In tonight’s 4th round FA Cup replay, Newcastle United survived against a resilient Oxford United side at the Kassam Stadium, winning 3-2 after extra time.
Coming into tonight’s game, Newcastle were unbeaten in their last 7 games in all competitions: though the quality of football being played by Steve Bruce’s side had been widely panned by fans and commentators alike.
An exit from the Cup tonight would have led to some even more serious questions being asked of Bruce’s tenure and the state of Newcastle United in 2020.
Newcastle opened the scoring in the 15th minute, with Sean Longstaff firing past the entire Oxford defence and into the top right corner from outside the box.
Joelinton then doubled the Toon’s lead just before the half-hour mark, latching onto Sean Longstaff’s pass before curling it past Simon Eastwood to get his 3rd goal of the season.
There was almost an instant response from the hosts, but they were first denied by quick reactions from Karl Darlow and a goal-line clearance from Jamaal Lascelles.
After half time and a rather tame half-hour, substitute Liam Kelly found the back of the net from a sublime free-kick to make it 1-2. And in the 93rd minute, Nathan Holland curled in a stunning volley to equalise and send the game to extra time.
When Newcastle United needed a hero, up stepped the new Saint of Tyneside. Allan Saint-Maximin with a superb run and finish to restore Newcastle’s lead before the Geordies closed out the tie to advance. A tough, tense game, but a victorious one.
This is Newcastle’s first fifth-round appearance in the FA Cup for 14 years.
Newcastle can now enjoy a much needed weekend off from the Premier League, before they return to face Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at the Emirates.
With their win, United progresses into the 5th round of the Cup. Their opponents in the last 16 will be high flying Championship side West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. The Baggies produced a convincing win over a lackluster West Ham side in the previous round.
West Brom will be a tough opponent for Newcastle United, who have needed replays to get past both Rochdale and Oxford so far in the Cup.