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the moment Joelinton had waited 10 months for eventually came in the 78th minute at the Gallowgate End.
In truth, six yards out and with the goal gaping, it was a chance Newcastle’s No 9, who signed from Hoffenheim last summer, could barely miss.
But as he found the back of the net, the relief was etched all over the forward’s face as he repeatedly punched the ground in celebration.
Joelinton’s strike was the champagne moment on an emphatic afternoon for Newcastle, who ran riot after Sheffield United defender John Egan was sent off five minutes after the break.
It was biggest win of Bruce’s tenure on Tyneside and it moved his side 11 points clear of the bottom three.
And amid all the uncertainty caused by the proposed Saudi takeover, one thing that should now be clear is that Newcastle will be a Premier League side next season.
Sheffield United may have been still smarting from the injustice of Wednesday’s stalemate at Aston Villa, when Hawk-Eye ‘apologised’ after failing to award a goal which had clearly crossed the line.
But on Sunday they had nobody to blame but themselves and they remain two points behind fifth-placed Manchester United in their quest for European football.
The Blades may have thought their luck was going to be in here when Joelinton made a mess of his early chance.
Some neat play from the stand-out Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron saw the striker played through on goal, but he got it all wrong and the ball dribbled through to Dean Henderson.
The Blades defender and Joelinton were both shown soft yellow cards in the first half after a bit of argy-bargy and then going head to head.
Then Egan was booked again in the 50th minute when he stopped Joelinton breaking clear by tugging his shirt.
Still, the Blades only went behind five minutes later because of a howler by Enda Stevens.
Matt Ritchie played a hopeful cross along the deck from the left and it should have been comfortably cut out by Stevens, but, with his wrong right foot, he had a swing and missed his clearance.
That left Saint-Maximin all clear to bury it at the back post, and his close-range shot went in off the legs of Dean Henderson, who may also have been disappointed not to keep it out.
Blades skipper Billy Sharp actually had a chance to level immediately after but he headed wide from six yards.
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