Just like his opposite number, Norwich boss Alex Neil wasn’t happy with the goals his team conceded on Tuesday night.
Newcastle scoring after around 23 seconds when Ayoze Perez was given the freedom of Carrow Road, getting a simple pass from Jack Colback on the edge of the box and able to turn unopposed, then put a smart finish on the end of it.
It was 80 minutes later when United at last got the very least they deserved, the pressure telling as Lascelles smartly volleyed home from beyond the far post.
In between, Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles managed to help gift two goals between them, wasting the fact that Newcastle were so dominant overall.
Alex Neil claims that ‘a draw was a fair result’ which if you simply looked at the way the scoring went, you might believe.
However, Newcastle hit the woodwork a couple of times, had 20 shots to Norwich’s eight & the Canaries scored two goals from only three efforts on target whilst Newcastle had eight, the Magpies almost twice as much (63%) possession (see stats below).
The Norwich Manager choosing after the game to claim injuries had played a major part and that he was missing up to seven key players. Alex Rae had 14 of the 18 players who had been in the squad for Saturday’s 5-1 win over Forest, also on duty against Newcastle.
It was great to see Newcastle going for it at the end as the away team, rather than sitting back and being grateful for a point.
United looked a far better team last night when getting on the front foot and great to see Dwight Gayle back on the pitch as a late substitute.
“It wasn’t enjoyable to watch – not at the end.
“We had maybe seven lads who would be in and around it not available.
“When you are playing the league leaders and you have that quality missing from your squad it proves doubly difficult.
“I thought a draw was a fair result – they had decent opportunities but we are bit disappointed with the goals we conceded because defensively we can do better than that.
“John Ruddy has to make a few saves at the end and he beats one away.
“It was two sides really going for it – either team was willing to sit in or hit on the counter.
“It really was who has the better players and that made for an entertaining, open game.
“You don’t expect to concede in the first minute and I thought we looked really nervy for five minutes.
“We made quite a few fundamental mistakes which presented Newcastle with opportunities, which is quite unlike us.
“Then equally, once we got our first goal, from then until half-time we were excellent. Our response from being down so early was great.
“When you are playing the league leaders and they score that early it can take the wind out of your sails.
“The second half we started okay but we started to sink deeper and protect what we had. The frustrating thing from that point is we don’t go and see out the game.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Norwich 2 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Perez 1, Lascelles 81
Norwich: Murphy 12, Jerome 17
Possession was Norwich 37% Newcastle 63%
Total shots were Norwich 8 Newcastle 20
Shots on target were Norwich 3 Newcastle 8
Corners were Norwich 2 Newcastle 6
Referee: Andy Madley
Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 70), Colback (Diame 54), Shelvey, Gouffran, Perez, Mitrovic (Gayle 76)
Elliot, Hanley, Gamez, Hayden
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the Norwich match go HERE)
(To view the interactive Newcastle v Norwich player ratings and to add your own go HERE)