Newcastle’s vulnerability in defense again cost us points this afternoon, after a first half in which Manchester City took a 2-0 lead and it could have been much worse for Newcastle before the break – as the often tore the Newcastle defense apart – does this sound familiar? But then the lads made a spirited comeback and looked good and Ba scored for Newcastle before more woeful defending allowed Yaya Toure to score Manchester’s third goal and take all 3 points.
Newcastle made an excellent start to this game and Joe Hart was in his England form to keep the scores level in the first 9 minutes of this game, but then a slick move by Manchester City tore the Newcastle defense wide open and Aguero was able to tap the ball home to give City the lead, and that was against the run of play.
But Newcastle were vulnerable in defense and there were several times that Manchester tore the Newcastle defense to shreds in the first half, and then Manchester went two up after 39 minutes following a corner – another set play – when Javi Garcia headed the ball home, and Davide Santon couldn’t clear the ball off the line.
Alan pardew will not be at all happy with that sloppy defending once again be the Magpies’ rearguard.
Half time came and it did not look good for Newcastle who had played quite well in that first half, but our defense continued to leak poor goals.
But then the lads came storming back in the second half and took the game to City, and they looked a much better outfit in the second half, and then after 51 minutes Demba Ba got his 11th goal of the season after Fabricio Coloccini had lofted the ball into the penalty area and Demba Ba headed the ball strongly home. An excellent effort from Ba.
And just two minutes after Ba scored Papiss Cisse blazed the ball over the bar, when he had a clear chance in front of goal and should have done a lot better – but he laid back and hit the ball over the cross-bar – it was the miss of the match and if that had gone in who knows what would have happened.
But as seems custom lately, Newcastle then conceded another terrible goal when somehow Zabaleta had oceans of room down the left wing – as Danny Simpson seem to invite him into the space (what was he thinking?) – and the Argentine cut the ball back for Yaya Toure to hit the ball home to make it 3-1.
It was something like the goal Toure scored in the 2-0 win in May. But it was again Newcastle ‘s poor defending that means we have now lost six of our last seven matches in the league, but the fight of the Newcastle side after the break will give Geordie fans some hope.
And Vurnon Anita played an excellent game – his best in a Newcastle shirt – and he was at the heart of most of Newcastle’s attacks, as he took all the free kicks and corners, and he worked his socks off today for the Geordie cause – he’s starting to look an excellent player.
Bu just like at Stoke and at Fulham, woeful defending cost Newcastle this game, when the midfield and forwards were pressing the opposition in the second half, and until we fix our defensive problems – we will still be in big trouble – as we are now with just 14 points from 17 league games and just 4 points from the last 24.
In our relegation season after 17 games we had 19 points – 5 points better off than we are now.
But we can take some comfort from a spirited second half performance, even though we ended up losing our eighth league game of the season.
Next up is QPR – and if we cannot beat the London side we’ll be in even more trouble.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Shane Ferguson 82), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; James Perch, Cheick Tiote (Sylvain Marveaux 75), Vurnon Anita; Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79), Demba Ba, Jonas Gutierrez
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Gael Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Joe Hart; Pablo Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Matija Nastasic, Gael Clichy; Javi Garcia, Yaya Toure (c); Samir Nasri (Aleksandar Kolarov 37, Edin Dzeko 72), Sergio Aguero, David Silva; Carlos Tevez (Joleon Lescott 79)
Subs not used: Costel Pantilimon, Karim Rekik, Abdul Razak, Scott Sinclair
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Bookings: Newcastle – Williamson (15), Simpson (27), Perch (56); Manchester City – Aguero (37), K Toure (55)
Attendance: 49,579 (2,718)