Manchester City v Newcastle United – Match Report
Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0
Saturday 30 March 3pm
Watch Video Highlights Here
The match at the Etihad reminded me a little bit of sitting in the waiting room at the dentist.
You know the pain is coming and any extra bonus time you get before it actually happens, only delays the inevitable.
Newcastle United have never been a team built on defence, maybe the closest we have ever got was in that opening spell last season when the settled back five of Krul, Simpson, Colo, Staylor and Raylor gave us a great kickstart to the campaign. However, we’ve never had a Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Adams, Winterburn style defence and why kid ourselves we can pick up points with those tactics?
I can recall the odd match such as fighting draws against Arsenal when Dyer scored and away at Chelsea in the relegation season but rarely does it serve any useful purpose.
Speaking of Gabriel Obertan…what possible use is he?
There seems to be a pattern of him playing dismally and getting dropped, then a month or two later he is suddenly back in the team, I know we had injuries today but I despair when I see him on the pitch.
You could say that United did ok for forty or so minutes but I think it was as much down top City’s acceptance of their neighbours having already won the title, than anything Newcastle contributed.
Having said that, the defence stood up well as the midfield dropped right back on top of them, giving City every encouragement to camp around our box and you just knew the incisive pass would come at some time.
While Newcastle aimlessly hoofed it forward to zero effect, Cisse did strike the post from an acute angle from a lovely Anita floated pass.
That though was about it before the game was over as a contest, Obertan failing to get back on his man whose low cross was met by Tevez at the far post with Elliot maybe not making the best effort to try and intercept, though the damage was probably already done.
That was Newcastle’s negative tactics beaten and Silva then found space to lash in a second on the stroke of half-time.
Perch for Obertan saw Newcastle start the second half brightly and a couple of half chances were topped by a Cabaye/Sissoko one two that our captain put inches past the post.
City of course then go up the other end and get a cheap deflected goal from a corner and it is four with over twenty minutes left, Elliot beaten by Toure at his near post.
A defeat was possibly predictable but Alan Pardew may reflect on the negative tactics that were almost certainly only going to bring on that one outcome.
With the players available, unless you could somehow get Cabaye forward to help Cisse and Sissoko then it was never going to be a pleasurable watching experience.
Alan Pardew seems to have two main distinct ways of playing that are total extremes. We have the so negative style we saw against City and then there is the pressing high up the pitch and going man for man to try and compete for the ball in the opposition half.
Probably neither style would have suited playing City and I get the feeling that Alan Pardew had next to no faith in getting a result with some of the players he had to put on the pitch against the reigning champions. Simpson, Obertan and Anita have been more or less frozen out since the January recruitment and the manager was back to the blind bravado before the game as he tried to inject confidence into players I’m guessing he knows weren’t up to it.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (Garcia 74), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Toure, Silva (Sinclair 83), Nasri (Aguero 71), Tevez, Dzeko
Newcastle United: Elliot, Simpson, Mapou, Taylor, Gutierrez, Anita, Cabaye (Bigirimana 74), Gouffran (Gosling 63), Sissoko, Obertan (Perch 46), Cisse
Unused Subs: Harper, Good, Marveaux, Campbell
Ref: Neil Swarbrick
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