Newcastle United fans turn on Steve Bruce as the club's winless start continues

Newcastle United fans turned on Steve Bruce on a fractious afternoon at St James’s Park.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th August 2021, 8:23 pm
Steve Bruce during this afternoon's game.

Southampton twice came from behind to draw 2-2. James Ward-Prowse levelled with an injury-time penalty after Allan Saint-Maximin had seemingly claimed all three points with a 90th-minute goal.

Mohamed Elyounoussi had earlier cancelled out an opener from Callum Wilson, who was forced off with a thigh injury.

There had been chants of “we want Brucie out” at St James’s Park during the first half. Supporters were unhappy at the start their team had made against Southampton, who had dominated the first half-hour.

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Keith Bishop, a close associate of owner Mike Ashley, was at St James’s Park for the fixture, which followed a midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Burnley. Bishop will have left the stadium with a sense of the strength of feeling on Tyneside.

Bruce made one enforced change to the side which lost to Villa last weekend – Sean Longstaff replaced Isaac Hayden in midfield – while former Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong led the line for the visitors.

Southampton made the better start. They created a series of chances, while United didn’t have a shot in the first 30 minutes.

The crowd, restless and impatient, rounded on Bruce midway through the first half. There were chants against Bruce, stood on the edge of his technical area.

Allan Saint-Maximin celebrates after scoring.

Just four days earlier, there had been chants of “Brucie, give us a wave” at the stadium during the club’s cup tie against Burnley, which Newcastle lost on penalties after 90 goalless minutes.

There were fewer pleasantries this time at St James’s Park, which was far from full. The 44,017 crowd was well below that for the opener against West Ham United earlier this month.

The rest of the half was punctuated by more chants against Bruce, though the team rallied late in the half and created a couple of opportunities. Callum Wilson shot after over a quick break forward from Saint-Maximin, and the striker also had a header saved from a corner.

There were a few boos at the break, and the players were late out for the second half. However, there was more intent about them when they did finally get the half going.

The breakthrough came 10 minutes into the half. Fabian Schar played a superb ball out of defence to Jacob Murphy on the right, and he headed it across the face of goal. Wilson finished with a diving header to make it two goals from three games this season.

Bruce sent on Joelinton – the striker replaced Wilson – and Southampton were soon level. Elyounoussi slid in and followed up after Freddie Woodman palmed away his initial shot.

Newcastle struggled to impose themselves on Southampton in the final few minutes, and fans again called for Bruce’s sacking.

Saint-Maximin came to the rescue, starting and finishing a 90th-minute move, but Jamaal Lascelles conceded an injury-time penalty after sliding in on Armstrong. Ward-Prowse converted the resulting penalty to make it four games without a win for United.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman, Murphy, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Ritchie, S Longstaff, Almiron, Willock (Fraser, 85), Saint-Maximin, Wilson (Joelinton, 69). Subs not used: Gillespie, Clark, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Manquillo, Gayle.

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