Sunday, December 30, 2012

Little Pea pisses on Boxing Day chips

Manchester Utd 4 - 3 Newcastle Utd

There's something about 4-3 scorelines which frankly makes me queasy. Maybe it's the twin heartaches at Anfield in the mid-90s, but I think this, more than any other scoreline, is the most galling. To score three goals away from home and to leave with nothing after suffering from a late winner for the home team really is like coming home from work having just received a pay rise and promotion to find your other half in bed with your less attractive sibling (unless you are a Mackem in which case your other half probably is your less attractive sibling).

Anyway, sure enough we duly spent Boxing Day slogging our way to Salford and put in a generally excellent attacking performance, only to be undone by a late winner from Javier Hernandez.

With Mr T suspended, it was to Master T that the Silver Fox turned to deputise, with the youngster joining Perchinho and Vurnon Anita in a three man midfield while Sylvain Marveaux replaced Spidermag in an attacking triumvirate with our two Senegalese strikers.

Pleasingly we also started brightly, with Demba Ba latching onto a loose ball and firing a speculative long-range shot which David De Gea could only parry into the path of the onrushing Perchinho to slot home.

Back came the home team, however, with Jonny Evans levelling the scores as he pounced on a loose ball after a Hernandez shot had been saved by Krul.

Minutes later it was Evans again on the scoresheet, this time turning a Danny Simpson cross into his own net as he attempted to man-handle Papiss Cisse out of the way. With the assistant referee flagging for offside (not the foul on Cisse which looked a clear penalty), it was left to Mike Dean to make a big decision and for once the visitors to Old Trafford were the beneficiaries of some refereeing discernment, as he awarded the goal and turned Taggart's face an interesting shade of beetroot. (Ben's comment on the subsequent fall-out is here.)

2-1 at half-time, it always looked as though we'd need a two-goal cushion to feel comfortable, with Taggart still haranguing the referee, fourth official and assistant referee (who must have felt particularly hard done to, having flagged for offside in the first place) as the sides emerged for the start of the second half.

Frustratingly, we couldn't force a third immediately and sure enough Manure came back again when Patrice Evra fired home from distance after a fairly poor Perchinho header.

Back we came again, though, as Obertan Kenobi forced his way down the left and cut the ball across for Cisse to fire home his first really good goal of the season, a first-time left-foot shot that absolutely flew past De Gea.

Frustratingly we once again failed to hold on to our lead, this time allowing Robin van Persie to score, thereby giving the home side sufficient belief to push for a winner, which, despite the best efforts of Krul (who made a string of fine saves), inevitably came from Hernandez, who was quickest to react to a loose ball in the last minute.

Of significance, Mike Williamson also managed to pick up his fifth booking, thereby ruling him out of the trip to Arsenal (but more about that game shortly).

Other reports: BBC, Guardian

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

quickest to act on a loose ball?? it was an inch perfect pass from carrick and a great finish

10:57 a.m.  

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