Eddie Howe & Chris Wilder agree on Alexander Isak as Newcastle United make 'special' Bruno Guimaraes gesture

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Newcastle Untied 5-1 Sheffield United: A rampant second half from Eddie Howe’s side relegated The Blades from the Premier League.

Newcastle United confirmed Sheffield United’s relegation and kept their own European charge alive with a 5-1 win at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Anel Ahmedhodzic’s early header was cancelled out by Alexander Isak before half-time as the sides went in at 1-1. Bruno Guimaraes, an Isak penalty, a Ben Osborn own goal and another from substitute Callum Wilson saw Newcastle claim a comfortable win to relegate The Blades.

Here are five talking points from the match...

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Bruno Guimaraes appreciation

On a week where plenty of talk had surrounding Bruno Guimaraes’ future and contract situation at Newcastle, the Brazilian was shown appreciation and support that he would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. A Brazilian-themed Wor Flags display paid tribute to Guimaraes and Joelinton with a Brazil flag created in the Gallowgate End along with the message: “From Alianca and Rio to Newcastle upon Tyne, a home away from home. Joelinton and Bruno, our Brazilian Geordies.”

Guimaraes took a moment before the match to thank the supporters for the gesture. Fittingly, it was the midfielder’s goal that turned the match in Newcastle’s favour with his header putting the hosts in front after a poor first-half showing.

“It was very special, very special,” Guimaraes told the club website. “I was really fortunate not to cry on the pitch because I was very grateful.

“My family sent me a message, they were very happy as well. Genuinely thank you to the fans, they have been unbelievable with me and Joe as well.”

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Eddie Howe and Chris Wilder both agree on Alexander Isak

Another Newcastle player who has been linked with a move away but stood up and showed his value once again was Alexander Isak. The Swede drew Newcastle level against the run of play with some excellent movement to beat the offside trap to reach Jacob Murphy’s splitting pass and apply a fine finish to make it 1-1.

After Anthony Gordon was fouled inside the area by Mason Holgate, Isak stepped up and continued his perfect record from the penalty spot for Newcastle to make it 3-1. It was the seventh consecutive Premier League home match the 24-year-old had scored in as he took his league tally to 19 for the season with only Erling Haaland and Cole Palmer scoring more.

After the match, both Eddie Howe and Chris Wilder labelled Isak as ‘world-class’. Howe even went a step further and suggested he wouldn’t swap the striker for anyone else in world football, such is his talent and importance to the side. “A great ball from Jacob and very tight from being offside but that's the beauty of the timing of his run which was high level,” Howe said on Isak’s goal. “The finish was hugely important for us in a moment where we were struggling to get a foothold in the game at a moment where we wanted to.

Newcastle United star Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United star Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United star Alexander Isak. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Fresh injury concern for Newcastle United

Not a week goes by without Newcastle being dealt another injury issue and Saturday afternoon was no different. With Fabian Schar appearing to be struggling early in the match, Howe and assistant Jason Tindall got Emil Krafth stripped and ready to come on midway through the half.

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Just as the fourth official was preparing the substitute board, Schar turned to the bench and shook his finger in an attempt to carry on. The centre-back made it to half-time before being forced off and replaced by Krafth.

“He had a bit of tightness in his hamstring, we don't think it's a big injury,” Howe explained. “There wasn't a moment where we thought he might have pulled his hamstring but it was enough to make him feel uncomfortable and he couldn't fully sprint so he had to come off. 

“We were going to make the change but he said he was fine and wanted to carry on but then at half-time it became clear he couldn't so that's why we made the change.” 

Newcastle United set a new Premier League record

Callum Wilson’s introduction off the bench to score his ninth goal of the season and first of 2024 following an injury saw Newcastle set a new Premier League record for most goals against a single side in the same league season.

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An 8-0 win at Bramall Lane followed by Saturday’s 5-1 win at St James’ Park means Newcastle have put 13 goals past The Blades in two matches this season. Only top three sides Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal have scored more than Newcastle’s 74 goals this season.

With four games remaining, it’s already Newcastle’s best-scoring 38-game Premier League campaign. Wilson’s goal was also Newcastle’s 14th scored by a substitute this season, another Premier League high. The strike takes the 32-year-old level with Peter Beardsley as Newcastle’s second all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League on 46 goals.

Alan Shearer is still well out in front with 148 league goals for the club.

Callum Wilson of Newcastle United scores his team's fifth goal past Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on April 27, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.Callum Wilson of Newcastle United scores his team's fifth goal past Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on April 27, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Callum Wilson of Newcastle United scores his team's fifth goal past Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on April 27, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. | Getty Images

Another step closer to Europe for Newcastle United

With four games remaining, Newcastle sit four points inside the potential European places with a game in hand on West Ham United in eighth. The Hammers, along with Manchester United and Chelsea, dropped points on Saturday.

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The Magpies are now a point behind sixth-placed Man United, whom they play at Old Trafford next month and five ahead of Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

The Magpies also have a significant goal difference advantage on all of the teams around them in the table with +19. Chelsea on +4 have the second-best goal difference of the sides competing for the lower European positions, effectively giving Howe’s side a bonus point in the battle for the top seven

And next up for Newcastle is a trip to a stubborn Burnley side battling to beat the drop.

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