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Match Report: Manchester United 1 – 1 Newcastle (Another Newcastle Fan's Perspective)

Monday 28th November 2011
A Taste Of Their Own

Poor officiating, dubious penalty decisions, last minute goal disallowed, and a red card at Old Trafford... but it wasn't what you're thinking. First of all, though, can I just say, right here and now... Manchester United are not the only United, and I am sick of hearing Sky, BBC and pretty much every form of footballing press and media refer to them as “United”. So if you're expecting to read about how United were robbed of 3 points by “those Geordies”, I'd probably turn away now. And if you're hoping to read the words “I agree with Sir Alex Ferguson”, I'd recommend hitting the little x at the top right of your screen. And while I'm at it, can I just say that watching Man United players crowding around the officials on every decision, including blowing the whistle for full time without giving them an extra 10 minutes to score a winner, is getting very annoying. The FA claimed they were going to stamp down on this, so why don't they just do it already? For those unaware, the Man Utd fixture is probably up there with the Tyne-Wear derby for many Newcastle fans, and they are the team we love to hate... Moaning over, now on with the game itself, and some terrible puns.

Many will overlook a first half which, arguably, was controlled by Newcastle. But it's easy to see why they would overlook it, given the entertainment value available in the second half. There weren't many clear chances in the first 45, but a couple of half chances for either side left things pretty evens as they went into half time. Man United maybe finished the stronger of the two teams, but on a while, there weren't many moments of worry for Alan Pardew's men.

Hatem Ben Arfa, starting his 2nd Premier League game of the season, again in the role off Demba Ba, produced a moment of quality as he played in Newcastle's top goalscorer, whose shot was saved by De Gea. At the other end, Fabio played in a lovely ball which was dealt with well by Krul, and then Simpson.

Second half, and Man Utd come out the more threatening as they look to carve open a solid Newcastle defense. Steven Taylor commits a silly foul on the edge of the area, and concedes a free kick in a dangerous position. Probably the worst thing you can do against Man Utd, and they had a queue reminiscent of your local Post Office on Monday morning waiting to take it. It was a bit like a scene from Battle Royale, as Rooney, He Who Shall Not Be Named, Young and Nani all fought one another. I may be exaggerating ever so slightly (there was no fighting). Rooney won, and unfortunately didn't kill Bruno Mars... Michael Jackson... NANI – sorry. His first attempt hit an on rushing Jonas, and the rebound from Rooney blasted off Steven Taylor on the edge of the 6 yard box. Unfortunately for Newcastle, the ball then blasted off Hernandez's arm and rolled into the goal.

49 Minutes Played: 1-0 Manchester United.

A positive response was needed from Newcastle, and that is exactly what we got. Coloccini and Steven Taylor both went up, and as the ball was swung into the back post area, the centre back pairing combined brilliantly to produce a top class save from De Gea. Taylor nodded the ball down, and Coloccini, showing the sort of skills that leave many questioning if there's a position he couldn't play in, got his foot firmly over the ball and blasted a tidy volley into the ground. Then began the controversy.

Hatem Ben Arfa ran into the box, and heading for the byline, Rio Ferdinand slid in and clearly took the ball away from Ben Arfa and out for a corner. There were no appeals from Newcastle players as the Mike Jones signalled for a corner, but linesman John Flynn had seen enough to signal the referee over. Quite what he seen, we're not sure, but it was enough to award Newcastle a penalty. Demba Ba stepped up, and scored his 9th goal of the season. His goals may well prove to be a big miss to Newcastle while he's away on International duty at the start of next season, and the rumoured arrival of Mali forward Modibo Maiga will also be unable to fill that gap, should he arrive, as they will both be representing their respective countries at the African Cup of Nations.

64 Minutes Played: 1-1

As the game drew to a close, Newcastle defended resolutely, battling for every loose ball, but a mixture of petulance, frustration and possibly exhaustion, led Jonas, who has been as important as anybody to Newcastle's excellent performances so far this season, to dive into an unnecessary tackle on Nani. Although he did get a good touch on the ball, it would seem he played the man 1st, and with Nani rolling around on the floor like he'd been steamrollered by Emile Heskey, Mike Jones probably evened things up in terms of major decisions. Pardew reacted immediately, bringing off the commodity player Ben Arfa for Lovenkrands, leaving Ba up front on his own. It must be said that Ba performed miracles in those last 10 minutes to provide Newcastle with some time out of their own box, an unenviable task when up against Vidic.

Mentions must also be given to Krul, who performed admirably, keeping out Man Utd on numerous occasions, including some excellent reading of the game to thwart Young's attempted pass to the unmarked Hernandez inside the 6 yard box, and also Danny Simpson. Often criticised, Simpson pulled out another fine performances when many may have expected the occasion to get the better of the former Man Utd player and boyhood fan, who was also playing in front of family today. The obvious highlight of his game came when he cleared a Hernandez header off the line when Krul was beaten, with only 4 minutes left to play.

Still Man Utd weren't finished though, and they managed one last chance, in the final seconds of added time. Again it fell to Javier Hernandez, who despite scoring, had a fairly average game – as did petulant strike partner Wayne Rooney (who, in typical Rooney fashion, decided to kick out at Coloccini, although it's unlikely to make its way into Match of the Day's highlights or the referee's match report). A ball played into the box, flicked on, and placed into the net. The little Mexican ran away celebrating, but he needn't have bothered, as the linesman rightfully raised his flag for offside. A great way to end the day as a Newcastle fan (we'll not mention the little club down the road to save them further embarrassment) and hopefully next week we can go one better and Wigan... sorry, I mean win again, at home to Chelsea.

And a message for Mr Ferguson. After years of having things your own way, some advice... A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.


If you wish to ask any questions please feel free to tweet @greglarmouth
Greg Larmouth

Total articles: 9

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