Newcastle were set up in a 3-5-2 with Miguel Almiron and Joelinton as the two strikers. While the Magpies enjoyed the vast majority of possession, they continued to be sloppy with the ball in the first 15 minutes.
However, Newcastle went on a break after a sliding tackle from Miguel Almiron regained possession in the 15th minute. Joelinton eventually got the ball to Sean Longstaff, but Oxford managed to regain their shape.
Sean launched a shot from outside the box that Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood could do nothing about. It was the early goal that Newcastle desperately needed and an excellent strike from Sean.
They almost made it two just a minute later when Nabil Bentaleb swung in a perfect cross from the left wing to a running Joelinton. However, the Brazilian’s finish was very poor and missed the target altogether. Joelinton made a great run, but his finish let him down.
The tempo of the game improved significantly after the goal. After an Oxford free-kick, Miguel Almiron again made an interception. He played the ball to Sean Longstaff, who unleashed a beautiful long ball over the Oxford backline to Joelinton.
The 23-year-old controlled the ball superbly and calmly slotted it past Eastwood to make in 2-0 in the 30th minute. What a wonderful sequence of play by the Magpies.
Oxford almost immediately had a reply as Jamie Mackie received the ball in the box but his shot was saved by Darlow. A follow-up effort by Sam Long was headed off the line by Jamaal Lascelles.
Joelinton, who had gone down earlier with a hip injury, was forced off in the 36th minute with Allan Saint-Maximin coming on and partnering Miguel Almiron.
Oxford responded well despite going down and look to have a goal in them. Newcastle have to remain diligent and will want to get that third goal to put this one out of reach early in the second half.