In a scintillating first half display, Newcastle played their best football since the Arsenal game, but after a lot of the play the score is still 0-0 at half time. Stoke City are still right in this game.
The game has been played at a fast pace by Newcastle and the team has looked good and has played some good flowing football at times.
But we haven’t converted our superiority into any goals although Shay Given hasn’t really had a shot to save in the first half.
Duff on the right and N’Zogbia on the left are causing plenty of trouble for the Stoke defense, and Jose Enrique looks what he is at left back â€“ a strong committed player. We need to see a lot more of this boy starting games.
On this performance there isn’t much wrong with this Newcastle side, who have taken it to Stoke from the first whistle. Michael Owen had a great chance to open the scoring after 26 minutes when he was clean through but his lob was just stopped by goalkeeper Simonsen.
Simonsen also saved Stoke on a couple of other occasions from from Charles N’Zogbia with some of his left-foot power shots. Charles is looking very dangerous on the left wing.
Newcastle have kept the game at a very fast pace, but they have to keep up the pressure in the second half and a single goal could be enough to see Newcastle through to the next round.
They have certainly been the better side in the first half of an excellent game.
Stoke City: Steve Simonsen, Andy Wilkinson, Ryan Shawcross, Leon Cort, Carl Dickinson, Liam Lawrence, John Eustace (c), Danny Pugh, Richard Cresswell, Mamady Sidibe, Ricardo Fuller
Subs: Russell Hoult, Gabriel Zakuani, Anthony Pulis, Jon Parkin, Vincent Pericard
Newcastle United: Shay Given, David Rozehnal, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steven Taylor, Alan Smith (c), Nicky Butt, Charles N’Zogbia, Damien Duff, Mark Viduka, Michael Owen
Subs: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, David Edgar, Andy Carroll, Kazenga LuaLua