored in the third minute for Charlton.
  • Newcastle scored with their first two shots on target of this game, with Shelvey's 70th minute goal their first attempt of any kind since Saint-Maximin opened the scoring in the 15th minute.
  • Saint-Maximin scored his first Premier League goal in his 11th appearance in the competition and with what was his 17th shot across those 11 games - he had failed to score with his last 46 shots for Nice and Newcastle in Ligue 1 and the Premier League respectively before this game.
  • Shelvey has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the very first time in his career, and in back-to-back league games overall for the first time since November 2011 for Blackpool.
  • Carroll started his first Premier League game for Newcastle in eight years and 342 days - the second longest run between starts for the club in the competition after Pavel Srnicek (nine years, 62 days), and the seventh longest gap between starts by any player at a single club in the competition's history.

What next?

Sheffield United travel to Norwich on Sunday, 8 December (14:00 GMT) while Newcastle host Southampton on the same day (14:00).

Line-ups

Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Henderson
  • 6BashamSubstituted forFreemanat 75'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 12Egan
  • 5O'Connell
  • 2Baldock
  • 7Lundstram
  • 16NorwoodSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 72'minutes
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 9McBurnie
  • 10SharpBooked at 49minsSubstituted forMoussetat 63'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Freeman
  • 11Robinson
  • 15Jagielka
  • 17McGoldrick
  • 22Mousset
  • 25Moore
  • 27Besic

Newcastle

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Dubravka
  • 19Manquillo
  • 18Fernández
  • 2Clark
  • 3Dummett
  • 15Willems
  • 24AlmirónSubstituted forKrafthat 88'minutes
  • 14Hayden
  • 8Shelvey
  • 10Saint-MaximinSubstituted forAtsuat 81'minutes
  • 7CarrollSubstituted forJoelintonat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Schär
  • 9Joelinton
  • 12Gayle
  • 17Krafth
  • 26Darlow
  • 30Atsu
  • 36S Longstaff
Referee:
Stuart Attwell
Attendance:
30,409

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home73%
Away27%
Shots
Home13
Away6
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 0, Newcastle United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, Newcastle United 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by John Fleck (Sheffield United).

  4. Post update

    Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Newcastle United. Emil Krafth tries a through ball, but Javier Manquillo is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Sheffield United. Oliver McBurnie tries a through ball, but David McGoldrick is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Newcastle United. Emil Krafth replaces Miguel Almirón.

  9. Booking

    Luke Freeman (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Luke Freeman (Sheffield United).

  11. Post update

    Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Federico Fernández.

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lys Mousset (Sheffield United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Baldock.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  16. Post update

    Foul by John Egan (Sheffield United).

  17. Post update

    Christian Atsu (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).

  19. Post update

    Miguel Almirón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Offside, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey tries a through ball, but Miguel Almirón is caught offside.

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

356 comments

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool15141037142343
2Leicester1511223592635
3Man City15102343172632
4Chelsea159243021929
5Wolves155822117423
6Man Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham155552523220
9Sheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle155461522-719
12Burnley155372124-318
13Brighton155371822-418
14Bournemouth154471821-316
15West Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
17Southampton154381733-1615
18Everton154291627-1114
19Norwich1532101632-1611
20Watford15159930-218
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC