A first Allan Saint-Maximin goal and a VAR-awarded Jonjo Shelvey strike gave Newcastle a 2-0 win at Sheffield United.
In a game dominated by the hosts, Saint-Maximin's well-placed header gave Newcastle the lead with their only shot on target of the first half, turning Javier Manquillo's excellent cross back inside the near post.
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Sheffield United came close to finding an equaliser on a number of occasions but found Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka in fine form, saving acrobatically twice from Oliver McBurnie either side of half-time.
But the hosts were left far more frustrated with 20 minutes to go when Andy Carroll was flagged offside when flicking on a long ball forward, but Shelvey ran through and beat Dean Henderson, who had stopped playing, with a simple finish.
Stuart Attwell had not blown his whistle and allowed VAR to rule on the offside decision, which found Carroll to be just in line with John Egan and allowed the goal, infuriating a number of the home players.
From then on Newcastle saw out victory with ease to move 11th, level on points with Sheffield United, who drop to 10th in the table.
Sheffield United: Henderson (5), Baldock (6), Basham (5), O’Connell (7), Egan (6), Stevens (6), Fleck (7), Lundstram (7), Norwood (6), Sharp (6), McBurnie (6).
Subs: Mousset (7), McGoldrick (5), Freeman (6).
Newcastle: : Dubravka (8), Clark (7), Fernandez (8), Dummett (7), Manquillo (7), Hayden (7), Shelvey (7), Willems (7), Almiron (6), Carroll (6), Saint-Maximin (7).
Subs: Joelinton (6), Atsu (n/a), Krafth (n/a).
Man of the match: Federico Fernandez
How Newcastle defied the stats to win
Four shots on target in a game isn't going to win Newcastle too many points, but was enough for a two-goal victory at Bramall Lane largely because of their shrewd defensive performance throughout.
Sheffield United dominated territory and possession from the get-go but from the visitors' first attack of the night, they showed a clinical touch which would evade their hosts all game, as Saint-Maximin beat Chris Basham to meet Manquillo's pinpoint cross and nod into the bottom corner.
For most of the remaining minutes of the first half Newcastle were happy to sit back and absorb pressure, and kept their nerve to frustrate their hosts. On the one occasion they did produce enough quality to break through, McBurnie found Dubravka alert to claw away his header with a fine save.
The second half was much the same. Newcastle set up to defend and Sheffield United continued to struggle in front of goal, with another McBurnie header the most Dubravka had to deal with in the early stages.
There were two <b>Sheffield United</b> changes, with Billy Sharp given his first Premier League start and joined by Oli McBurnie in attack. <br><br> <b>Newcastle's</b> only change saw Andy Carroll given his first start for Newcastle since his return in the summer.
The Blades' persistence did suggest they might find a way through eventually, but they were undone by a moment of indecision when they switched off from an offside flag raised against Carroll, who nodded Paul Dummett's long ball on into space, and Shelvey found himself totally unchallenged as he ran clean through and scored.
Carroll had appeared offside but a VAR review found the Newcastle man, making his first start for the club in nine years, was just onside, and awarded the goal to Newcastle.
That left Chris Wilder's players deflated as their intensity dropped and they failed to create anything else of note in the final 20 minutes, to end their seven-game unbeaten league streak.
What the managers said...
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder: "I should be really enjoying my time in the Premier League and I am, with a team that's given it a right go, but that part of it, in terms of every pre-match interview that I do, is VAR-based, every interview I do post-game is VAR based mostly.
"I could criticise my players for not playing to the whistle but when we were told at the start of the season the linesman's keeping his flag down, and everyone in the ground, even Jonjo didn't give me the impression he thought he was in. It's a harsh lesson."
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce: "We knew how hard it was, they've got a very good team and we had to dig in, especially first half where our goalkeeper has made a couple of world-class saves. The spirit was terrific again.
"I can imagine how Chris is, but ultimately the right decision was made on the night. I have to say well done to the referee for not blowing his whistle, but also Jonjo for playing on, which was the directive at the start of the season, to carry on until you hear the whistle.
"The big thing to improve is to ask why the linesman has to put his flag up when it's that close? That, for me, has created the confusion"
Man of the match - Federico Fernandez
All of Newcastle's back three and goalkeeper Dubravka deserved recognition for a brilliant defensive performance, facing 36 crosses in open play and keeping out two fine efforts from McBurnie, as well as an ongoing physical onslaught from the hosts.
Fernandez, in particular, should take some serious credit for making a team-highest 11 clearances and three interceptions while winning 100 per cent of his aerial duels.
- Newcastle have won three of their last five Premier League games (D1 L1), as many as they had in their previous 13 combined before this (W3 D4 L6).
- Only Southampton (five) have lost more Premier League games on home soil this season than Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (four).
- Andy Carroll started his first Premier League game for Newcastle in eight years and 342 days - the second longest run between starts for the club in the competition after Pavel Srnicek (nine years, 62 days), and the seventh longest gap between starts by any player at a single club in the competition's history.
Sheffield United visit Norwich on Sunday at 2pm in their next Premier League game, the same time that Newcastle host Southampton at St James' Park.
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