FT: Portsmouth 0 Newcastle 0 – Magpies Earn Good Point


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In what was another very good display from Newcastle United this afternoon on the south coast they met an in-form team in Portsmouth and the Magpies’ win streak came to an end, but they were fully worth the draw.
The game was very good to watch in front of a sold out crowd of 20,506 – some 218 over their official capacity of 20,288 – well they did make the FA Cup Finals. 😀

The good thing for the crowd is they got a good display from their side, but an equally good display from this newly revitalized Newcastle side under new boss Kevin Keegan.

The game was very open, as we expected, and if last week we were at 80% we were better this week and maybe at 90% of our very best. But that last pass just wasn’t good enough this afternoon, although Newcastle had chances to win the game in the last 20 minutes.

A Geremi free kick after just 5 minutes was well taken by goalkeeper James, in front of the watching England manager Fabio Capello – and the first 15 minutes was a good start by the Magpies, who were passing the ball around well.

On 23 minutes Harper was quick off his line to cut off a fine through pass by Kranjcar, who was causing Newcastle some trouble on the left wing.

Then on 29 minutes Viduka was through on the right, with Martins in oceans of room in the center. But Mark’s cross come shot was between Martins and James and went through for a goal kick. It was an excellent chance lost.

At the half time whistle the game was delicately balanced and either side could win this game.

But the best chance of the whole game went to Michael Owen who seemed to balloon the ball over the bar.

After 71 minutes the ball somehow came back to Owen who had an open goal from 5 yards out and he hit the ball on the volley, and it somehow hit James and went for a corner.

But it was a gilt edged chance for Newcastle to take all 3 points and Michael should really have scored, although it all happened in an instant. But Michael was there and it was instinct and with any luck he could have broke the net, but it wasn’t to be.

But don’t get us wrong Owen had another fine game just behind the front two strikers, and we think he would have impressed the watching Capello. He worked his socks off yet again for the team, and is a fine example as captain.

But Portsmouth could also have won the game and they let some chances go begging too. After 45 minutes Defoe should really have scored when he met a cross that somehow eluded the Newcastle defenders but he put the ball wide of the far post, when it looked easier to score.

Then after 63 minutes Defoe again hit a shot which came off a Newcastle defender and was going in Harper’s right hand corner before Steve got a right hand to it, to deflect it for a corner. Then Harper took the corner safely under challenge, and just 3 yards from goal.

Near the end Oba Martins, who was threatening throughout the game, had a chance to win it but his angled shot was off target.

Both teams played open and attacking football and the the game was delicately balanced. It would have been a shame had either side lost, but don’t tell that to the teams, who were going for the winner right until the end.

This is how the game was meant to be played and credit to both teams for a good entertaining game.

This was another top display from a Newcastle side who are looking so much better in defense with their 3rd clean sheet in a row.

Steve Harper had another fine game in front of the watching England coach Capello, and Faye was again dominant in the air, against the tall Portsmouth strikers. He had another excellent game at the back for Newcastle – what a buy he has been for the club.

Steven Taylor was very solid and the midfield played well yet again, with Geremi threatening with his corners and free kicks, which almost produced the winner.

Geremi had a great shot himself after 72 minutes that David James did well to save low to his left. Geremi is now looking twice the player he looked early in the season and doesn’t give the ball away much at all, and his passing looks so much better these days.

Another good all around team effort from the boys and a well deserved point, which could so easily have been three with any luck, but this Portsmouth team are also a very good side and in-form.

All in all – a fair result and a very good game to watch.

TEAMS:

Portsmouth: David James, Glen Johnson, Herman Hreidarsson, Sol Campbell (c), Sylvain Distin, Papa Bouba Diop, Sean Davis, Sulley Muntari, Niko Kranjcar, Nwanko Kanu, Jermain Defoe
Subs: Lauren, David Nugent, Richard Hughes, Pedro Mendes, Asmir Begovic

Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt, Geremi, Joey Barton, Oba Martins, Michael Owen (c), Mark Viduka
Subs: Fraser Forster, Damien Duff, Alan Smith, David Edgar, Andy Carroll

Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance:
20,507

Comments very welcome.



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31 comments so far

  • shirts

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:44 PM

    Comment #1

    So much pressure is taken off the defense because the midfield is keeping possession and passing around more.

    We used to be under siege at the back under Sam’s regime, but Keegan’s got us passing around in the middle (though the final passes today weren’t good) and protecting the defenders.

    An away point! Nice.

    Though it would’ve been nice to see some attacking subs up the wings and maybe win the thing.

    Then again, maybe that’s asking too much.

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  • Spyro

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #2

    the good thing is, Sunderlands good form has halted whilst we are still going strong. A dedicated, WINNING performance next week will have all of us smiling.

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  • Nomis_jade

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #3

    A fair result and a good one. To be fair, both teams looked a bit flat today, i think they just cancelled each other out. However both teams cold have won it. How david james saved with his head from MO il never know.

    Martins was great again and looked our most dangerous player.
    MO worked really hard and threatened a couple of times. Held the ball up well and like the commentator said, he stopped sean davis from getting forward, cos they had to mark him.

    All three mid played brilliant again, especially joey who worked his socks off again. I think he was brilliant. maybe my MOTM.

    I think this result is important because it shows, that even with 433 (an attacking lineup) we can still go to a good team like Pompy and get a result. How important that will be for next season. Defense looked good all match and faye was king in the air.

    I would like to see us revert back to 442 before the end of the season, just to see how we get on with a differnet formation and a chance for Duff/ Nzog and milner ETC. Its really important that we have more strings to our bow.

    Overall a very good display. How organised we looked. Well done KK

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  • macitect

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #4

    Been reading for a long time, but never posted. Don’t know the game nearly as well as most of you…

    However, I was able to watch the game on Setanta today here in Canada (Montréal) and I can’t help but think that we could have won it if the quality of Geremi’s passes had been better. I noticed early on that Enrique flubbed a few good opportunities to set Oba free too.

    What do you experts think?

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  • Murvar

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #5

    Not sure I agree with much of what’s gone before. Barton seemed relatively disengaged from the game and he and Enrique seemed to be on different planets, especially in the first half. Geremi and Butt did well, and apart from Faye losing Defoe for their best chance, he was outstanding. However – we were rarely threatened and could easily have won it. So – part of the improvement pattern and very welcome for that. One more win and we can’t be relegated – and that win will come next week.

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  • geordie in taipei

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #6

    i dont agree that we were 90% this week. I mean if we take the spurs game as a 100% we werent anywhere near that. It was a scrappy game. Though at the same time , it was open. Both teams had chances and balls them up. But nonetheless, it wasnt a bad performance. There was some tough tackling, and you could see Newcastle wanted something , as did portmouth. We defended well most of the time and a point is a good reseult away from home to an inform team. And thats another clean sheet – YEAH ! Nicky Butts passing left alot to be desired today, but Oba had a good game as did Enrique. All in all things continue to look up – ALL HAIL KING KEV !

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  • Phil,Gosforth

    Apr 12, 2008 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #7

    Good away performance and should have won tbh.What I loved most today was how the strikers tracked back to help out all the time.The workrate has gone thru the roof since BSA.(Not heard much from him lately haha).
    Just a few additions and next year we are set!

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  • hanzemre

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #8

    we didn’t had our best game today for sure. Midfield was okay & been there to contain their pressure & creating some chances but no (if any not many) nice movements/build-ups to our 3 frontmen who’re almost isolated most of the game & . Owen did screwed up his only chance of the game. Viduka & Martins were having their off-days. Oh imo. this team performance were considerably good & a draw just satisfied me.

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  • KEEGAN7

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:13 PM

    Comment #9

    Well deserved point. Thought Viduka and Martins were average today. If they had been on form we would have won. Martins particularly had an off day and wasted a lot of ball.

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  • CRAIGG

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #10

    Well i would have taken that result if offered.

    Where do 5 live get there info Mark Bright said:-
    ” Enrique is called the bull certainly because of his tackling maybe his poor first touch”

    Stan Collymore a few weeks ago said something along the lines of:-

    “Enrique has been poor all season according to my friends who have Newcastle connections”

    I disagree and ive seen every match this season.
    Where do they get there info.

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  • Macca

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #11

    “Steve Harper had another fine game in front of the watching England coach Capello,”

    I’m sure he most have been very impressed when he almost carried the ball into his own goal. If it was some other teams keeper and if he had taken another step back it would have singly been the funniest thing I’d ever have seen on a football pitch to date. But thankfully he was just short.

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  • Die hard toon

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:20 PM

    Comment #12

    I think a draw was a fair result both teams were even i think if the match was a boxing match nufc would win on points i think althought the teams were even nufc was just a little bit better.

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  • Ross

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #13

    you’ve answered it yourself craigg!
    stan collymoore

    “ehh..well aye i’ve got a few mates..and they have connections with newcastle, like i think they live a metro stop or two away from st james or somethin, and well..they said enrique’s been canny crap so…aye, he’s rubbish”

    complete b*ll*cks from the media these days, pointless listening mate.

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  • hanzemre

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:31 PM

    Comment #14

    The Bull was fine with his tackling & positioning. Just that at 1st half his passes to Martins were disarray, 3 maybe 4 times went out.

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  • CRAIGG

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #15

    Yeah i know but youd think they would do the slightest bit of research before making harsh statements like that, IE watch some matches

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  • Ross

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #16

    you’d think so aye, but they’ll just say anything when it comes to newcastle.
    i buy the local rags just to have a laugh at what rubbish they come up with about us. it used to annoy me but its happened for so long that its just quite funny these days. let them say what they want, its what happens on the field that matters, and if they’re still mouthing about us, then its clear theyre doing so cos theyve got nowt else better to ramble on about.

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  • hanzemre

    Apr 12, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Comment #17

    How many clean sheets already? KK really did well coming to in-form Pompey not to defend/contain the whole mins. As norm KK’d like us trying to win the game. Their attacks were limited to few chances. Luckily Defoe screwed up his chances.

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  • Cyprus Mag

    Apr 12, 2008 at 9:01 PM

    Comment #18

    I think we played well today and were the only team who deserved to win. Geremi was involved a lot and on the whole had a good game but his corners were pathetic and we need to replace him as a dead ball specialist. Barton wasn’t involved enough and clearly our midfield is our weakness. Taylor was much improved and was the only one of our England potentials likely to have impressed Capello.

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  • Gordon

    Apr 12, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    Comment #19

    Super result for the lads – very impressed with Butt, who had been one of my least favourite players until his resurrection in recent weeks.

    Don’t agree with all the praise of Faye though – he went to sleep at crucial times and could have cost us. Decent defender but would expect at least one of the players KK brings in to be a world class centre back.

    Also thought Enrique didn’t live up to the standards he has set himself in recent times and gave the ball away a lot.

    Very happy with the result overall though and Martins, Owen and Beye all looked excellent. Geremi was good too, though his corners still aren’t up to standard and he had enough chances to practice them today!

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  • Andy1

    Apr 12, 2008 at 9:24 PM

    Comment #20

    I really thought Martins had a great game today. Really lively, a constant threat and his shooting was pretty accurate. A couple of times his decision making let him down – generally he was a bit greedy perhaps but he has a lot of confidence is really keen to impress the fans. I never think you can complain too much if he’s hitting the target and he did that on the chance where James had to save smartly at his near post. The easy ball was to pull it back to Owen – we might have scored but one thing you can predict with Oba is that he is unpredictable. That’s why he is such a threat and why he is so great to watch.

    I think he is much improved on last season and is thriving under Keegan. He rarely misplaced a pass and didn’t run in to trouble. He seems to be really concentrating on not giving the ball away and the whole team benefits. His control seems to have improved and his intelligence and awareness have too. Always wants the ball, can give a simple pass and make a new space to recieve it again. He is really using his pace well down the left to stretch the opposition.

    Enrique’s allround game is quality and he made some powerful forward runs today. He is often too quick to look for the ball to Oba and should try and keep it on the deck longer. Butt controlled the game fairly well today. The whole midfield worked hard to get the ball back, but today he was also too quick to launch it and mainly overhit his passes.

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  • obamagic

    Apr 12, 2008 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #21

    I thought Martins was abit selfish today… Could have passed to open teammates but decided to shoot.

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  • Toonloon

    Apr 12, 2008 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #22

    Good result against a good team – how our expectations have changed – now we go to Portsmouth wanting 3 points!
    With BSA we went to away games praying for a draw with 10 men in goal and 1 waiting for the predictable long ball.
    Love the fact that we defend by attacking our opposition. How many clean sheets again?? Woohoo – the future’s bright, the future’s black n white!

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  • ToonKing

    Apr 12, 2008 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #23

    i don’t really agree with you Ed, i think we watched a different game today. If we were 80% last week then we were 60% today. i mean we were solid all over the park but still seemed a little flat and disengaged….everybody made a lot of mistakes today..
    Oba was very selfish today, i just wish he would be a more of a team player, Barton also seemed distant, Faye made a few amateurish errors to, Harper was decent at best too, Enrique’s passing and delivery was way off and so was Butt’s, Geremi has to stop taking those short corners he drives me mental, Beye and Mickey looked like they were ordered to sit back a little.

    All in all it was a solid performance but we could have done better, but never mind we got a point and a clean sheet so i’m happyish.

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  • rob

    Apr 12, 2008 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #24

    Macca why u blame harps for mistakes that were not made i can not wait till given gets back to mock him

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  • Johann

    Apr 12, 2008 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #25

    ToonKing. You can´t really blame a defense which holds a clean sheet. Think about it, you really can´t. Mistakes happen in football it´s about keeping them at the minimum and I don´t really think the sun was helpful today.

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  • IrishMan

    Apr 12, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #26

    We wasted a lot of corners today. Delivery by Geremi was very short.

    How did WE give Derby four points?!

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  • ToonKing

    Apr 12, 2008 at 11:31 PM

    Comment #27

    i’m not blaming them mate, i’m just saying that they were a little deconected today, you have to admit that Faye for example made a couple of mistakes which i’ve never seen him do before, basic ones, like positioning himself wrongly for clearing a pompey goalkick and just walking away from Defoe and leaving him 1-1 with Harper. Also how many passes did Enrique mishit trying to find Joey.
    So what i’m saying is that although the teams was solid they could have concentrated and do better.

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  • Gareth

    Apr 12, 2008 at 11:56 PM

    Comment #28

    Shut your face Collymore… The Bull was great today in terms of both tackling and dribbling. His passing was less good, but you can’t have everything… Whoever dissed Butt earlier on is clearly a fantasist, he had a great game, broke up countless Portsmouth attacks and passed the ball excellently – my MOTM. Barton was quiet, but I’ll give him an off day given his form of late.
    All in all a good point away to a good team. Can’t complain.

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  • shirts

    Apr 13, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #29

    Many people have commented about our poor passing today and I agree. I thought there were some good ideas–quick releases of long balls for Oba to run on to, but invariably they were too long. Enrique stands out on that front a number of times.

    Was the wind a factor? Maybe we just had an off day in that regard. Are we just tired? Dunno.

    I also think other teams may be figuring out how to play against the 4-3-3. Any thoughts on that?

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  • Vitorbarbosa

    Apr 13, 2008 at 6:16 AM

    Comment #30

    Guys, what you all have in your mind is a perfect game. We might played the way or standard set by you guys but we will never consistently pulling off perfect game week in week out.

    That’s how expectation rises from bottom low to top height. Only a few wins and people expect our players to be world class, or maybe more than that.

    THey have a solid game, and yet get criticized. That’s unfair.

    However, you can have your own version of NUFC and I have mine. I really think they did brilliantly, just a bit cautious.

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  • shirts

    Apr 13, 2008 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #31

    I think it’s fair to honestly and realistically consider how the team could have been better. There’s nothing overly critical or unfair about that.

    I’m glad to see the away point and I’m glad to see our boys worked hard. But there’s room for honest assesment too.

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