Newcastle United 0 Manchester United 1 Wednesday 4 March 7.45pm
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.
Otherwise it was one of those matches where other things will be talked about ahead of the actual football. Ryan Taylor came through over an hour of football on his latest comeback trail, while the biggest cheers of the day came when Jonas Gutierrez made his much anticipated return to the pitch.
The match was decided when with no goals looking nailed on, Tim Krul ruined an otherwise excellent display by gifting the ball to Ashley Young in the eighteen yard box.
At that moment he gifted both the match to Man Utd AND the man of the match to his counterpart David De Gea.
Full match report to follow.
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)