Newcastle United went down 1-0 away to Man City last night, though the game was marred by a horrific injury to Hatem Ben Arfa.
The France International suffered a suspected broken leg in the 5th minute of the match, after a reckless Nigel de Jong tackle sent him to the ground. The break is yet to be confirmed, but Ben Arfa looked in pain and had to leave the field with the assistance of oxygen.
Coloccini also went off injured mid-way through the first half with a groin strain, allowing Sol Campbell to make his first appearance in the league for Newcastle.
Earlier Tevez had put Man City in front, after the referee judged Williamson to have brought the Argentine down inside the box. The decision was a dodgy one, as Tevez appeared to go down outside the box and Williamson looked to have got a touch on the ball.
However, the spot kick was given and Tevez smashed the ball past Krul to give the Citizens the lead.
Newcastle were level within minutes though, with Gutierrez scoring a wonderful individual goal, assisted by a bit of luck. His run into the final third and cross was only half-cleared by Kompany and the winger regathered the ball and smashed it into the roof of the net.
Newcastle looked solid, with Tiote once again putting in a solid shift in the defensive midfield role. I really like the look of him and he’ll definitely be an important part of the team this year. Big Sol also managed to organise the defence well upon replacing Coloccini.
Mancini could see his side were struggling to break down the Toon defence and he made his first change just 10 minutes into the second half, Adebayor replacing Yaya Toure.
Man City were still no closer to finding a winner and it looked like the Toon would grab a deserved point. Johnson then came on to replace Barry, and within three minutes of his introduction the promising winger had given City the lead with a brilliant strike.
Cutting in from the right hand side he danced through the Newcastle defence and then unleashed a fierce low effort which went through the legs of Williamson and nestled into the corner of Krul’s net. It was tough on the Magpies however it was a fine strike.
Newcastle responded with Carroll coming on for Nolan as Hughton threw on his last substitute. Carroll had been left on the bench as Ameobi was rewarded for his brace against Chelsea in the Carling Cup. However it has been reported that Carroll is still nursing an ankle injury and was therefore rested.
The big striker didn’t have any opportunities, though the Magpies should have had a penalty late in the game.
Ameobi controlled the football in the City box, and then had his right leg blatantly taken from under him by Joleon Lescott. However the ref somehow deemed the challenge not worthy of a penalty and waved play on. Fucking ridiculous.
Williamson then had a fantastic opportunity right at the death, however he managed to head a Joey Barton corner over the bar, despite being completely open and only 5 yards out.
That was it and Chris Hughton was rightly fuming after the match. Firstly the Tevez pen was not a pen. The challenge was made outside the box, and Williamson looked to have got a touch on the ball. Then the denial of a stonewall penalty late in the game was a joke. How you can’t give that as a penalty I’ll never know, both the ref and his assistant had perfect views of the incident as well.
The performance definitely deserved better then a loss to this millionaire lot. And the Ben Arfa injury just makes things worse, not to forget the Coloccini injury as well.
The lads were great and if we can keep putting in shifts like this we’ll have no problems staying up. However, games such as the Stoke and Blackpool ones are the matches we have to win, while trips to Man City aren’t expected to give us any joy. So improvements against opposition that are equal or inferior to us is more important right now than matching the big boys..
Meanwhile in other quick Toon news, Carroll is expected to get his first call-up to the England national team. It might be a bit early for the young striker, but with injury problems to many of the England side’s target men, he could get a chance to make his debut, barring injury problems that is.