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Sheffield United 1-0 Newcastle match report - Steve Bruce under massive pressure as Magpies flop

Newcastle United were dreadful against Sheffield United as Steve Bruce's season lurched towards another crisis

Inexcusable, humiliating, pathetic, carefree, leaderless, shambolic and in dire need of a change - and that's just for starters for Newcastle United.

They could be going down again if they aren't careful.

This was a footballing disgrace for the Toon fans back home and an insult to the club crest.

Steve Bruce can't complain at any criticism that comes his way following one of the worst results in the club's Premier League history.

At other clubs a head coach would lose his job after one win in eight and having been dumped out of two cup competitions in a month.

Yet the players should also hang their heads in shame after this one too.

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Bruce named a side that had a three-pronged attack with Callum Wilson supported by Sean Longstaff and Ryan Fraser.

But the players clearly didn't get the memo on trying to put pressure on the Sheff United home goal.

Despite no wins all season, Sheff United managed 17 goal attempts and Newcastle looked like the club who were bottom of the pile.

Tactically they were shambolic but the attitude of the players is in serious question.

What on earth is going on in that dressing room?

Is it like the Leisure Club X1 that went down in 2009?

Or is it more like the 2016 side that had talented players but the coach couldn't get them to gel?

Either way, Newcastle could be on a relegation hat-trick under Mike Ashley if this goes on.

United got forward with six minutes played as Ryan Fraser clipped in a right-wing cross but nobody could connect and Sheff United cleared the danger.

A John Lundstrum effort on 10 minutes flew wide of Karl Darlow's left-hand post as the Blades registered their first effort of the evening.

Darlow was then called into action again when Lundstrum played in Dave McGoldrick who stabbed a low effort at the keeper but he pushed the ball away and Fede Fernandez swept the danger clear.

Despite being under the cosh in the opening 20 minutes against the bottom side in the Premier League Newcastle's committed attitude was on show with Sean Longstaff attempting an early tackle with his HEAD after losing the ball.

On 27 minutes, United's first real glimpse of goal arrived when Federico Fernandez clipped in a cross from the right but Wilson's header flew just wide of the target.

Sheffield United's English striker Billy Sharp (R) shoots from the penalty spot to score his team's opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United
Sheffield United's English striker Billy Sharp (R) shoots from the penalty spot to score his team's opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Newcastle United

McGoldrick towered into the air on 29 minutes when Nathan Ampadu curled in a cross from the left but his flicked header went over the bar.

A defence-splitting pass on 38 minutes picked out Isaac Hyaden before DeAndre Yedlin and Wilson had shots blocked in the box.

Newcastle had a penalty appeal turned down by VAR when Blades skipper John Egan looked like he'd handled the ball but Andy Madley waved away protests on 40 minutes.

McGoldrick's ball across the face of the six-yard box looked dangerous but nobody could connect.

The half ended in concerning fashion for the Magpies as Fraser was first booked for a foul on John Fleck.

And then moments later he lunged in on McGoldrick to pick up a second caution with ref Andy Madley left with no choice but to show him the red card.

As Fraser trudged off the field not one of the coaching staff even attempted to console the Scottish international.

They arguably knew the game was up at that very stage with Sheff United scenting blood.

Newcastle went in level at the break against the worst club in the Premier League this season but they were the ones who looked like relegation fodder.

Darlow was called into action again five minutes into the second half when he made a sprawling block to deny Jayden Bogle with the Blades having the incentive of attacking the 10-man visitors.

Newcastle's desperation was summed up when they won a free-kick near the halfway line on 63 minutes and Fabian Schar attempted an audacious lob - only for Aaron Ramsdale to gather comfortably.

Incredibly, it proved to be Newcastle's first shot on target against the rock bottom Blades.

Worse was to follow for the Magpies as Paul Dummett went off injured and as Newcastle tried to introduce Matt Ritchie ref Madley delayed the game with the visitors down to nine men.

As Fernandez and Billy Sharp grappled for the ball in the box, Sheff United screamed for a penalty.

A VAR and monitor check was required with Madley eventually pointing to the spot although Newcastle had a right to be annoyed by the decision as Fernandez was arguably the man fouled rather than guilty of handball.

Darlow was then sent the wrong way by Sharp and Sheff United grabbed the lead with 18 minutes left.

Newcastle chased the equaliser with Hendrick and Wilson combining but his tame header went straight at the keeper.

The post then saved United from going two down when Rhian Brewster's effort cannoned off the bottom of the upright.

Bruce's last roll of the dice came when he threw on Jacob Murphy for Yedlin in the closing stages.

The Magpies won a free-kick when Longstaff was fouled near the edge of the box but Murphy hit it straight at Ramsdale.

Brewster could have wrapped it up for Sheff United and incredibly Bogle nearly scored an own goal to net what would have be an undeserved draw for Newcastle.

That though would have only papered over the cracks for a club in crisis behind the scenes.

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