For the first 40 minutes yesterday everything was working well for Newcastle.
Great shot of Alan Pardew and Roberto Mancini yesterday
But it was a little ominous when Demba Ba had two good chances and missed them both.
For the first one, he was put through brilliantly by the impressive Ben Arfa, but his first time shot brought an excellent save from England goalkeeper Joe Hart to keep the ball out.
The second chance was a free header from a Yohan Cabaye right wing corner, and Ba’s header was wide of Hart’s left hand post, and he should have done better with that chance.
But we were thinking that if Newcastle could get to half time at 0-0, we could come at them a bit in that second half.
But two unusual mistakes by the Newcastle defense, and both by Ryan Taylor, gave them a penalty after 41 minutes with a handball, and then Micah Richards was allowed to shoot, when the ball should have been cleared by Ryan.
Whether the Ryan Taylor gaffes will make Alan Pardew take a good hard look at David Santone this week in training, we don’t know, but we think Newcastle will now stand a much better chance of getting something out of Old Trafford on Saturday, after yesterday’s performance.
That’s because our lads will make doubly sure they cut out the mistakes at the back, which cost us so heavily yesterday with three goals.
As some readers have sent me emails – a draw at Old Trafford and a win at home to Chelsea in the next two tough games would be great.
But we cannot start making defensive mistakes like we saw yesterday, when a third mistake by Ben Arfa after 72 minutes gave another penalty away, and we were 3-0 down and game over.
Newcastle missed some opportunities when Danny Guthrie brought a good save out of Joe Hart, and Ben Arfa showed amazing skill as he wiggled his way through into the penalty box, but his right foot shot saw the ball rebound off a post.
Captain Coloccini also had a great shot blocked from a corner, before Dan Gosling got Newcastle’s goal on 88 minutes, to at least make the score a little more respectable.
But Newcastle suffered yesterday because they did things that they haven’t done much of this season – commit defensive mistakes.
It could be that they were caused by the incessant pressure put on our lads by Man City yesterday, who looked a very good side.
But this will tell Alan Pardew where the Newcastle weaknesses still lie, and it does look like Ryan may not be able to play at the highest level, but it’s just one game, and we don’t expect manager Pardew to over-react.
Indeed if Ryan Taylor keeps his place we could see him put in a stellar game at Old Trafford.
Alan’s game plan was excellent yesterday, but it’s hard to plan against individual errors, and that’s what really beat Newcastle yesterday – our own errors – three of them to be exact.
But this shouldn’t hit the Newcastle players’ confidence too much, and we look forward to the Manchester United game – maybe we can even win that one – with a little luck we didn’t have yesterday.
We should have Cheick Tiote, Gabriel Obertan and Leon Best back for Saturday, and available for selection and we expect Newcastle to give it their all again on Saturday!
We don’t feel too bad about the defeat yesterday, and certainly at the end of the game yesterday, we were proud of our lads, who gave it 100% effort once again.
Howay The Lads!!