Newcastle should have won this game rather easily, but instead came away with a single point – our first sway draw of the season, and we had Loic Remy sent off after 81 minutes – so he will now miss the next three games.
And that means Remy will miss the game against Sunderland at home on Saturday afternoon, and with Remy (11 goals) and Cabaye (7) both out, and they are our two top goalscorers, we’ll have some trouble scoring on Saturday.
Newcastle pressed Norwich throughout this game and with 9 minutes to go and Newcastle looking for the one goal that would have won the game, Remy and Bradley Johnson got into a pushing and shoving match and both players were sent off.
And Alan Pardew will be furious with Remy, and rightly so, and it’s only in this game that we finally got Mathieu Debuchy back, after his sending off at West Brom.
But Newcastle have again shot themselves in the foot – we are selling our best player – Yohan Cabaye – halfway through the season – rather than wait until the summer – and now our top scorer is now unavailable for the next three games.
But to be fair to the lads, they put in a very good performance tonight – it’s just that we couldn’t get a goal, and we missed the chances we continually created against a weak Norwich City side – it was 2 points dropped tonight.
Bottom line – it was a very good performance but a poor result.
And we could even have lost this game, as goalkeeper Tim Krul was forced to make a superb save in the very last minute, and that sometimes happens when you’ve had all the chances, the other side scores out of nothing.
Norwich also hit a post, while Newcastle hit each post and the cross-bar just to make it very symmetrical.
And Ben Arfa ran at the Norwich defense all night, and caused them all kinds of problems, and he had a good game, but the Frenchman was also guilty of a glaring miss from just 10 yards out in the first half.
And young Sammy Ameobi also had a good game, and Sammy could well get some chances during the run-in to the season.
There was a “Support The Team, Not The Regime” banner that was unfolded shortly into the game, and that’s what we used to say during our promotion season - and that worked well enough.
And we still have very good players, and this was a good professional performance from the Newcastle side and they looked a good side, but we just couldn’t get that winning goal.
Newcastle started the game quickly and passed the ball around well, and if we could only have got an early goal against a nervous Norwich side it would have made all the difference.
Norwich’ uncertainty almost cost them after 22 minutes, when goalkeeper Ruddy shoved Remy’s cross onto center-back Bradley Johnson, and the ball hit the left hand post.
And then only minutes later, Sissoko gave the ball to Remy down the left wing, and Remy cut in and hit a beautiful shot against the post as Norwich were rocking.
Newcastle should have been up at the half, and the lads continued to create chances in the second half, and the bottom line was that this was not our day (or should that be our night) and we had no luck at all – and we were much the better side throughout this contest.
Newcastle’s form tonight was promising, but the late sending off of Remy could be a hammer blow to Newcastle – certainly in the next three games – as Remy looked right back in form too.
And we had to thank goalkeeper Tim Krul for preserving the point when Robert Snodgrass’ header was on it’s way into the bottom corner of the goal when Tim somehow cleared the ball.
A good performance but a poor result – given Newcastle were much the better side tonight.
It’s Sunderland next up on Saturday ,and maybe Shola will get his chance to be a hero against the Black Cats – in what will probably be his very last derby game against the old enemy.
Norwich City (4-4-2): John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Robert Snodgrass, Leory Fer, Bradley Johnson, Anthony Pilkington (Nathan Redmond 71); Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Johan Elmander 71), Gary Hooper (Alexander Tettey 84)
Subs not used: Mark Bunn, Steven Whittaker, Javier Garrido, Luciano Becchio
Newcastle (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor, Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote (c), Moussa Sissoko; Hatem Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 75), Loic Remy, Sammy Ameobi
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Dan Gosling, Adam Armstrong
Referee: Chris Foy (Lancashire)
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