James Maddison reaction as Brendan Rodgers says what Eddie Howe won’t about Newcastle United – moments missed
A slight kit change for Newcastle United
There was something slightly different about Newcastle United’s kit on Monday afternoon as they lined-up at Leicester in their black and white home shirt. But instead of their usual black socks, the United players wore white socks to avoid a potential, but debatable, colour clash with Leicester’s blue socks.
Eddie Howe named an unchanged side from the previous Premier League game against Chelsea over six weeks prior.
Chris Wood led the line with Callum Wilson out due to illness while Jonjo Shelvey has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a calf injury.
As always the Newcastle players huddled together before the game with matchday captain Kieran Trippier issuing his usual words of encouragement. Interestingly, there was no such huddle from The Foxes, as they quickly took their positions on the field.
Chris Wood shows some respect to Leicester City
The Magpies couldn’t have got off to a better start as inside the opening two minutes, Joelinton was tripped inside the penalty area by Daniel Amartey. And Wood, who is yet to miss a penalty for Newcastle, promptly stepped up and blasted Newcastle into the lead.
It was the 31-year-old’s third goal of the season and fifth goal in total since signing for the club in January. Newcastle have won every game in which the striker has scored.
After putting Newcastle ahead early on, Wood’s celebration was subdued as he limited himself to just a pump of his fist against his former club. The New Zealand international played 62 times for Leicester City between 2013 and 2015, scoring 20 goals.
Newcastle United fans break out the festive chants
Further goals from Miguel Almiron and Joelinton put Newcastle 3-0 ahead at the break, allowing the 3,300 travelling supporters to enjoy the second half as Howe’s side saw the game out.
Christmas themed chants could be heard throughout the second half from the away end. They included: “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day, you gave it away. This year to save me from tears, I'll give it to Bruno Guimaraes!” And: “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see Newcastle win away!”
Hardly Christmas classics but who can blame the Toon Army for enjoying the occasion!
But there was a moment of ‘banter’ between the two sets of supporters as Leicester legend Jamie Vardy came on for the second half. Newcastle fans promptly sang: “Jamie Vardy, a blast from the past,” but the Leicester fans quickly jumped to the defence of the 35-year-old.
The Foxes supporters responded with: “Jamie Vardy, he's won more than you.”
Vardy has helped Leicester win both the Premier League and FA Cup during his time at the King Power Stadium.
James Maddison ‘sulks’ in the stands
One key player missing for Leicester was their top scorer James Maddison. The 26-year-old missed the match with a knee injury as he was forced to watch Newcastle secure a comfortable victory from the stands.
Maddison has been linked with a move to United following two rejected bids by Leicester in the summer. Newcastle will consider moving again for the midfielder in January but for now he remains a Leicester player.
And with Newcastle leading 3-0, Maddison could be seen sitting in the stands looking less than pleased with what he was witnessing. We just wonder what was going through his head as The Magpies strolled to a convincing win?
Bruno Guimaraes shows his class once again
A professional second half display saw Newcastle see out a sixth successive Premier League win to move up to second in the Premier League table. It’s the first time The Magpies have won six in a row in the top flight since 2012 as they stretched their unbeaten run to 11 games.
It is the joint-longest unbeaten run the club has been on across the same Premier League season as they look to break that record against Leeds United at St James's Park this coming weekend.
After the game the Newcastle players went over to thank the travelling supporters and join in with the post game celebrations. It was United’s fourth away win out of five, three of which have been by a three goal margin.
Guimaraes picked up the man of the match award following another influential midfield display. The Brazilian expertly set-up Almiron’s goal and helped The Magpies dominate the midfield throughout the afternoon.
His celebration following a second half challenge summed up his desire to win everything on the pitch. And he led the celebrations with the supporters afterwards.
Guimaraes jumped into the stands and made his way to hand over his shirt to supporter Jonjoe Clennell – some belated Christmas present! He then jumped on the advertising board and gestured towards the supporters to get them even more pumped up following the win.
Brendan Rodgers says what Eddie Howe won’t about Newcastle United
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has previously been complimentary of Newcastle, and Monday’s 3-0 win was no different.
With the victory taking United up to second in the table, Rogers recognised that Howe’s side were genuine title contenders this season.
"Absolutely,” he responded when asked if Newcastle were in a title race.
"Having watched them through the season, and seen them today, they’ve obviously got that hunger there with a point to prove. You make a great start, that gives you the feeling you can stay there.
“There’s no reason why they can’t be [in the conversation]. If they can cover the players that might get injured, and keep everyone fit, they can be up there about it. With the home support and fanatical fanbase, they can have a great chance.”
Meanwhile United boss Howe continues to keep his Premier League ambitions in-house going into 2023.