Newcastle finally had a little luck today, when they didn’t particularly deserve it, when Coloccini equalized in injury time after Charles N’Zogbia, the former Newcastle winger had scored two goals in two minutes to put Wigan 2-0 up in a dismal first half for Newcastle, and the absolute worst 45 minutes they have put in all season.
Newcastle had made three changes from the team that was beaten 2-1 at Manchester City two weeks ago, with Andy Carroll, Peter Lovenkrands and Danny Guthrie coming into his side, and Kevin Nolan missing his first league game of the season through injury. Danny Guthrie was also making his first start of the season on the right wing in place of Wayne Routledge.
The opening period was even until 22 minutes had elapsed and then Di Santo swung in a cross into the box from the right wing, and the diminutive 5’7″ tall French International N’Zogbia out jumped both James Perch and Mike Williamson to head the ball past Krul – a terrible goal for Newcastle to give away at home.
And then Wigan made it 2-0 almost immediately, with N’Zogbia again scoring the goal as Coloccini lost the ball coming out of defense, and Di Santo once again put the ball in from the right and this time Charles took the ball down nicely on his chest, and put the ball home with skill and his left foot.
Two bad mistakes from the Newcastle defense at home and it was 2-0 down and a huge mountain to climb.
Newcastle looked in some disarray for the remainder of the half, and since Wigan are second favorites by William Hill behind Blackpool to be relegated this from the Premier league this season, the last thing the 44,415 crowd expected was to be 2-0 down at the half, but that’s what it was, although Williamson had a header cleared off the line by Emmerson Boyce just before the break came.
But the first half display today must be the worst by a Newcastle side this season – and to do that at home against a relegation side is just unacceptable – it’s as simple as that – it’s not good enough.
Newcastle were again far too slack in defense this afternoon and Charles took good advantage of it, but the Magpies have to sort out their defensive frailties before too long, because we are giving away too many soft goals at home.
When the lads came on for the second period there were no changes made in the line-up, which didn’t please the Newcastle crowd, who were still in shock from the first half display.
Shola Ameobi was introduced in place of Peter Lovenkrands after 60 minutes with the score still 2-0 in Wigan’s favor, and then Wayne Routledge was introduced soon after on 66 minutes, replacing the out-of-position Danny Guthrie on the right wing.
Twenty minutes to go and 2-0 down at home against Wigan – unbelievable.
But then Shola gave Newcastle some hope when he scored his 4th goal of the season, after 72 minutes, when he headed a Gutierrez cross nicely into the back of the net for a vital breakthrough goal.
Wigan brought on former Newcastle target Tom Cleverley after 80 minutes, and it looked like Wigan had wrapped up all 3 points, as the game went into injury time.
But then an Argentine double rescued Newcastle four minutes into added time, as a Gutierrez corner was headed onto Coloccini who then headed the ball strongly into the net for the dramatic equalizing goal.
It was a point that Newcastle didn’t look like they could get and 2 points thrown away by Wigan, but make no mistake about it – that was a vital goal by the the Argentine center-back to save Newcastle having three successive PL defeats and three successive defeats at home.
We have to think that Sol Campbell will have a good chance of making his PL debut in London next week in place of one of the two center-backs – Williamson or Coloccini take your pick – since each one was responsible for each of the goals in that terrible first half.
And it’s possible we could also see Danny Simpson starting at right back next week too, because N’Zogbia was just too good for the former Nottingham Forest player today.
We thought Newcastle had a solid and decent defense but now that’s 4 soft goals given away in the last two home games – and it’s just not good enough, if we are to avoid a relegation scrap this season.
You talk about shooting yourself in the foot, and make no mistake about it, this was a relegation type performance by our team at home today – they were that bad.
We’ll have to wait and see which team turns up at Upton Park next week – Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
Newcastle United: Krul; Perch (Ranger, 89), Williamson, Coloccini, Enrique; Barton, Guthrie (Routledge, 66), Tiote, Gutierrez; Carroll, Lovenkrands (Ameobi, 60). Subs not used: Krul, Kadar, R Taylor, Smith.
Wigan: Al Habsi; Boyce, S Caldwell, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Stam, Gomez, Stam (Cleverley, 80), McCarthy, N’Zogbia (Diame, 90); Di Santo (Rodellega, 66). Subs: Kirkland, Watson, Boselli, Moses.
Goals: N’Zogbia 22, 23, Ameobi 72, Coloccini 90
Bookings: Tiote 55, Figueroa 85
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)