The game was played in a downpour at St. James Park this afternoon, and as more and more water began to collect on the pitch, the referee abandoned the game after 64 minutes, with the scores level at 0-0.
Both goalkeepers made good saves in this game with Tim Krul being outstanding for Newcastle in the first half, and he made at least three excellent saves, and Yohan Cabaye again showed he could become a great player for Newcastle.
Newcastle started the game with thunder and lightning around the good looking St. James’ Park pitch.
The game got under way and young Dan Gosling made a good run into the penalty box, but was tackled nicely on the edge of the penalty box and then new boy Yohan Cabaye took a free kick which caused former Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc to save fairly easily.
On 11 minutes the ball was not cleared well by Steven Taylor, and Alberto Gilardino had a chance from just six yards out, but Tim Krul made an excellent save, but the assistant had already flagged for offside – but it was still a great save from the young Dutchman.
And the rain started to get heavier and heavier as the game progressed.
Water was beginning to gather in patches on the pitch as Jonas Gutierrez did well to put an excellent ball through to Leon Best, who ran through well but he miskicked and the ball went harmlessly wide, and it was a good chance lost by the Magpies.
And then after 28 minutes Tim Krul made another great save.
A free kick out on the right wing was taken by Andrea Lazzari and Alessandro Gamberini got to the ball just seven yards out from goal, and Krul made an unbelievable save as the 23 year-old flung himself to his right and somehow kept the ball out – we wonder if the Ditch selectors were watching this game?
And minutes later de Silvestri puts in a cross that Krul did well to punch away, and the hard working Cabaye helped by then clearing the loose ball well. Cabaye was playing in Tiote’s role of defensive midfield and it seems he can play either central role just as well, as in this game Haris Vuckic was pushing upfield.
Cabaye looks like he may turn out to be an excellent acquisition by Newcastle.
After 34 minutes Leon Best, who missed Newcastle’s best chance earlier in the game, showed excellent pace as he went for goal, but Natali defended well to take the ball away from the Coventry-born striker, before Leon could get in a shot.
The conditions were getting progressively worse as the game went on and after 39 minutes it was that man Tim Krul again who made another outstanding save for the Magpies.
The ball was held up by the water on the pitch as Coloccini tried to clear, but the ball hit Jose Enrique, and it seemed to be an own goal, but Krul went down quickly to his right and somehow kept the ball out.
Tim was in inspired form for the Magpies, and he could start in goal on Wednesday night for Holland against England at Wembley.
Half time came and Newcastle were just a little fortunate to be level at 0-0 with some excellent goalkeeping being shown by the young Dutch goalkeeper Krul, but both sides had done very well in the very difficult playing conditions.
Best players in the first half for Newcastle were Krul and French International Yohan Cabaye, who looked an excellent player for the Magpies and he cost only €5M too!
Alan Pardew made four changes at the break, and Fraser Forster, Shola Ameobi, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux replaced Tim Krul, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best and Dan Gosling.
Three minutes after the break Demba Ba almost scored as a good Danny Simpson right wing cross was headed towards goal by Ba, but the ball just went inches wide of the post – that was close!
After 50 minutes it was Fraser Forster who saved well from a snap shot from Jovetic, as the 23 year-old went down well to his left and blocked the ball and Enrique cleared.
And two minutes later it was Forster again, as Lazzari was clean through but shot straight at the goalkeeper, but Forster again got down well to take the ball.
With Fiorentina starting to get on top, Alan Pardew brought on Ryan Taylor for Peter Lovenkrands, and then Romulo hit a volley that was only just wide.
But the pitch was getting water-logged, and it was increasingly difficult for the players to pass the ball around, because it was being held up by all the water on the field.
And would you believe it, the referee Halsey abondoned the game after 64 minutes.
Alan Pardew will have seen just about enough of most of his players on display this afternoon, to know what the starting eleven will be next week against Arsenal.
The pitch should have dried out by then!