Sven Botman’s first Newcastle goal came in his 50th appearance for the club as they cantered to victory Newcastle matched their record Premier League win with a scintillating display as they embarrassed winless Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Any fears of a European hangover following their Champions League exertions on Tuesday soon vanished as Eddie Howe’s side cruised to victory with eight different players getting on the scoresheet.
Sean Longstaff put the visitors in front on 21 minutes as he swept in from Anthony Gordon’s cutback with the Blades’ appeals for a handball and claims the ball went out of play in the build-up dismissed.
Paul Heckingbottom’s hosts had started brightly but found themselves three down before half-time after a further two goals in four minutes for Newcastle.
Both came from Kieran Trippier set-pieces with Dan Burn stooping to nod in a corner at the back post before Sven Botman scored his first Newcastle goal with a well-directed header from a wide free-kick.
Callum Wilson missed a number of presentable opportunities before the break but got his goal 10 minutes into the second half, heading in from close range following another pinpoint cross from Trippier.
With Newcastle seemingly able to carve through the Blades at will, it was the irrepressible Gordon who added the fifth.
The former Everton winger cut in from the left and effortlessly curled the ball into the far corner past Wes Foderingham in the Sheffield United goal.
Miguel Almiron slotted in number six and Bruno Guimaraes made it seven with 17 minutes still remaining against an increasingly despondent home side.
That was plenty of time for substitute Alexander Isak to pounce on another defensive error, turn his man and calmly finish to make it 8-0, the same score by which Newcastle beat Sheffield Wednesday in 1999.
The result is also Sheffield United’s record league defeat.
Gordon shines in sparkling Newcastle display
Unlikely as it seems given the scoreline, Newcastle started relatively slowly and it was the home side that looked the more threatening in the opening exchanges.
That all changed the moment the first goal went in and Gordon was key to it, twisting smartly on the byeline before finding Longstaff to finish.
Gordon was only on the pitch because of an injury to Harvey Barnes but the winger’s introduction helped change the game.
While the match became something of a procession in the second half, it was the pace and trickery of Gordon down the left that helped Newcastle get into such a position.
“They can’t handle Gordon. He is causing them all sorts of problems,” former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison told BBC Radio 5 Live at half-time.
“They can’t deal with him.”
Gordon got his goal as Sheffield United capitulated after the break and Newcastle continued relentlessly on.
After an underwhelming start to their league campaign – losing three of their first five games – this was a statement win that will keep spirits high at St James’ Park and add to the belief that they can make their mark domestically, as well as in Europe, this season.
No positives for Blades after record loss
“I can’t stand here and say anything positive,” Sheffield United captain John Egan said after the match.
This was the Blades’ largest defeat in their league history in their 4,988th game.
That speaks for itself but the worrying truth for them is that it could have been worse.
Having been unable to make the most of a couple of early chances – Luke Thomas saw one shot blocked and sliced another wide when in space at the far post – they crumbled after going behind.
Three goals in 14 first-half minutes left Sheffield United looking dazed and the concern is that the half-time break only seemed to make things worse.
Newcastle players were able to find space all over the pitch and the home side were outclassed. That may not be a surprise against a Champions League side but the fact they were completely outfought as well is more of a worry.
Despite four defeats in their first five games, this is the first time Heckingbottom’s side have lost by more than a goal and they have to hope this proves to be an aberration.