This was a game Newcastle fans had every right to think their team had a good chance of winning, but the bubble burst this afternoon, and Newcastle went down to their first defeat in 7 games, when they lost 2-1 to Wigan Athletic, and it was a poor display overall from the Newcastle side.
Newcastle had lost left back Jose Enrique, who was injured in the warm up, so they switched Charles N’Zogbia to left back, switched Duff to left wing and brought in Mark Viduka to lead the line.
And in the first half Newcastle played very poorly and that man Ryan Taylor again scored to put Wigan one ahead after 29 minutes, with a beautifully taken free kick from 20 yards out, that followed a needless foul by Argentine Jonas Gutierrez.
Then on 34 minutes former Middlebrough youngster Cattermole’s terrible challenge on Habib Beye saw the Wigan player yellow-carded, but Beye was left writhing in agony on the pitch.
Beye was stretchered off, and replaced by Steven Taylor, after quite a delay, and Newcastle had lost both their starting full backs this afternoon.
Newcastle went in at half time only 1-0 down, but it could have been worse.
Then on 72 minutes things did get worse for Newcastle when Sebastien Bassong was shown a straight red card, after he had brought down Emile Heskey inside the penalty area.
Bassong had little option since Heskey was clean through on goal, but Bassong will now face a one match suspension, and a penalty was awarded to Wigan, and that’s the 7th penalty we’ve given up this season already.
Egyptian Amr Zaki stepped up to score easily past goalkeeper Shay Given from the spot kick, and Newcastle were 2-0 down.
Then on 79 minutes David Edgar replaced skipper Michael Owen, who had a quiet game.
But to Newcastle’s credit they refused to give up the ghost, and after 88 minutes referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after Chris Kirkland fisted Andy Carroll in the head, as the Gateshead born striker tried to get on the end of a nice Nicky Butt through ball.
Danny Guthrie got his second goal for the club, in the absence of Michael Owen, as he stepped up and made no mistake from the spot and lashed the ball high into the net.
And Newcastle were helped by a full 6 minutes of stoppage time, and that yielded a couple of chances for Damien Duff but unlike last Sunday, on both occasions the Irish winger shot wide.
So Wigan held on to claim the win and 4 points off Newcastle this season. 🙁
This was both a disappointing display and a poor result for Newcastle, and we wonder who will be playing full back against Liverpool, and it looks like Steven Taylor and N’Zogbia will need to be our starting full backs.
Bassong will be available against Liverpool, but then will get a one match ban for his sending off.
So the bubble has finally burst after six games of decent performances, and we have been shown, at least today, to be a rather ordinary side.
A disappointment today, but the chance to get back on track again to an in-form Liverpool side on Sunday at 12:00noon at St. James’ Park.
Liverpool took Bolton apart today 3-0, with two more great goals from Robbie Keane.
But we’ll need to be an awful lot better, and more awake to get anything out of that game, and as Joe has said, things are very tight in the league, and after the game today we remain in 12th place, but could have gone up to 9th place with a win.
This game has brought us down to earth with a bang.
Wigan: Chris Kirkland, Mario Melchiot, Paul Scharner, Titus Bramble, Maynor Figueroa, Antonio Valencia, Lee Cattermole, Wilson Palacios, Ryan Taylor, Emile Heskey, Amr Zaki
Newcastle United: Shay Given, Habib Beye, Sebastien Bassong, Fabricio Coloccini, Charles N’Zogbia, Jonas Gutierrez, Danny Guthrie, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Mark Viduka, Michael Owen
Subs: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Geremi, , David Edgar, Andy Carroll, Xisco
Referee: Mike Dean