Manchester United v Newcastle United – Match Report
Manchester United 2
Newcastle United 1 (Cisse 62)
Well at least there was one person from Manchester inside Old Trafford, the referee!
Not suggesting any improper behaviour of course but seems very strange to pick him when you have the rest of the country to pick from.
On the picking front, Ferguson had chosen to go with six internationals in the front six positions, while at the back he went for young and largely inexperienced replacements.
Alan Pardew’s more limited resources saw fringe players supplemented by youth, with the returning Tiote and Coloccini making their starting comebacks.
While the home side controlled a lot of the possession in the first half, Newcastle still brought a threat as Shola had the measure of their young centre-backs but needed some support to feed off him. Vuckic did manage one turn and shot which narrowly went past the post but overall his lack of mobility and pace is frightening, I suppose one good thing is that he’ll never lose his pace when he’s older!
In contrast, the movement of the likes of Cleverley, Welbeck, Hernanadez and Rooney was excellent and most of the time our defence did a pretty good job in containing them. With half-time approaching it looked like Newcastle had completed half a job only for a sweeping move to let in Cleverley unmarked in the box, with Obertan left a spectator some 15 yards behind his man.
The England man/boy managed to somehow put it wide of the post but it only delayed what looked very likely, the goal when it came was from Anderson who went through a weak Gosling tackle before striding forward and hitting a very good shot from 25 yards in off the post.
Half-time was spent pondering whether Alan Pardew would change things around but he went with the same again. Newcastle actually began to look stronger and created a few decent situations but lacked a killer punch.
As the hour mark approached, Papiss Cisse was making ready to get involved when the killer blow came. The home side were allowed to pass it around the edge of the area and despite having plenty men back, Newcastle allowed Cleverley space on the edge of the box and Elliot was unlucky with Perch’s attempt at a block causing the keeper to be unsighted.
Elliot had actually made some decent saves and had little chance with the goals.
At the other end Newcastle at last found the killer touch as the two substitutes combined after only a minute on the pitch. Ferguson showing ambition to go down the left and around his man before putting a quality cross onto Cisse’s head that ended the striker’s mini drought.
If only Cisse had got on before their second but to Newcastle’s credit they played some neat football with Ferguson and Tavernier pushing up wide to stretch the game.
Half chances came and went for the likes of Shola and Gosling but it took a top notch striker to show them real quality, Cisse receiving a pass at chest height with back to goal, somehow conjured up a brilliant overhead kick that came back off the bar. Chance gone, game over.
Manchester United were left wasting time and breaking the game up, as Shola now had somebody who could feed off his physical presence. United pressed but on the break the Mancs looked dangerous with Hernandez hitting the bar in one attack.
Elliot and Perch but in decent shifts at the back while Tavernier ended up both right-back and winger as Obertan passed the buck in terms of trying to create anything. Shola put in an ok performance while in the last twenty minutes Bigirimana came on to show he won’t be in awe of any surroundings.
A bizarre atmosphere was topped off by a basketball type counting down of the final ten seconds of normal time. The high ticket prices helping to contribute to a muted atmosphere, large sections of the ground closed and over thirty thousand empty seats.
Alan Pardew will look at the benefits; decent comebacks for Tiote and Coloccini, encouraging performances from Tavernier and Bigirimana , while Elliot, Shola and Perch all put in steady displays.
Those two along with Vuckic,Gosling and Williamson just aren’t good enough.
I just hope that next season we can put out a better starting eleven in these type of matches, now that would be progress.
Manchester United: De Gea, Vermijl (Tunnicliffe 77), Keane, Wooton, Buttner (Brady 86), Fletcher, Cleverley, Anderson, Welbeck, Rooney (Powell 77), Hernandez
Newcastle United: Elliot, Perch, Williamson, Coloccini (Ferguson 61), Tavernier, Obertan, Tiote (Bigirimana 71), Gosling, Marveaux, Vuckic (Cisse 61), Shola
Unused Subs: Harper, Anita, Amalfitano, Sammy
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Manchester!!!)
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