In a stunning result at St. James’ Park this afternoon, Newcastle were beaten at home for the first time since May of last year, as Blackpool beat the Magpies by two goals to nil.
Blackpool captain Charlie Adam opened the scoring from the penalty spot just before half time, but unlike in the last home game against Aston Villa he didn’t miss, and it was a great time for the Tangerines to score their goal.
The penalty was after Alan Smith brought down Luke Varney in the penalty box.
And then on 90 minutes, just to rub salt in the wounds, DJ Campbell scored Blackpool’s second goal and this was the first defeat since Fulham beat us 1-0 in the last home game of our relegation season.
So in Newcastle’s first two home games of the season, we have had two stunning results – the 6-0 win against Villa and now the 2-0 defeat against the side that finished 6th top in the Championship last season, although they won the playoffs in great style to get that 3rd promotion spot.
And that’s two away wins for Blackpool with an aggregate score of 6-0 after they whipped Wigan 4-0 in the first game of the season.
Blackpool were very well organized in this game, as indeed they had been in their previous games and were very difficult to break down, as Chris Hughton had warned in the run-up to this game.
And even the eagerly anticipated arrival of Ben Arfa, who was brought on in the second half for his Magpies debut, couldn’t inspire any kind of comeback by the Newcastle side.
Newcastle played the same team for the 4th league game in a row and things looked a bit ominous after just 12 minutes, when goalkeeper Steve Harper had to make a superb double save from Campbell and Brett Ormerod.
Newcastle had a lot of the ball in this game but found it very difficult to break down the well organized Blackpool defense.
But on 30 minutes Kevin Nolan forced goalkeeper Matthew Gilks into a good save from an Andy Carroll flick, and in a keenly contested first half Blackpool got the vital breakthrough when Smith brought down Varney inside the box, and it was Blackpool captain Adam who beat Harper easily with the resulting penalty.
In the second half Lovenkrands replaced Smith after Gilks had saved a Joey Barton shot after 60 minutes, and would you believe Marlon Harewood was booed on to the pitch when he was brought on.
What was that all about? Marlon did well for Newcastle and scored 5 goals when he was here on loan – maybe it was because the lads were behind in the game.
It was after 73 minutes that Ben Arfa made his very first appearance for Newcastle to a huge ovation form the crowd and Newcastle pushed and pushed for an equalizer to preserve their unbeaten home record, and Wayne Routledge had a shot that was just stopped on the line.
And goalkeeper Matt Gilks also produced a string of superb saves during the game to deny Newcastle a goal, and even with just a couple of minutes to go he somehow blocked Andy Carroll’s goal-bound shot with his foot.
To round off what was another surprising win for the unlikely Blackpool, Campbell struck on 90 minutes and the game was over at 2-0. Who would have thought that it would be Blackpool who would be the first side to beat Newcastle at St. James’ Park in 16 months?
But now Blackpool move to 7 points from 4 games and are 4th top right now, and Newcastle have just 4 points from their first 4 games in 13th position.
It was not a good day for Newcastle United today, but it’s also not time to wildly over-react on the negative side either. Any side can beat any other side in the Premier League this season, and that was proved by Blackpool today, who played a very good game.
And Newcastle also had precious little luck in the second half, when they pushed and pushed for a goal, and in the game they had 22 shots at goal to Blackpool’s 8 – but goals of course are all that count.
Next up for Newcastle are Everton at Goodison Park next weekend, with the Toffees scoring two injury time goals to get a miraculous 3-3 draw with Manchester United earlier today, when the game seemed all over.
We do expect Chris Hughton to make a few changes in his starting eleven for the next game, and we may even see starts for Campbell and Tiote in that game.
Newcastle United: Harper; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Routledge (Ameobi, 81), Smith (Lovenkrands, 63), Barton, Gutierrez (Ben Arfa, 73); Nolan, Carroll. Subs not used: Krul, Campbell, R Taylor, Tiote,
Blackpool: Gilks; Keinan, Earley, Evatt, Crainey; Vaughan, Adam; Ormerod (Harewood, 65), Grandin (Carney, 85), Varney; Campbell. Subs not used: Halstead, Euell, Phillips, Edwards.
Goals: Adam 45 (pen), Campbell 90
Bookings: Vaughan 25, Perch 47, Adam 71, Coloccini 72, Campbell 90
Sent off: None
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)