Date:Monday October 20 2008
St James Park
Mark Hughes Makes two changes to the side that lost to Liverpool. Ben-Haim comes in for the suspended Zabaleta, and Hamman comes in for Elano.
The game started rather slow, with city holding the majority of the possession. However the first sight of a chance came for Newcastle. A free-kick on the outside left of the penalty area was taken by Geremi, who missed the target by a couple of inches.
However on the 11th minute, City where awarded a rather controversial penalty. If you ever needed evidence on how incompetent Referees are these days, here`s a prime example. Shaun Wright-Phillips played the through ball, into the path of Robinho who has hauled to the ground by the defender. However from a different angle, it is clear Beye, the Newcastle defender touched the ball. From the spot-kick Robinho stepped up, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, and city were one goal up, and one man up. Surely it`s easy from here on?
Man City kept the ball extremely well for the next twenty minutes, slick and quick passes where produced, but failed to really trouble the Toon Army.
How they were made to pay for not creating many chances. The odd Newcastle attack, found its way to Duff, whose cross was cleared by Dunne, only to rebound back off the Irish man, and find its way to Ameobi, who found the back of the net, even if his shot went the total opposite direction to where he wanted it.
Halftime approached and I can honestly say I would not like to be a fly on the wall in the City dressing room, Mark Hughes Looked Furious!
Forget Mark Hughes team talk, what ever the Newcastle Boss said to his players obviously worked. The Toon started the brighter, and Man City was looking like the team that played the second half of last season. They lacked any sort of penetration and failed to test given for the first 15 minutes.
However it`s good to know one of Manchester City players could find the net. City conceded a corner in the 63rd minute. The corner connected with a sweet strike, from none other than Richard Dunne. I am beginning to believe the captain is 'Dunne and dusted, and is more of a championship player now. 2-1, Newcastle.
Robinho was truly awful today and his several attempts from around 25 yards were more reminiscent to a League One player, rather than a record breaking transferred player.
Micah Richards was then brought off after sustaining an ankle injury. Its not yet known if it was precautionary, or whether it`s a bad injury.
Time past and you were just beginning to get the feeling City was not going to produce anything at all. The performance was absolutely dreadful, right up into the 86th minute.
However on that minute Man City produced a great piece of play. Robinho played the ball through to Ireland who clipped it past the keeper. Ireland then had another chance to wrap up all three points but chose to shoot from a tight angle instead of playing it across goal.
The final score may have been 2-2, but with a performance like that, Mark Hughes and the team should feel disgraced. Newcastle where down to 10 men and City dominated the first half, and should have produced more than they did. Robinho`s certainly finished his honeymoon period and in my opinion based on that performance is only worth half of his price-tag, and as for Dunne, Onouha, Ben-Haim, and Jo to some extent, they were simply not good enough.
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Date:Monday October 20 2008
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