Newcastle were able to register a rare win – albeit in a friendly game – when they beat Norwegian side Lillestrom SK at the La Manga Stadium in Spain this afternoon after going 1-0 up through an impressive looking Gini Wijnaldum after only three minutes, after Ayoze Perez had put the Dutchman through.
But Newcastle’s suspect defense was breached just five minutes later as Lillestrom equalized after more sloppy defending from Newcastle, with three players near the ball but nobody got a tackle in.
But then an impressive sub appearance from Rolando Aarons ended with the 20 year-old scoring the winner after 74 minutes when he headed the ball home beautifully from an excellent cross from another sub – Jamie Sterry.
La Manga Stadium today
Steve McClaren started a side of players who needed some playing time although the team was also a strong one.
After 3 minutes Wijnaldum rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home to put Newcastle ahead in the third minute, but it took some good play by Steve Taylor who threw himself in front of a shot from Palestine International Jradi a minute or so later.
But some poor Newcastle defending (what again?) led to Lillestrom equalizing after only eight minutes as Newcastle don’t clear the danger and conceded to Jradi, who drilled the ball past Darlow.
Wijnaldum was playing like he plays at St. James’ Park and this is a road game for sure – so maybe he can come to life in our six remaining Premier League games?
After 28 minutes played Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow made a very good save from Kolstad to keep the scores level when the Newcastle goalkeeper got a hand to the ball after he had initially been moving the wrong way.
Both sides played out the first half with the score still tied at 1-1.
Freddie Woodman replaced Karl Darlow at half time to give the impressive England U19 International goalkeeper a run-out and he was in action almost immediately as he saved from the dangerous Jradi.
And in the second half after 66 minutes had gone with the score still at 1-1 – Wijnaldum, Janmaat, Shelvey and Townsend were all taken off and replaced by Aarons, Riviere, Sterry and Gouffran.
And 10 minutes later after 74 minutes Newcastle scored their second goal when Perez took a quick free-kick and then 20 year-old Jamie Sterry crossed the ball and it was Rolando Aarons who headed the ball home.
Rolando Aarons was looking really good in the second half and he was giving the Lillestrom defense all kinds of difficulties with his skillful play – and he will have impressed Steve McClaren.
After 82 minutes played one of our U21 players 19 year-old Daniel Barlaser, who was born in Gateshead, came on for 18 year-old Liam Gibson, who had started the game.
Perez did go close with a chipped shot that just went over the bar, but after three minutes of added time with no more scoring Newcastle came out of the game with a 2-1 win – a very rare occurrence for Newcastle these days.
Both sides had chances to score but overall this was a good workout for the Newcastle players who needed the game time and Steven Taylor, Henri Saivet, Ayoze Perez and Seydou Doumbia all played the full 90 minutes for Newcastle which should add to their match fitness.
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow (Freddie Woodman 46); Daryl Janmaat (Jamie Sterry 66), Steven Taylor, Jamaal Lascelles, Liam Gibson (Daniel Barlaser 82); Henri Saivet, Jonjo Shelvey (c (Yoan Gouffran 66), Andros Townsend (Rolando Aarons 66), Georginio Wijnaldum (Emmanuel Riviere 66), Ayoze Perez; Seydou Doumbia
Subs not used: Callum Williams, Fabricio Coloccini, Moussa Sissoko
Lillestrom (4-2-3-1): Arnold Origi; Hakon Skogseid (Martin Falkeborn 88), Marius Amundsen, Frode Kippe (Ole Martin Rindaroy 86), Simen Kind Mikalsen; Malaury Martin, Bonke Innocent; Bassel Jradi, Erling Knudtzon (Arni Vilhjalmsson 77), Jorgen Kolstad (Erik Brenden 66); Fred Friday
Subs not used: Jacob Faye-Lund, Petter Mathias Olsen, Sheriff Sinyan
Referee: Dag Vidar Hafsas