Newcastle 0 Manchester City 0  – Wednesday 27 December 2017 7.45pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle.

A very one-sided match as Rafa had his team sitting back but the final 15 minutes almost seeing Newcastle snatch a draw.

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“Don’t really think anyone criticising the approach tonight truly understands football, or certainly the current state of the Premier League.

“It was a superbly spirited effort and we go again Saturday in a much more winnable fixture.

“Stay behind the lads, I feel things are starting to turn.”

Paul Lyon:

“Nee disgrace in how we played this evening, we had a clear plan and stuck to it admirably.

“A bit like the Gallowgate End ball boys I just wish we went seeking the ball a bit more and mebbies got into them a bit more.

“We were in the game right up the final whistle and you never know on another day we might have snatched a point.

“On to Saturday where we focus on getting 3 points which would take our pre-New Year total above 20 points.”

Jamie Swan:

“Well, as much as I’d like to see us play West Ham every week, the opposite is said for Man City.

“A team full of thirty to fifty million pound players in every position playing oot their skin, meant it would be a solid day at the office.

“Rafa pulled a couple of curve balls with selection and formation and the tactic of letting City have the ball in their half without challenge was a tough watch in the first half hour.

“There is a balance to be had and we didn’t get it quite right. Sat far too deep and it was like City had landed from Mars for training.

“As soon as we conceded the lads started to try and make it more uncomfortable.

“After all the graft, in truth it was a poor goal for us to let in with Sterling waltzing past Yedlin and Mbemba like they were akip.

“Second half we did as best as we could and we made it really uncomfortable though rode our luck a little bit.

“Rafa made some timely subs, Atsu is on fire at the minute and caused some real problems with Dwight (but why did he effing dive?).

“Very proud in the end overall. Worked their spuds off to a man. Bigger fish to fry next.

“All the best for 2018.”

Toon Bano:

“We missed a trick there.

“When we finally decided to show some attacking threat, we showed we could hurt a centre back pairing of Otamendi & Fernandinho.

“Our approach was far too defensive. There’s keeping your shape but then there’s an attack vs defence training session and the first 30 mins was the latter.

“We had all the luck as Aguero was off, they hit the post countless times, but we didn’t attempt to take advantage enough.

“Losing 0-1 on paper is a decent scoreline but if we had tried to score earlier and lost 0-2 would it feel better, or as frustrating as it does now?

“As for Gayle, why don’t you shoot?!!! Although I will say this. If that was Aguero at the Etihad, people would be saying there was contact….”

Nat Seaton:

“We only lost 1-0!!!

“Can’t say I agree with such negative tactics but if we’d pinched a goal at the end I would have been happy!!

“Here’s hoping we play to win against Brighton…”

Jamie Smith:

“This is annoying in a way because if we’d shown this level of application and determination against lesser clubs we’d be in a far less threatened position.

“No concern over losing to them, they’re basically a fantasy football team who are already Champions.

“The team was blatantly set up for damage limitation and focus on keeping something back for Brighton on Saturday. Fair enough, but we must beat Brighton now.

“Can’t deny City deserves it, ironically the decisive goal was very avoidable and a bit of a switch off.

“Special mention to Paul Dummett who I thought was excellent on his return to the team, but further emphasis on the need for reinforcements.

“Next month could well define the future of this club.”

David Punton:

“Two great clubs. Two great managers. One hopelessly funded side, the other with stupid amounts of cash.

“This is why Man City, the away side, enjoyed 78% possession this evening while we battled for 22%. The posts preventing the margin of defeat being larger.

“This City side go through the gears. We did our best tonight, even if the team Rafa picked once more raised eyebrows.

“The message to the players: they have to keep going.

“I alluded to a season of slog and that’s what we have. A slog to reach Premier League safety.”

Ben Cooper:

So what was the point of that?

“Probably the most positive word to describe it was ‘boring’, the most negative, the way I feel, ’embarrassing’.

“For those of you who think that we may have been resting players for a win on Saturday or following some sort of tactical masterplan, I admire your optimism/faith.

“For those of you who think that we have to be realistic in the way we approach games against £400million teams, realistically they could have scored 8. Realistically we didn’t even try to win the game.

“We set out to not get hammered and that is what happened.

“Brilliant, keeps me warm at night that.

“We played well in the last 15 minutes, which makes it even harder to watch the first 75.

“After my last game post v West Ham someone wondered whether I had watched the game. Well I watched today and I wonder why I bothered.”

Paul Patterson:

“League winners but do they really need all the help in the world.

“Good effort from the lads on the whole.”

Anthony Stafford:

“What have we learned from this?

“Moan city are a very good team with a nasty cynical streak…Andre Marriner never never does us any favours and wouldn’t have looked out of place in a blue shirt.

“The gulf between the teams is huge, we allow them the ball and we are clueless, repeatedly turning the ball over and allowing them to play.

“Why did we not do anything until the last 5 minutes?”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Manchester City 1


Man City: Sterling 31

Possession was Man City 78% Newcastle 22%

Total shots were  Man City 21 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Man City 6 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Man City 8 Newcastle 3

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Mbemba (Merino 77), Dummett, Manquillo, Diame, Shelvey, Murphy, Aarons (Atsu 71), Joselu (Gayle 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Perez, Ritchie

Crowd: 52,311 (Man City 3,000)

  • Virsino

    “For those of you who think…” Ben, offer your opinion on the match, and don’t worry about what the rest of us think. We don’t need you to admire anything about what we think!

  • fistsofsteel2

    Pathetic and embarrassing tactics from Rafa.

    – at least Mitro has finally exposed the liars.

    Rafa out.

    • anyobrien

      Good effort mate you must try much harder

      • fistsofsteel2

        You’re obviously happy with St. Rafa getting us relegated.

        • anyobrien

          And sleep…. Zzz zzzz

        • BinTanG

          Hey.. how solid is ur fist? How did you make it into steel?
          Can u punch a hole through a solid brick wall?
          Are you a secret super hero?

    • Geordiegiants

      Enjoy league one 😃.

  • Leazes Ender

    I’ve never witnessed in my life the total abandonment of football for the sake of trying to get something…. a manager so understanding the David versus Goliath scenario that he says to the away team who had stepped off a shuddering Air trip to Tyneside….

    …….’Here’s the Ball, its yours, please don’t hurt us’….

    ….Cheer or Weep you decide!

    • gallowgate26

      What do you suggest then? That he went for it and get hammered by 5 or 7 on the counter? ‘Cause that’s what would have happened, that would help our goal difference and self-esteem of the players? We are not even in the same league as Citeh anymore, may as well accept it. It’s not a level playing field and we shouldn’t be fooled by Guardiola or the media or PL or Citeh fans or anyone else that it is. Better to tell it like it is and have some respect for them, highlight the position.

      • TheFatController

        I think they want us to follow the Swansea approach – 4-0 to City then 5-0 to Liverpool.

        You can really light up social media comments with heavy defeats like that.

        So maybe Rafa’s denying them a good moan about goal difference with us staying in the game til the end…

      • Leazes Ender

        I’m just saying that I’ve never witnessed a game like that…. ever….. this is a milestone moment…. I really don’t know what to make of it… had we not conceded then the tactics (sic) would have prevailed….

        …. its probably genius… but it hasn’t sunk in yet.

        ….and its also a statement of Rafa’s validation of his squad.

        • Queff

          No it’s not genius. That’s why the commentary on sky was slating it. Gary Neville, who was one of the best full backs in the world and knows what he’s talking about, said he’s never seen such a negative performance in his career.

          • Jezza

            Neville is a complete clown who failed spectacularly in his brief time in football management. Like the rest of the pundits who work for the evil Sky Sports organisation that destroyed football in this country he is just bitter that the big spending trendy glamour team didn’t win by a much bigger score.

          • gallowgate26

            Gary Neville couldn’t manage a pub team…

          • Rich Lawson

            Or Valencia !

  • gallowgate26

    Well our goal difference is still better by at least 2 than all of the five teams below us. So maybe it wasn’t such a bad tactic to shut up shop with one eye on Saturday. Marriner was a disgrace, he may as well have gone the whole hog and worn a blue shirt. Bottled a penalty decision and booked Gayle for diving! I would love to see the replays of that. We could have had a point at the end. Oh I forgot, we don’t get penalties do we, not for two years! I don’t even know who our penalty taker is. Is the last penalty taker still at the club even?

    • Leazes Ender

      We don’t get penalties…. its an unwritten rule of the FA and the Referees Association. …. its isn’t just me saying it then…..we don’t get the marginal decisions.

    • Queff

      Everyone is agreeing with him that it was a stonewall dive you clown. I don’t think really think we deserved anything upon watching that, do you?

  • anyobrien

    Well not disgraced tactics spot on, subs on time and we nearly snatched a point.
    City can hurt you at any time of the game there passing is sublime and also the movement on and off the ball… Massive game Saturday that I’ll think we will win.
    We are a much better team with lascells in it and dummy is steady away… Ktf

  • TheFatController

    Makes you wonder why the other 17 clubs on that run didn’t ‘just do something more’ also…

    ‘Hey, just turn it on at the end. That’s how you score against City…. can’t believe you can’t do it….keep them to just the one (happens all the time), then just equalise at the death

    Football’s a simple game it seems.

    Credit to us for giving them some real nerves at the end. Yes they hit the post a few times, but the Rafa doubters didn’t give hitting the post quite as much credibility after the Everton game I notice.

  • Alex

    Tonight wasn’t a comprehensive walk in the park for Citeh. We’re light years behind them and tactics had to be employed accordingly – and it wasn’t a million miles away from being pulled off.

    The lads got some confidence back at the weekend, and despite this defeat, they will take a bit more confidence from tonight. Brighton is the one that really matters.

  • BinTanG

    A lot of arm chair managers/ tacticions here… rafa did the right thing.. the approach was right. The players he chose were right.. he did whats best for the club. Our goal difference could have taken a battering. We are fighting relegation.. nowadays goal difference can be the difference between survival and relegation. 1-0 is not a bad result despite the stats and besides we played a squad worth more than our entire club.(financially).. I reckon we did well…

  • Cuh

    Gayle should be dropped for that dive. Our only bloody chance.
    Mitrovic would have been a gem at the end of the game, getting a header or two.
    After watching Aarons, I wonder why Murphy is in the team.
    Merino clearly did more than Shelvey
    Shelvey is a guaranteed starter even despite a bullshit performance like that
    Clark should have played ahead of Mbemba
    Diame should never have been in the match day squad

    Rafa gets selections terribly wrong.

    • GlasgowMag

      If only, if only, if only!!! please get a life mate It would’nt of mattered who played last night this was damage limitation. How many teams in this league would have been happy going into the last 15mins against City 1-0 down on their current form. No I’m not happy with the first 30mins but this is the cards our wonderfull owner has dealt no investment, no leadership, no clue. Good idea drop our best striker Gayle for Mitro for the game against Brighton master stroke. Stick to your fantasy football mate and let Rafa get on with the job at hand. Ps just my opinion but Murphy had a better game than Aarans last night!!!

  • Cuh

    And just like the Arsenal game, we were pummelled. The fact that the score was 1-0 was only down to luck. On another day, it would have been 5. I can’t praise such rubbish tactics

  • Mayor Vaughn

    So if we’d gone for it and opened the game up we would have let 5-6 goals in maybe more, Man City have hammered far better teams than us, no shame in trying to not get beat for me. I think some fans need to be a bit more pragmatic ffs.

    • TheFatController

      So when City win by 4,5,6,7 they are not missing any chances, unlike tonight ….?

      • Mayor Vaughn

        Our tactics have nothing to do with their poor shot to goal ratio,not our problem. I just wonder if the fans that are moaning would’ve been waking up slightly happier this morning if we’d been beat by 5 or 6 and maybe sneaked a “consolation” but at least we’d “had a go”. Goal difference may well be a factor in a few months time. Again some pragmatism may be useful.

    • Jezza

      Agreed entirely. Goal difference could ultimately be crucial in deciding the relegation battle.

      • HarryHype59

        Alas, relegation battles are a regular feature of life under Ashley.

  • Damon Horner

    Tactics were always to be in the game late on and unleash Gayle and Atsu to attack the spaces in their half and it nearly come off. Any team that attacks or presses City just get played around and the ball worked into the box so something different had to be tried even it it did rely a bit on luck.

    • Paul Patterson

      Spot on. Attack Man City and 9 times out of ten you’ll get smashed. Tactics were right for the game. Some people need to realise that we aren’t on an even playing field with this lot.

  • Gatesheed Mag

    Why don’t you post Gary Neville’s commentary from the game? 6 passes In the first 10 minutes. 6. Embarrassing. That’s not premier league football. There’s parking the bus then there’s not even trying to play football. Man City are reknowned for being dodgy at the back.. so let’s just sit with 10 outfield players in our own box and let them press all game. These players can’t possibly enjoy playing for Rafa. Boring negative tactics then claiming they aren’t good enough week in out week out saying he needs massive investment.. yet there’s teams above us who’ve spent less than us

    • Phil

      Renowned for being dodgy at the back??? Have a look at the league table. Have a look at the column showing goals conceded. This will show in black and white. They are far from dodgy at the back

  • FairsCup69

    Total embarrassment. At least the first 30 mins were. Man City are really good but did they look any better when we attempted to play against them? First 30 mins we lost 0-1. Last 60 mins we drew 0-0.

  • Toon

    If Rafa had went for it last night and lost by 5/6fans would be crying their eyes out demanding to know why we didn’t keep it tight etc. The bloke can’t really win, the ‘Keegan’ brigade in our fan base will always whinge no matter what

    • FairsCup69

      I’ve never seen anything like it. The first 30 mins were unbelievable.

  • tony brotherton

    Tactically we played it right but horrible to watch we were only ever going to get a couple of chances to score and we fluffed them. we only need to beat the teams around use to survive so this was a good training exercise for the team and they did show discipline . perhaps we could have gone for them with 15-20 to go rather than 5-10. Brighton Stoke and Swansea results will define our season not this one

  • HarryHype59

    That match shows why the EPL TV bubble will eventually pop. A more boring one sided game I have yet to see!

    Man City are turning this league into the SPL. How they pass FFP rules is bizzare.

    • gallowgate26

      Agree. The question is not ‘will it pop’, rather ‘where will your club be when it does pop’. Begrudgingly our club is in a financially healthy position if it were to pop tomorrow. At the expense of competitive talent on the pitch of course. It may be though that we can afford to pay our players when 5 clubs in the PL suddenly can’t and we are either promoted/voted back in from the championship, or find ourselves moving up 5 places in the PL!!

      • HarryHype59

        The lack of competitive talent could result in yet another relegation and the loss of £100m minimum TV dosh! The club will be trying to cover premiership wages on championship income streams!

  • Mike

    awful first half…. the first time ive seen 11 players behind the half way line at home! We were beaten before kick off with those tactics. even when we got the ball it was hoofed up to no one. a horrible advert for football. the ironic cheers when we made a successful pass just about sums it up. Gayle needs his backside kicking it was never a pen. the only time the ref got something rite. i thought id seen some awful crp in 50 years but surely most folk would like us to at least play football?

    • FairsCup69

      Atmosphere in town before hamd was equally bizarre. Pockets of Mancunian scallies shouting about their hatred of Man United.