Newcastle United finally found their ruthlessness again, comfortably sweeping Morecambe aside in the Carabao Cup.
It’s a result that will hopefully restore a bit of confidence in this squad after a torrid performance against Brighton, although you wouldn’t expect most of tonight’s starting line-up to start against Tottenham.
The Shrimps were already 4-0 down against Bruce’s usually profligate side when a red card was shown to Toumani Diagouraga leaving them open to further punishment.
Jacob Murphy and Joelinton had stolen the show in the first half, with the former showing real hunger to impress. Murphy was involved in the build up of the opening two goals, while Joelinton bizarrely decided to not nod his cross in that hit the post and back safely into the keeper’s arms. But the Brazilian showed his finishing touch tonight, stroking home the opener, and impressing for the Magpie’s fourth turning inside from the wing and curling in from range.
Miguel Almiron latched onto an impressive through-ball from a more central Murphy and easily took it around the keeper, while Murphy and Isaac Hayden also netted from range after driving from deep.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles started the second half scoring with a strong near-post header from Ritchie’s corner. He’s a player who seems to have gone backwards under Steve Bruce, but little wrong with his performance tonight, albeit against deflated opposition.
The real highlight of the second half came on 68 minutes when both Matt Ritchie and substitute Andy Carroll attempted outrageous overhead kicks in the same passage of play. Both were unsuccessful.
The Scotsman did find the net in the closing minutes for Newcastle seventh to round off an emphatic victory in Lancashire.
All in all the match was over as a contest in the first ten minutes, such was the desire of this Geordie second string. It was a surprisingly enjoyable watch after a couple of lower league scares last season, but probably doesn’t tell us much about the overall direction and strategy for Premier League games.
It did however serve as a confidence booster for some fringe players, who we may well need to call upon when the inevitable flurry of injuries hits the first team.
League 2 Newport County await in the next round. Surely we can’t mess this up?…Can we…?
Adam Widdrington (@AddingRandomWit)