This was Newcastle’s sixth loss of the season and the fourth at home at St. James’ Park and in front of sell-out crowd of over 52,000 as Sheffield Wednesday won this game 1-0 and but for some great goalkeeping by Karl Darlow it could have been even worse.
Wednesday deserved to win this game.
But this defeat should put an end to talk about Newcastle easily winning the Championship this season – as we seem to be prone to shock defeats at home this season.
We’ve now lost to Hudderfield, Wolves, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday at home.
Glenn Loovens heads home the winner
The winning goal came after 53 minutes when defender Glenn Loovens headed home what was his first goal in a league game since April 2012 and his first ever goal for Wednesday.
Newcastle missed Jonjo Shelvey and now for the next four games there could be some nervy times at the club as it looks like we will miss the creativity of Jonjo in the middle of the park.
Rafa may need to change the approach because there are games coming thick and fast over the holiday period.
Sheffield were a very physical side and that’s what Rafa had talked about in the pre-game interviews, so it was expected and the players didn’t deal with it well wuith the visiotors fouling again and again in the first half.
But that sounds like an excuse.
It was local lad Jack Colback, fit again after his eye injury, who got the nod to replace Shelvey in the middle of the park and while Jack is a solid player – creativity is not one of his strengths.
Dwight Gayle had an early chance after 11 minutes but he hit the woodwork after being put though by Mo Diame, with goalkeeper Kieren Westwood just managing to push the ball onto the woodwork.
But then Wednesday showed their prowess as they went close a number of times with Karl Darlow producing a wonderful save from Steven Fletcher.
Wednesday were on top and Liam Palmer had a great chance to put the visitors ahead after getting past Paul Dummett but he shot over the bar.
Then center-back Ciaran Clark had a decent chance for Newcastle but he headed wide from a corner when he should have at least forced a save from the goalkeeper.
But the first half was disrupted by a number of fouls from the visitors and at the half it was 0-0 with the Owls showing they were a force to be reckoned with.
Four minutes into the second half and it was Karl Darlow who kept Newcastle in the game with a fantastic save – again from Darren Fletcher.
But four minutes later Wednesday took a deserved lead after more heroics from Darlow and it was Loovens who headed home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Newcastle tried to come back into the game and Gouffran almost scored with a header but the ball was only just wide of the post and then substitute Christian Atsu put in a great shot that Westwood tipped over the bar.
This was a defeat that was very painful and it was a very disappointing result after Reading, Huddersfield and Leeds had all won today and therefore gained 3 points on Newcastle.
If Brighton can beat QPR in the early kickoff game tomorrow they will go 2 points ahead of Newcastle at the top of the Championship.
It also makes our home game against Nottingham Forest on Friday a really vital game – but Newcastle must get some creativity from somewhere for that game.
Newcastle: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Hayden, Colback (Mitrovic 80); Ritchie, Diame (Perez 69), Gouffran (Atsu 63); Gayle.
Subs: Sels, Yedlin, Lazaar, Mbemba
Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Loovens, Pudil, Wallace (Nuhiu 90), Hutchinson, Bannan (Joao), Reach, Forestieri (Jones 80), Fletcher.
Subs: Wildsmith, Abdi, Joao, Hunt, Sasso