Mixed reactions overnight as the Jets lost to a last minute goal and then the Toon took on Chelsea in the Carling Cup and beat them with a second string side. To the rest of the overnight Carling Cup games first though.
Liverpool went out of the competition to League Two side Northampton, drawing 2-2 and then losing 2-4 on penalties.
Man Utd saw off Scunthorpe 5-2, however they did concede the first goal and the scoreline definitely flattered them. Scunthorpe had 25 shots but were punished for their positive tactics, getting caught on the counter attack for many of United’s goals.
West Brom surprisingly beat Man City 2-1, after coming from behind. Although City fielded many youngsters and reserves, they still finished the game with 100 million worth of talent on the field.
While Villa beat Blackburn 3-1 and Wigan defeated Preston 2-1.
Now to the TOON v Chelsea match, which ended 4-3 in an exciting encounter.
Both teams fielded virtual reserve sides, Chris Hughton making 11 changes to the team which beat Everton, while Chelsea still fielded players such as Kalou, Terry, Alex, Anelka and Benayoun. So really a great result for a mixture of fringe first-teamers and reserve youngsters. I wish I had been able to watch the game, but I have run out of downloads and it is the worst.
I watched the goals however, and although I was impressed with a few of the Toon goals, I couldn’t help feel that Chelsea’s keeper, Turnbull, is just a crap player.
Chelsea went ahead early in the game, young prospect Ranger giving the ball away, before Kakuta crossed in for Patrick van Aanholt to place the ball past Tim Krul.
However, Ranger made amends as a wonderful 20-pass move ended with the striker finishing Shane Ferguson’s cross from the left.
Five minutes later and the Magpies were ahead, Ameobi being brought down just outside the box, and Ryan Taylor stepping up to smash home a trademark free-kick. It must be said that a better keeper would have kept the shot out, or at least got a hand to the ball, but in my opinion this Turnbull guy is second rate.
Ameobi scored a brilliant goal just after the break to take the scores to 3-1. The local lad received the ball, ran at Alex and then calmly side-footed the ball home from about 20-yards. Again, I feel Cech would have had this shot covered, though you can’t take away the brilliance and accuracy of the shot. Amazing stuff from Shola.
Chelsea had used all three of their substitutes and were then reduced to ten men as Benayoun went off injured. Yet they pushed on and made the scores 3-2 as Anelka finished a van Aanholt cross.
The Toon looked like they were going to hang on to a deserved win, until Phil Dowd deemed that Tiote had pulled down Alex in the box. It was not a penalty. The softest foul I have ever seen, and it’s lucky Newcastle eventually won this tie. Anelka fooled Krul to make the scores 3-3.
Yet the Toon prevailed, Ameobi getting onto a Gutierrez corner, with an absolute peach of a header. It was brilliant, amazing stuff from the team and Ameobi’s 90th minute winner was richly deserved.
So we’re into the next round and as can be seen many top sides are already out of the competition. Really the only teams we should fear are Man Utd and Arsenal. Dare I dream of an end to the trophy drought?
To the Gold Coast v. Jets match, which I streamed, used all my downloads and now have no internet at home till the end of the month. Sweet.
The Jets went down 1-0 to a late late goal in what was a largely forgettable display of football. Both sides never reached their potential, with Gold Coast controlling most of the possession in the first half, while the Jets seemed content to sit back and soak up the pressure.
The Jets defence was well organised and their midfield players worked hard to track back, with Gold Coast limited to shots outside of the box and never really threatening Ben Kennedy. On the one occasion they did, the young keeper saved well from Barosic early in the 13th minute.
The Jets came back stronger after the break and attacked with more intent, Ali Abbas coming on for Bridges and injecting some creativity in attack. Shuo was largely unimpressive for me, I thought his final touch was lacking at times and his positional play didn’t create enough space. Haliti looked lively though, made a few nice touches and was involved in most of the Jets’ attacks, but once again the final product went missing for the Jets, especially without the inspiration of Bridges.
Zadkovich really should have taken one of two chances which came his way. Earlier he had a tough shot from a very tight angle, after Topor-Stanley had headed a corner his way, however his shot zipped across the Gold Coast goal. His next two chances should have resulted in goals, yet he opted for power with both shots, the first producing a brilliant save from Moss, the second going wide of the goal.
Gold Coast continued to dominate most of the possession, yet were still only able to muster long range shots, hoping for something to work for them. Culina, who was at the centre of all Gold Coast’s attacks, was particularly guilty of being too shot-happy. However, in the 89th minute their tactics worked, with former Man Utd trainee John Curtis making a run from right back and smashing a beautiful shot with his left foot past Ben Kennedy and in off the upright.
It wasn’t exactly a deserved win, despite the Gold Coast having most of the ball, their lack of a final product makes for a very boring spectacle. The Jets meanwhile, didn’t get into their stride, produced a very poor and conservative first half, followed but some intent and action in the second but just not enough quality. Zadkovich really should have scored though, and it is a bitter defeat to take.
That is it.