THERE’S nothing like some Championship-bound cannon fodder to get those juices flowing again.
GettyNewcastle romped to a sensational victory over woeful Sheffield United[/caption]
GettySean Longstaff’s goal on 21 minutes opened the floodgates at Bramall Lane[/caption]
ReutersBruno Guimaraes celebrates after scoring their seventh[/caption]
The Magpies had lost their last eight games immediately following a midweek European clash and Paul Heckingbottom had all week to prime his side to tear into the Geordies.
Yet Toon boss Eddie Howe could not have dreamed of an easier ride.
And Hecky looks like a dead man walking, with it now surely only a matter of time before he becomes the first manager sacked this season.
If his job was on the line before this, with former boss Chris Wilder waiting in the wings, then it’s hard to see how he survives this annihilation.
Heckingbottom admitted his side were “desperately light and miles away” from competing in the Prem on the eve of the campaign.
He was banking on some late summer transfer activity yet, even with that, they have NO chance of survival at this rate.
Sean Longstaff, Dan Burn and Sven Botman – scoring his first Newcastle goal on his 50th appearance – struck in 14 first-half minutes to leave Sheffield United dead and buried.
It could have been a host more by the break but Newcastle were in an unforgiving mood with Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Miguel Almiron, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak making it eight different scorers as the hopeless Blades were put to the sword.
The only stroke of ‘luck’ Newcastle had was 10 minutes in when Harvey Barnes went down injured, replaced by Gordon.
And the Scouse winger was the star here, tearing pathetic Sheffield United a proverbial new one.
Newcastle’s best away win in the Prem before this mauling was 5-1 and it could have easily been double figures, ending a brilliant week for Mags boss Howe having started it under pressure for the first time.
And the Mags save up their real tonkings for Sheffield given this equals the 8-0 demolition of Wednesday in 1999.
It was an emotionally charged Bramall Lane following the tragic passing last Wednesday of women’s player and club marketing executive Maddy Cusack.
There was a stirring round of applause and a minute’s silence followed by a rounding rendition of Greasy Chip Butty.
Elliot Anderson, Miguel Almiron, Harvey Barnes and Callum Wilson were in to freshen Newcastle up following last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at AC Milan.
Toon were slugging from the off but Gordon added the required oomph when brought on for the injured Barnes.
The first of this humiliating rout came 21 minutes in – leaving the locals up in arms screaming for handball.
Gordon received a throw over his head down the left tight to the byline and dragged it back through John Egan’s weak shepherding and pulled back for Longstaff to bury.
Replays showed the ball just about stayed on the field but it did clearly bounce up off his arm.
There were no complaints 10 minutes later however when Burn doubled Newcastle’s lead.
Peeling around to the back post, the 6ft 7in defender shrugged off Anel Amhedhodzic’s desperate clutches to nod Kieran Trippier’s brilliant corner home from close range.
And if that wasn’t game over, Botman sealed the victory 10 minutes before the break with a brilliant glancing header from Trippier’s free-kick.
Ahmedhodzic’s meaty challenge on Longstaff was penalised by Attwell in what was the final straw for the Blades fans.
All hell broke loose when Botman headed home with bottles and missiles launched from all directions at the celebrating Geordies.
One hit Elliot Anderson yet that only spurred Newcastle on even more and they really should have had six or seven by half-time.
Sheffield United were all over the place, a Premier League side in name only, and Callum Wilson will be livid not to have bagged a hat-trick while Anthony Gordon was inexplicably denied a clear penalty.
ReutersCallum Wilson got his name on the scoresheet as the floodgates opened[/caption]
GettyPressure is mounting on Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom after the crushing defeat[/caption]
A home goal at the start of the second would have spiced things up but that never looked likely and Wilson soon had his fourth of the campaign.
Marauding centre-back Fabian Schar declined the shot from range to slip in Trippier down the right, and the England star put in another delicious ball for Wilson to head home.
Sheffield United had long since collapsed and Gordon was next in on the act, cutting inside off the left beyond pathetic challenges before bending low into the far corner.
And the sixth was up seven minutes later as Almiron played a one-two with Bruno in the middle before ambling into the box undetected and rolling past the hapless Foderingham.
Newcastle had never scored six on the road in the Prem before but Bruno put them in seventh heaven, in a rapidly emptying Bramall Lane, firing over Foderingham after Longstaff’s deflected shot fell into his path, with Isak wrapping it up at the death.