Newcastle v Leicester – On a big screen near you…
Newcastle v Leicester
Newcastle 1 Leicester 0 Saturday 18 October 3pm (4pm!)
If there was a hit list of games that had to be won this season, then this would have been pretty near the very top, though I thought that about Crystal Palace as well and we were lucky to get a point.
Nobody was helped, or maybe they were…, by the fiasco surrounding Mike Ashley’s new giant advertising screen at the Leazes End. With part of the set-up flapping proudly in the breeze, the club weren’t able to open the turnstiles due to health and safety issues, so workmen were called to nail it down (or whatever they did) and belatedly the turnstiles opened after the scheduled 3pm kick-off time and actually played started at 4pm.
Following a question at the following Monday’s Fans Forum, the club said that fans should write to them if they had a complaint – such as extra traveling costs if they had to change arrangements due to the chaos and delay, for potential compensation.
Newcastle did get the three points across the line but if this is the kind of way United are going to go about trying to save their season then it won’t make comfortable viewing.
The visitors played into Newcastle’s hands as they set up their team with very little ambition, obviously they hadn’t spent much time analysing our defending so far this season.
However, despite much huffing and puffing, the only real chance of the first half for United came with a swift counter-attack which ended with a cutback from the left which Coloccini (what was he doing there??) ended up diverting past the post when it was easier to score.
For Leicester, they offered as little threat, a similar chance to Coloccini’s leading to a simple passback to Krul, while a random cross from the left eluded the Newcastle keeper and almost crept in, only the woodwork saving a goal, his blushes and probably any possible chance of a United victory.
Three substitutions just before the hour mark changed the complexion of the match, one for Newcastle and two for Leicester.
For once Alan Pardew actually made an attacking move by replacing the woeful Anita with Ayoze Perez, while Leicester went one better by bringing on another two strikers in Vardy and Nugent but kept their main forward Ulloa on.
While Perez was lively it looked as though the visitors’ enterprise would pay off, as they began to exert control and as the game opened up and with no Tiote (injured in the warm up to add to the day’s bizarre nature) playing, United’s centre midfield was almost an open invitation for Leicester to attack with little hindrance.
On one such attack by Leicester with twenty minutes left, the ball fell to Newcastle and Papiss Cisse quickly shifted it forward to Obertan on the left. With space to work in he moved it forward before cutting inside across a couple of defenders before swivelling and striking a low right foot shot to the keeper’s right. A great solo goal and as welcome as it was surprising.
Chances at both ends but somehow there stayed only one goal in the match with smiles and relief all round.
I don’t think you would pick up many wins in the Premier League with this level of performance but beggars can’t be choosers, and we hope that these three points can lead to a bit more confidence, and enterprise creeping back into the team.
Team: Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini, Taylor, Dummett (Haidara 72), Colback, Anita (Perez 59), Sissoko, Obertan, Gouffran (Cabella 90+2), Cisse
Unused Subs: Elliot, Abeid, Ferreyra, Armstrong
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Crowd: 51,866 (3,235 Leicester)
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