Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Heading for disaster

Newcastle Utd 0 - 3 Manchester Utd

Billed as a battle between strikers, Sunday's match against Taggart's mob turned out to be decided by two contrasting defensive performances.

With Saylor joining Sideshow Bob on the sidelines, the Silver Fox opted to pair Perchinho and Mike Williamson in the centre and bring in Shane Ferguson at left back, switching Davide Santon to right back.

Further forward Papiss Cisse got the nod ahead of Big Lad to partner Demba Ba, with support from midfield courtesy of Mr T, Dreamboat, HBA and captain for the day Spidermag.

Clearly fired up by their defeat to Tottenham last week, it was the visitors who were out of the traps quickly, with our defence instantly under pressure and Steve Harper instantly into action saving a weak Danny Welbeck shot.

Minutes later, though, the visitors were ahead from a corner when Jonny Evans lost Williamson and rose highest to power home a header.

Not content with one goal, Taggart's lot kept pressing and almost had a second when Harper took a heavy touch from a back pass and allowed Welbeck to nip in and take the ball off him. Thankfully the ex-Mackem fired wide rather than square the ball for Robin van Persie.

Sadly the respite was short-lived as Patrice Evra became the second defender to profit from slack marking from a corner - seemingly unmarked as he rose to nod home a second.

At that stage, we had a reshuffle, with 4-4-2 abandoned in favour of 4-3-3 with HBA switching to left of the front three. From there we started to get into the game and actually finished the half the better side (albeit without ever really creating a golden chance to get one back).

With no changes to personnel at half-time, we picked up where we left off and Ba cracked a header off the bar within minutes of the restart, with the ball rebounding to Cisse. His header looked to have crossed the line, only for De Gea to claw the ball away and the linesman remain unmoved. Replays suggested the whole of the ball may have crossed the line, but in fairness it was close and difficult for the linesman to see.

The Silver Fox threw on Big Lad and Anita in place of Cisse and Fergie, but it was the visitors who scored the decisive third goal when Tom Cleverley picked up the ball wide on the left and, depending on who you believe, slightly overhit a cross for van Persie at the back post, or scored one of the goals of the season as he lofted the ball over Harper's outstretched hand and into the very top corner.

With the game gone, we continued to chase without ever looking as though we could truly get back into the match, although van Persie still took the opportunity to endear himself to everyone on Tyneside with a sly glance and flailing arm aimed at Dreamboat's face, with Howard Webb choosing to ignore the incident.

On the plus side, we go into the international break with a chance to try and get Messrs Saylor, Sideshow Bob and Krul back to fitness. Otherwise we were undone by two pretty poor goals direct from corners, so it's clear what we'll be working on in training over the next couple of weeks.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian

Labels: ,



Post a Comment

<< Home