Alan Shearer explains Newcastle United's tactical masterstroke

Alan Shearer says Steve Bruce got his tactics spot on against Manchester City.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Sunday, 1st December 2019, 11:45 am

Newcastle United twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Pep Guardiola’s side at St James’s Park yesterday.

Shearer, speaking on Match of the Day, explained how Bruce's team, beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa on Monday night, looked to break through City’s press with their first or second pass.

“I was very disappointed on Monday evening against Aston Villa,” said the former United striker. “They were slow, they weren’t enough passes forward.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I think what’s crucial against this Manchester City team is when you win the ball back, the first or second pass (has to be forward) to get through their initial press … if you can do that, you can be successful, particularly as there’s no (Aymeric) Laporte in there.

“Despite only having 23% possession, when they did have the ball, this was key in the game. The first or second ball was positive.”

Jonjo Shelvey, wearing the captain’s armband in the absence through injury of skipper Jamaal Lascelles, scored Newcastle’s equaliser in the 88th minute after Christian Atsu found him in space outside the City box with a free-kick. The strike was Shelvey’s third of the season, making him outright top scorer.

“It was a magnificent hit – he was super,” added Shearer. “He needs to jeep on putting those performances in.”

Jonjo Shelvey celebrates his goal.
Jonjo Shelvey celebrates his goal.

Shearer also praised the move for Newcastle’s first goal, scored by Jetro Willems.