In an amazing all action game at St. James’ Park tonight 10 man Newcastle United were 2-1 up with just 4 minutes of normal time to play but couldn’t quite hold on for what would have been a memorable victory.
And unfortunately it was that man Rob Styles again, who seemed to get it all wrong after 14 minutes when Beye was called for a foul on Robinho in the penalty box, and since Habib was the last man he was sent off.
Robinho scored easily from the spot and gave Given no chance.
The TV replays showed that Beye had deflected the ball away from the Brazilian, but this isn’t the first time Styles has given away dodgy penalties.
But if you thought that Newcastle were going to lie down and give up then think again. After 25 minutes of holding their own after the shock of being one man down and one goal down, Duff had a good chance after 35 minutes that he should have done much better with, but he tamely hit the ball for Hart to easily save.
But then after 43 minutes Shola Ameobi, who had his best game for Newcastle for years scored when Shola found himself with the ball and two City players around him just 8 yards from goal.
Shola chested the ball forward and then sliced the ball powerfully into the net with his right foot, and instinctive move by Shola but a well taken goal.
It was the first goal for Ameobi for two years, and Joe Kinnear seems to have found how to get the very best out of the Nigerian-born forward. Make no mistake that Shola’s transfer price has gone up after this strong performance, and when he was taken off in the second half for Andrew Carroll, he got a wonderful ovation from the Newcastle crowd.
Then in the second half, after no doubt a rousing half time talk from Joe Kinnear, who must have been cursing his luck, Newcastle came out fighting in the second half.
The lads must have something to drink at the break because they looked sprightly and were winning nearly every 50-50 balls. And then after 63 minutes a Geremi corner was hit high into his own net by Richard Dunne. So amazingly ten man Newcastle were 2-1 ahead against this expensive Manchester City side.
It looked like the lads started to tire just a little near the end, but make no mistake about it they deserved some luck that they didn’t get. when, with just 4 minutes of normal time to go, Manchester City equalized.
It was a great ball by Robinho through the middle of Newcastle’s defense, and Stephen Ireland made no mistake and had the ball in the net in an instant. But this was cruel luck against a plucky Newcastle side, who deserved the win and all 3 points tonight.
Certainly the performance tonight was a delight to the Newcastle crowd who roared on their side throughout the game. A 2-1 win would have been one of the best results seen at St. James’ Park for many a day, and with a little bit of luck for some 5 more minutes and the win would have been ours.
It may seem strange but even with 10 men, Newcastle deserved all 3 points, and this was 2 points lost – but we’ll start getting some luck if the lads turn in performances like this regularly, that’s an absolute certainty.
Make no mistake, this was a monumental display of courage and fortitude from this Newcastle side, when many a side would have thrown in the towel after 15 minutes. Shola was probably our best player tonight, and he gave everything he had, and there were also some solid performances from Butt, Guthrie, Martins, Duff, Bassong and Coloccini at the back.
But this was a team performance more than anything else, with the lads playing for each other – it’s such a pity Kinnear couldn’t have got one of his most memorable victories tonight – so unlucky.
The lads did us proud tonight – there’s no doubt about it – great performance lads – now to beat Sunderland on Saturday.
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt (c), Danny Guthrie, Geremi, Damien Duff, Oba Martins, Shola Ameobi
Subs: Steve Harper, Claudio Cacapa, David Edgar, Jose Enrique, Charles N’Zogbia, Xisco, Andy Carroll
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Javier Garrido, Richard Dunne (c), Tal Ben Haim, Vincent Kompany, Stephen Ireland, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Dietmar Hamman, Jo
Subs: Nedum Onuoha, Elano, Kasper Schmeichel, Gelson Fernandes, Ched Evans, Daniel Sturridge, Galuber Berti
Referee: Rob Styles