Match Thoughts December 2017 London double-bill: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United & West Ham 2-3 Newcastle United

The final two weekends before Christmas, where has the time gone? Celtic’s unbeaten domestic run of 69 games came to a close with a 4-0 defeat to Hearts while after 364 days, Sunderland eventually won a home game at the Stadium of Light.

In the Premier League, Manchester City kept on winning with a 4-1 hammering of Spurs while local rivals Manchester United only just edged past West Brom 2-1. Chelsea defeated Southampton 1-0 while Liverpool hammered Bournemouth 4-0 on the south coast. The shock of the weekend though came at the King Power Stadium as Leicester City succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace! read more

Match Thoughts Double header: Newcastle United 2-3 Leicester City & Newcastle United 0-1 Everton

Another week of two games in December means another double bill dose of Match Thoughts from The Mind of Rowan.

The weekend 9th-10th December daw controversy. The title race is probably over after Manchester Cty’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, the Merseyside derby ended 1-1 while David Moyes’s West Ham side surprisingly defeated Chelsea 1-0. That was the shock of the weekend while Christian Benteke’s penalty arguably cost Crystal Palace a much-needed victory.

Newcastle United team facing Leicester City at St James’ Park 9/12/17

Another side in need of a much-needed win was Newcastle United who hosted Leicester City at St James’ Park in the Saturday evening kick-off to mark their clubs 125th birthday. Rafa Benitez made three changes to his Newcastle starting line up with DeAndre Yedlin returning to the back four at right-back while Javier Manquillo reverted to left-back with Chancel Mbemba dropping out. Mohamed Diame was not retained as in came Isaac Hayden while Joselu came in for Ayoze Perez just behind Dwight Gayle as Benitez opted for a 4-4-1-1 formation. read more

A Match Thoughts Double-header: West Brom 2-2 Newcastle United & Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle United

As November turned into December, the Premier League had its first set of midweek fixtures and the weekend to follow had a number of huge talking points to come as well.

Wayne Rooney stole the headlines in midweek with a hat-trick in Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham with a sublime long-range effort for his third. Ashley Young continued his good run of form as Manchester United defeated Watford, Manchester City edged past Southampton 2-1 and Liverpool put four past Stoke while Chelsea just saw off Swansea City. Managers also took headlines too with Mr’s Pardew and Allardyce returning to management with West Brom and Everton respectively. read more

Match Thoughts: Newcastle United 0-3 Watford

The final weekend of football in November saw more intriguing action and not just my awful Movember attempt. A new start for West Brom without Tony Pulis saw them draw 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. Manchester United edged past Brighton while Manchester City survived a scare from Huddersfield. Mohamed Salah scored against his former club Chelsea, Crystal palace hit Everton for four while Crystal Palace won at home. As a Newcastle fan, I was in attendance at St James’ Park where another team had a convincing win as Rafa Benitez’s side hosted Watford at St. James’ Park.

Rafa Benitez has enforced one decision to make with his starting eleven with Isaac Hayden serving a one-game suspension after he picked up his 5th yellow card of the season at Old Trafford. Mikel Merino was back to match fitness following his back injury but it was Mohamed Diame who got the start in central midfield alongside Jonjo Shelvey with Merino being judged fir enough for the bench. Benitez retained the 4-4-2 formation with an otherwise unchanged side from the one that was defeated 4-1 by Manchester United. read more