Newcastle 0 Man Utd 1   Wednesday 4 March 7.45pm

Three key moments in this match, one good and two bad.

The return of Jonas Gutierrez as a second half substitute was a special moment, even if some did harbour thoughts of a cynical ploy by Ashley/Carver to deflect some of the negativity.

Whatever the reasons, his reappearance lifted everybody off the pitch, whilst those on it were at least doing their best.

“Very pleased to be back, the result is disappointing but you know against this type of team and players, you have to concentrate for 90 minutes.

“A long time, a long wait, really pleased to be back. Really enjoyed the support of the fans, another big step on my way back.

“I want to continue and enjoy my training and play as much as I can between now and the end of the season.”

In terms of negativity the Jonny Evans/Papiss Cisse spitting contest will be one for the record books, not sure if you have had any kind of similar past incident involving spitting and/or one which leads to a thirteen match (7 Cisse due to his earlier ban v Everton) combined suspension.

In terms of the playing side, (the proper) United were looking at a deserved point from a poor game, only to see Abeid and Krul combine to throw it away.

Rooney hurried Abeid into a backpass from close range and Krul lacked distance or elevation on his hurried kick, Ashley Young left with the simple task of knocking it into the unguarded net.

It was bad enough being at St. James’ Park tonight supporting either team, never mind any poor neutrals who wandered in here expecting to see a match from the ‘greatest show on earth’.

Or should that be the greatest sham in history – is this really what TV companies have paid over £5bn to broadcast in the UK for the three years starting after next summer?

I hadn’t taken much notice of Manchester United this season but couldn’t believe three things:

They are nearly as boring as Newcastle are at the minute.

Their new signings are incapable of running with, or passing, the ball forward .

£60m signing Angel Di Maris is surely the worst signing in the history of the Premier League.

As for the match highlights?

Well apart from the alleged spitting incident between Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse

Newcastle should probably have had a penalty when Smalling appeared to take out Riviere, while Wayne Rooney was easily the most dangerous player on the pitch but was asked to do a sole role up front for the visitors.

He was always treading a fine offside line but came close on a number of occasions and was probably comfortably the best outfield player on the pitch.

At the other end, both Riviere and Cisse found themselves going close on a couple of occasions but always seemed to be just reaching for the ball. A late Cisse header almost earned a draw but David De Gea was equal to it.

“For 89 minutes we were fantastic, every player gave 100 per cent, gave everything for the shirt.”

These are the key stats as provided by BBC Sport;

Possession was 32% Newcastle and 68% Man Utd

Total shots was 9 for Newcastle and Man Utd 11

Shots on target was Newcastle 2 and Man Utd 5

While corners was Newcastle 1 and Man Utd 1

Team: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor (Gutierrez 65), Abeid, Sissoko, Obertan, Riviere (Perez 59), Ameobi (Gouffran 81), Cisse

Unused Subs: Woodman, Armstrong, Anita, Satka

Ref: Anthony Taylor

Crowd: 49,801 (3,000 Man Utd)

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