Newcastle United kicked off the new year with a 1-2 home defeat against Leicester City, despite Andy Carroll scoring his first Newcastle goal in over a decade.
Almost 1 year ago, Newcastle hosted Leicester in the first game of 2020, where the Foxes dominated proceedings and emerged 0-3 winners at St James’ Park. Could Newcastle fare any better this time round, and build on their convincing draw against Liverpool earlier in the week?
Leicester was always going to be a difficult team for the Toon to face, having failed to beat them 3 times last season alone, whilst Brendan Rodgers’ side boast the best away record in the Premier League this season: with 19 points accumulated and their only away defeat coming at Anfield.
Sunday afternoon’s game marked the first time both Sean and Matty Longstaff started for Newcastle in over a year. Hamza Chowdhury was dropped from the Leicester squad, amidst rumours he has been offered to a number of Premier League clubs.
Into the game now, and James Maddison enjoyed the best attempt of the first half, with his shot in the 3rd minute going slightly wide of the Newcastle net.
Jamie Vardy had the ball in the back of the net in the 12th minute, but an offside trap from the Newcastle defence forced Vardy offside and to keep the score 0-0.
Newcastle had a couple of opportunities, but Kasper Schmeichel made some comfortable saves and even resorted to rushing into his own half to deny Callum Wilson a clear run on goal.
Moving onto the second half, and Harvey Barnes spearheaded a counter attack past the Longstaff brothers. Finding Jamie Vardy out wide, the striker nutmegged Federico Fernandez before teeing up James Maddison for his 4th Premier League goal of the season.
All hope for a Newcastle equaliser looked to have ended in the 72nd minute, when Youri Tielemans unleashed a ferocious shot that Karl Darlow simply had no chance of stopping. Much like Maddison, it was the Belgian’s 4th Premier League goal of the season so far.
Two shots on target for the visitors. Two goals.
Newcastle’s 3rd substitution of the match showed they weren’t quite out of it yet however. DeAndre Yedlin made way for Andy Carroll, who scored not only his first goal since his return to Newcastle, but his first goal in a Newcastle shirt since Boxing Day…2010!
Big Andy’s goal wasn’t enough to inspire Newcastle to a draw however, as Leicester held on to secure their 7th away win of the season so far: matching their total from last season.