Newcastle started the game well and matched Manchester United with some decent football in the first 20 minutes. But then some poor defending again, led to the Magpies conceding a sloppy goal after 25 minutes.
Keegan had elected to keep both former Manchester United stars Butt and Smith in the team despite some some poor performances of late.
But on 25 minutes Ronaldo got the ball on the left wing, and was allowed to put in a good cross that found Rooney completely unmarked at the far post and he easily tapped the ball home. Looks like N’Zogbia went to sleep and was nowhere near Rooney when he scored. Familiar defensive problems again for Newcastle.
Newcastle were seemingly holding their own until the break, and it was important to go in at half time just one goal down, but that wasn’t to be. A superb through-pass by local boy Michael Carrick put Ronaldo clean through, and Christiano had the ball in the back of the net before most Newcastle defenders even realized there was any danger.
The Newcastle defense was completely split by a single pass from the Wallsend boy Carrick.
Referee Foy gave out 3 yellow cards to Newcastle players in the first half with N’Zogbia Faye and Michael Owen all going in the referees book. But the Red Devils were falling like flies, particularly Nani who went down if you just looked at him.
Newcastle had started well enough but just couldn’t keep it up, and the Tyne-side club’s attack lacked any potency.
We’d like to see young Andrew Carroll brought on in place of Smith, who is giving the Manchester United defense no problems at all.
We need a big tall player in there to work with Owen. The second goal was very disappointing and it’s going to be very difficult now to get anything out of this game.
In three halves this year against Manchester United we are now 8-0, and it’s important the Newcastle players come out fighting in the second half and do not give up on this game.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens – but there’s no doubt the half time score is bitterly disappointing to Newcastle supporters. We’re just not good enough on the evidence of the first 45 minutes.
Steve Harper replaced Shay Given at the break, and it looks like Shay has injured his groin again.