Newcastle United 6 Barnsley 1
IT says much about the ruthless, relentless efficiency of this Newcastle United side that the first thing discussed in the dressing room after this rout was the defensive blunders which led to Barnsley scoring a goal.
The fact the goal came after the visitors had picked the ball out of their own net for the sixth time did not matter.
A clean sheet was the aim before the game for the defence and Danny Simpson’s mistake – as well as a lack of suitable cover for that mistake – had to be mentioned before the celebrations could begin.
As refreshing as it is to hear a squad striving for perfection, to have dwelled on that small aberration for long would have been churlish.
If it was a blot on the copy book, the rest of their afternoon’s work was impeccable.
Newcastle were simply brilliant, a beast which can no longer be contained by its Championship cage.
United, on this sort of form, have clearly outgrown their pen and surely it is only a matter of time before they are released back into the Premier League, where far more daunting predators lie in await.
That can all wait. For now, United supporters should savour this side. They are not quite the cavalier Entertainers of old, perhaps, but they can still play like them when they are in the mood.
From the moment Barnsley goalkeeper Luke Steele was sent off for fouling Peter Løvenkrands in the penalty area three minutes before half-time it was a case of how many Newcastle would win by, not if.