Football is fantastic isn’t it? Occasions like these have to be savoured and you can buzz off this feeling for days. United were an absolute pleasure to watch from beginning to end as we ripped our way through a QPR side who were spectators to their own meltdown. I don’t recall watching a match in such oppressive conditions, certainly in the UK but neither do I recall being this chuffed watching us for such a long time.
I met up with my mates in Shepherds Bush’s Brewdog who took the bizarre decision not to provide outdoor seating on a day where temperatures pushed 32 degs. I also didn’t envy the 4 very stressed bar staff trying in vain to hold back a load of thirsty Geordies intent on emptying the bar’s collection of weirdly named laughing juice. They may be in need of therapy after yesterday.
We missed the disallowed goal after getting the remaining tickets sorted so I can’t comment on that but from the get go United were
all over QPR. We didn’t need to wait longer than 7 minutes for the first of six goals. It was a rejuvenated Mitrovic who burst through on the left hand side and his pass inside ended up with Shelvey whose shot from 20 yards took a cruel deflection and twisted past Smithies in the R’s goal. We didn’t relent our dominance with Shelvey setting up Ritchie with a shot soon after. Perez was a man reborn after the travails of last year and his swagger has returned to his play. He was electric for most of the first half and he came close after taking a pass first time and narrowly missing to the left of the goal. His energy was also underlined with a cheeky steal from a QPR defender which put through Shelvey for another attempt.
Our total dominance of the match was confirmed when a great sequence started on the left with Dummett feeding Ritchie on the left. His cross field shot found Perez but his shot was then blocked by Smithies only for Perez to compose himself and slotting the rebound from a testing angle for 2-0. I was loving Perez in this kind of form and an impish lob attempt just before half time, once again fed by Shelvey, while never looking likely to score was typical of him last night. He is much more the player of 2 years ago.
— Steve Bush (@stevebush1) September 14, 2016
We finished the half in total control with only one attempt from QPR coming close which Sels spilled but safely enough. The standard of play was excellent with the passing of a Pirlo-like Shelvey superb and the energy of the Mitrovic-Perez partnership unnerving an already shattered QPR side. Every one down under the stands were buzzing at this performance, some saying it was better than the great win at Derby.
Any hopes for QPR was dashed when we scored our goal of the season so far. Shelvey picked the ball up from 25 yards out and curved a beauty past Smithies into his top right hand corner. Reminiscent of a couple of crackers Cisse scored for us a few years ago. The 2nd at Swansea in 2012 springs to mind. The away end were going light at this point. QPR troubled our defence for only the one time when a header at the far post was missed by a hesistant Dummett. United then made it 4-0 when a corner from the ever excellent Ritchie found Ciaran Clzarke unmarked to head his first United goal. I was quite impressed by the Irish international last night. Though he had little to do, he was sharp to any danger that did appear and with Mbemba, Lascalles and Hanley we have a good competent choices at central defence. We continued to rip though QPR with Mitrovic’s energy being a step above what he was like last season. He should have scored with a header which hit the bar but he was a constant pain to QPR, setting up a Ritchie shot soon after and deservedly notching number 5 when an Atsu run and shot found its way to the Serbian to tap in. Clumsy stuff from the defence who managed to play Mitrovic onside. Another word goes out to Atsu whose pace and touch was the last thing this defence could cope with. He looks an excellent option on the bench for Benitez.
After Smithies did well to block Mitrovic after another through ball from Shelvey, the midfielder then set up the final goal with a run from midfield when he burst through the large gaps now present in the QPR line. Clarke in the left back position after Dummett’s earlier substitution, tapped the ball back into the box for Hanley to calmly slot in to make it 6-0. We came close to equalling the 7 goals at Notts County 23 years ago but Atsu’s shot from Perez’s cut back hit the underside of the bar.
There is a true bond being forged between the players and the support and that was evident at the final whistle with The Boss acknowledging the away contingent before disappearing down the tunnel. What I really like about Benitez is his refusal the rest on victories and always looking ahead. Together with the squad rotation its keeping every one focused.
Just about everyone had a good game and although I marginally make Shelvey our main man ahead of Perez, Hayden deserves a lot of praise for his economical and unfussy passing. We have also notched another clean sheet with a pair of full backs who aren’t actually full backs. Anita and Dummett have been badly exposed there in the top flight but they have played a full part in yet another perfect defensive performance.
I’m not going to predict what will or should happen in the next few matches as I invariably get predictions wrong. I’m not going to jinx this run but when I will say is it’s been age since going to the match was genuinely enjoyable or even worthwhile. This has now changed and everyone gets it. I can’t wait for the train up to NE1 on Saturday. Vamos United!
Newcastle United: Sels 6; Anita 7, Lascalles 7, Clarke 7, Dummett 7 (Hanley 7); Gouffran 7 (Atsu 8), Hayden 8, SHELVEY 9, Ritchie 8; Mitrovic 8 (Yedlin), Perez 9
Subs not used: Darlow, Diame, Colback, Gayle
Mags: 8 ½. Tremendous numbers for a Tuesday night in London if always supported by Mags down in the SE. Cracking atmosphere in the upper tier if let down by telling QPR how shit their support is. We can do better than sound like everyone else. Sels song was much better.
QPR: 3. They didn’t stick around for the humiliation dished out to them. Not many would.
GUY HANNAY-WILSON – Follow Guy on @tfGHW1892
You TubeFootage from the away end courtesy of Ben at @benbronx – Thanks Ben.
This game’s issue of The Special is still available for you to download. Just click here.
That’s not to forget the 136+ page issue of true faith’s summer special (TF126) which is available for you to download at your leisure. Just click on the image below and its all yours on whatever device you care to use.
From everyone at the true faith we really hope you enjoy what we’ve put together for you.