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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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….”
“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…”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“League winners but do they really need all the help in the world.
“Good effort from the lads on the whole.”
“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
Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Mbemba (Merino 77), Dummett, Manquillo, Diame, Shelvey, Murphy, Aarons (Atsu 71), Joselu (Gayle 62)
Darlow, Clark, Perez, Ritchie
Crowd: 52,311 (Man City 3,000)