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Phil Neville very impressed by Newcastle United : “Look at how tight they are”

5 days ago
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Phil Neville saw Newcastle United come under intense pressure but come out the other side.

The former Manchester United and England defender very impressed by many aspects of the home side’s play against Manchester City.

Phil Neville calling NUFC ‘gritty’ and ‘resilient’ in the face of Man City’s overwhelming possession.

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He believes the character of the Newcastle team shone through, with the players ending up having almost twice as many touches defending in their own box, compared to what you would normally expect.

Summing up the effort that brought a valuable point, Phil Neville declared: ‘Dubravka was brilliant today but the organisation and the spirit of that defence was first class.’

Phil Neville speaking on Match of The Day:

“They (Newcastle) were gritty, they were resilient.

“The amount of times they got blocks in front of Man City’s shots, passes in the final third, particularly in the box.

“Look at the number of touches Newcastle players had in their own defensive box, 105 touches when normally they would have had probably an average of 60.

“It showed their resilience and character.

“We have a go at defenders nowadays for being loose, for making mistakes, but the three at the back there were fantastic – Fernandez, Clark and Dummett.

“Every time it came into the box they would throw themselves at it.

“They were protected brilliantly by Shelvey and Hayden in front of them.

“Fernandez was the pick of the bunch…look at how tight they are together.

“When they (Man City) did get through, Steve Bruce said it after the game, you need your keeper to have a world class performance.

“That (last minute save from Sterling) was world class, Dubravka was brilliant today but the organisation and the spirit of that defence was first class.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2  – Saturday 30 November 12.30pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Willems 25, Shelvey 88

Man City:

Sterling 22, De Bruyne 82

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Man City 77% (78%), Newcastle 23% (22%)

Total shots were Man City 24 (9), Newcastle 6 (3)

Shots on target were Man City 9 (4), Newcastle 3 (2)

Corners were Man City 10 (4), Newcastle 1 (1)

Crowd: 49,937 (3,200 Man City)

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle team v Man City:

Dubravka, Manquillo, Fernandez, Dummett, Clark, Willems, Hayden, Shelvey, Saint-Maximin (Atsu 80), Almiron, Joelinton (Gayle 69)

Unused Subs

Darlow, Krafth, Matty Longstaff, Schar, Sean Longstaff

(Steve Bruce makes unnecessary Jonjo Shelvey comments after draw v Manchester City – Read HERE)

(John Stones says Manchester City still very much in title race despite Newcastle’s ‘Two sloppy goals’ – Read HERE)

(Pep Guardiola philosophical as Premier League title hopes end at St James Park – read HERE)

(Watch official match highlights and all four goals from Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Watch HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Manchester City 2 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

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