For the second time in 5 days Newcastle were beaten by a faster and more skillful team and were almost overrun in the second half. The first half was OK as a contest with Martins getting a great goal for us. To be truthful – but for two wonderful saves by the restored and brilliant Shay Given we could easily have been 3-1 down at the break.
Not that it helped us much since Man City were 2-1 up inside a minute or two of the restart with Petrov skinning Taylor down the left wing and putting over a beautiful cross for Mpenza to easily head home giving Given no chance. After that – to be fair – Newcastle tried with tremendous guts but all the players with skill and speed today were wearing pale blue – and Newcastle played in their famous black and white stripes.
Sam Allardyce - yes we have lots of weaknesses to fix, at least we know what they are now
Manchester City were almost toying with Newcastle during the second half as they exposed a weakness we have had – even since the first game at Bolton. We are too slow for a fast break and heaven knows how many times in the second Man City caught us short at the back with their fast breakaways.
That’s exactly how Arsenal played against us on Tuesday night so perhaps other teams can see what our weaknesses are already – not enough speed in midfield and defense. What’s also noticeable is that we are not a skillful side and City had many players today who took on Newcastle players and beat them for speed and/or skill.
So unfortunately we cannot complain about this loss â€“ we were well beaten by a wonderful Manchester City side â€“ the English fans will soon have to stop complaining about Sven Eriksson â€“ who is quickly showing what a fabulous club coach he is. Sven certainly won the coaching test today with Big Sam.
Sven would have walked from London to take the Newcastle manager job if it had ever been offered to him. While it wouldn’t have gone over well with the fans, we’d be happy enough now with the football being served up by Sven.
Don’t think we’re deserting Sam – we just now know what our weaknesses are – and we’ll have to fix them by making January a time to bring in the players we need. But to be fair to the lads we’ll not meet many sides as good as Man City were today – wasn’t that what we said on Tuesday night ?
OK â€“ we were well beaten â€“ what can we take out of the game to improve on. Lots.
We lack speed and skill in the team and we should be looking for players who have these attributes.
We are still not solid enough in defense and we may need to bring in some more players there â€“ which yes is a bit of a surprise. We need to bring in Edmilson form Brazil â€“ since we can get him for a couple of million at most.
The Manchester City fans today went wild at the finish as their team put on a wonderful performance of skill, organization and brilliance. Didn’t we say that same thing about the arsenal youngsters on Tuesday night.
A great game for City but it leaves Allardyce with lots and lots of weaknesses in our team, that have been ruthlessly exposed by Eriksson and his side.
Here’s the full match report:
In a pulsating first half with both teams playing attacking exciting football the score at half time is 1-1. Both teams from the KO made it clear they were going for the win and both teams attacked each other form the first whistle.
On 6 minutes Given almost scored when his first touch from a back pass was bad and he just kicked it away from the incoming City forward â€“ rustiness? Then after 12 minutes Given made a brilliant world class save when he touched the ball with left hand around the post for a corner when he had no right to get anywhere near the ball as it was going into the top corner. A stunning save from the Irishman â€“ guess he’s back.
What’s apparent early on is the the midfield and attacking players of City have piles of skill and are taking on the Newcastle players â€“ a little worrying they seem to beat them one on one. Milner is very prominent and is Newcastle’s best player and he makes a great run to the byline â€“ beating two City players but his pull back is to a Manchester City player.
Then after 22 minutes it looks like it’s a penalty when Richards seems to bring down Milner. The commentators say no â€“ but for me the replay shows Milner is brought down. Milner is playing excellently on the wing and is only too willing to take players on. Then after 26 minutes a cross from the right wing eludes Given and shaves the cross bar before going out wide â€“ a similar scare to a similar incident in our win against Barnsley. Given was nowhere.
Then after 29 minutes Newcastle get a wonderful goal from Martins. A high ball comes in just inside the penalty and Martins kills the ball beautifully and lobs the ball over the onrushing Hart. He was just between the two center halves â€“ but a brilliant goal for Newcastle â€“ and yes Martins does his somersault.
Manchester City after 30 minutes are starting to attack and Newcastle midi field have to help the defense â€“ it’s looking like waves of attacks from City and our midfield needs to help out and keep the ball.Hart then has a terrible first touch to the ball and the ball dribbles along the goal line before he kicks clear â€“ it may have been over the line â€“ replays showed he kicked it clear when it was almost level (??) – of course the commentators say no – but the replay shows it’s very very close to being a goal.
After 35 minutes Given makes a good save down to his left. City are attacking well and then after 40 minutes Manchester score . Newcastle are again caught short and the back and a diagonal cross comes over and Petrov puts is away at the far post. Bad goal for Newcastle to concede â€“ where was Beye?
Then after 41 minutes City should have scored when Ireland got clear through but the amazing Given stayed his ground and brought off another tremendous save to save Newcastle â€“ again. Ireland should have scored.
The worrying thing is that the last 10 minutes is almost all City â€“ they look an excellent side as does Newcastle. The entertainment value is sky high. We could have been 3-1 down but for two tremendous Given saves. It’s going to be a difficult game for us in the second half.
Following the resumption of play Mpenza heads home after Petrov had skinned Taylor for speed on the wing before crossing and it’s 2-1 to City. We were right – this is going to be tough. Newcastle were at least trying to come back in the game and like the first half each team is still attacking. But Man City are counter attacking Newcastle so effectively and create multiple chances caused by their speed on the breakaway â€“ our players just look too slow.
Oba Martins is doing what he’s good at â€“ he’s unnerving the two big City center backs Dunne and Richards because Martins is so quick. He’s looking good. One 77 minutes Sam brings on Enrique so we can move N’Zogbia up on the left. Enrique immediately makes a forward run so obviously he has orders to also attack.
In the last 20 minutes there are quick breakaways from Man City as Newcastle are piling forward to try to get something out of this game. We can’t criticize the willingness and guts of any of our players â€“ but in this game they’re just not good enough
On 84 minutes minutes Mpenza is clean through but Rozehnal makes a wonderful block and saves the day for Newcastle. Rozehnal has been all over the field for Newcastle today. He’s going to be a great player for us for years to come. Sam brought on Emre hopelessly late with just a few minutes to go.
Then on 87 minutes Man City get a free kick from 35 yards out. The brilliant Elano magically turns the ball into a rocket as it flashes into Given’s top right hand corner. Given gets off the ground and stretched as far as he can but the speed and direction of the shot are unbelievable. No goalkeeper can save this type of shot. The Manchester City fans go wild as their team has put on a wonderful performance of skill, organization and brilliance.
Bt didn’t we say that same thing about the Arsenal youngsters on Tuesday night.
A great game for City but it leaves Allardyce with lots of weaknesses in our team that have been ruthlessly exposed by the brilliant Eriksson and his new team. Today they looked the team that can crack the top four this season.
Newcastle: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Steven Taylor, David Rozehnal, Charles N’Zogbia, James Milner, Alan Smith, Geremi, Nicky Butt, Mark Viduka, Oba Martins
Subs: Steve Harper, Jose Enrique, Emre, Abdoulaye Faye, Matty Pattison
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Vedran Corluka, Javier Garrido, Richard Dunne, Micah Richards, Stephen Ireland, Michael Johnson, Martin Petrov, Dietmar Hamann, Elano, Emile Mpenza
Referee: Chris Foy