'Well off it' - Newcastle United answer Alan Shearer's half-time call to fire brutal Europa League warning

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Newcastle United were at their brutal best in the second half - but had to overcome an early scare against now-relegated Sheffield United

Alan Shearer lamented a dismal first-half performance by Newcastle United - before a relentless turnaround put Sheffield United to the sword 5-1 at St James’ Park.

The Magpies put on a show in the second half but they had to achieve all three points the hard way. Anel Ahmedhodzic gave the visitors an early lead and, for 20 minutes, Chris Wilder’s men were in control.

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Newcastle looked sluggish and concerns about a potential bad day at the office were in the office. However, Alexander Isak soon restored parity on 26 minutes with a clinical first-time finish.

It was at this point that Newcastle legend Shearer bemoaned the first-half performance. He tweeted at half-time: “The Toon lucky to be level at half-time. Miles off it.”

Eddie Howe’s men answered the former striker’s call, running riot for the remainder of the contest with the Gallowgate End in their sights. Bruno Guimaraes, Isak, Callum Wilson and a Ben Osborn own goal secured a 5-1 win to gain ground in the Europa League race.

With Manchester United being held by Burnley, the Magpies are now just two points behind them for sixth spot. Both clubs are set to go head-to-head on May 15 and, providing Manchester City win the FA Cup, the clash could become a winner-takes-all showdown for a Europa League place.

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As for Newcastle, they continue to break records under Howe. September’s 8-0 hiding over the Blades, coupled with today’s annihilation, means they have scored the most goals (13) against another Premier League side in a single season.

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