Newcastle equal their biggest Premier League win with rout of Sheffield United
Newcastle completed the Sheffield double in style as they equalled their biggest win of the Premier League era at Sheffield United, whose difficult week ended in an embarrassing 8-0 defeat.
The Blades, who paid tribute before kick-off to women’s player Maddy Cusack following her death aged just 27 this week, endured a chastening afternoon on the pitch at Bramall Lane.
The Magpies hit Sheffield Wednesday for eight under Sir Bobby Robson in 1999 and they did the same to their city rivals on Sunday as Sean Longstaff, Dan Burn, Sven Botman, Callum Wilson, Anthony Gordon, Miguel Almiron, Bruno Guimaraes and Alexander Isak all scored.
Any questions about how Newcastle would cope with juggling the demands of the Premier League and Champions League were answered emphatically in a vibrant display which asserted themselves as top-six contenders again following a slow start to the campaign.
The result will add extra pain to the Blades who were already suffering from the events of this week and it was their heaviest league defeat in history.
They were within minutes of beating Tottenham last week until succumbing to the latest Premier League comeback in history, but on this evidence, they are heading straight back to the Championship.
The pressure will mount on boss Paul Heckingbottom, whose side have taken one point from their first six games.
The build-up to the game was dominated by the Blades’ tribute to Cusack, who also worked in the club’s commercial department, with a poignant eulogy followed by her mum and sister laying a wreath on the centre circle.
The hosts were desperate to get a result in her memory and they started well with Luke Thomas having two good chances at the far post.
First he saw a drilled effort blocked and then put a similar effort, on this occasion with time and space, wide from James McAtee’s cross.
But things crumbled in a 14-minute period where Newcastle ran amok.
They took a 21st-minute lead as Gordon did well to get to the byline, but as he beat John Egan the ball bounced up and hit his hand before he pulled back to Longstaff to fire in from eight yards.
Despite the apparent handball, VAR did not intervene as it was ruled accidental.
There was no disputing Newcastle’s second goal 10 minutes later as Burn wriggled free of Anel Ahmedhodzic from Kieran Trippier’s corner to head home at the far post.
Tempers were beginning to boil as Jack Robinson received a yellow card for a strong tackle on Longstaff, even though he won the ball.
There was even more home anger from the resulting free-kick as Botman found space to head home and make it 3-0.
As Newcastle celebrated in front of the home end, fans threw missiles, with a drinks bottle hitting Elliot Anderson on the leg.
It could easily have been 4-0 but Wilson was denied by Wes Foderingham while Newcastle could have had a penalty but VAR opted not to get involved when Gordon was tripped by Jayden Bogle.
They needed 11 minutes after the restart to get their fourth as Wilson headed home yet another Trippier assist, with both players left in acres of space.
It was 5-0 just after the hour mark when Gordon capped a scintillating display by cutting inside and curling a fine 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.
Five became six when Almiron scored a beauty, firing into the bottom corner after Guimaraes incisive through ball played him in.
Guimaraes then added a seventh in the 73rd minute when he converted a loose ball before substitute Isak completed the rout by latching on to a loose header from Tom Davies.