Wednesday night saw the Carling Cup final 16 continue following the first set of games on Tuesday night. With both teams struggling considerably in the Premier League both were looking to bounce back from recent poor form. Newcastle in particular gave Sunderland, their fierce rivals, their first Premier League win in 9 games. City also squandered the opportunity to gain anything from their game with Chelsea after Torres snatched a late winner courtesy of a defensive mixup between the widely criticised Joe Hart and Matija Nastasić. Needless to say, both were on the prowl for a morale boosting win to propel them to the quarters.
Manchester city went into the game undoubted favourites after their 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle on the first day of the season in the Premier League, but were left praising goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon for most of the game. One particular save came against Papiss Cisse when the strike volleyed a confident effort goal bound only to see a sprawled Pantilimon palm it away. It wasn’t only excellent heroics from the city keeper denying the Magpies the lead however, as a goal was disallowed on a close offside decision.
At the end of the 90 minutes the scores finished 0-0 and Newcastle will have been undoubtably unhappy that they didn’t bury the hatchet on the game, but City remained resilient throughout. They even gained chances of their own through close efforts from Edin Dzeko early on and a particularly close curling shot from James Milner. It wasn’t until 9 minutes into extra time when City finally broke the deadlock through Negredo, then followed up shortly after with a goal from Dzeko to crush any spark Newcastle had left.
That being said, there are plenty of positives to be taken from the game from a Newcastle perspective. With the team currently sitting 11th in the Premier League and being unable to beat local rivals Sunderland who were until that game winless, managing a draw in 90 minutes against a City side displaying the likes of, Negredo, Navas and Silva to name but a few big names is a huge improvement and I’m sure Alan Pardew will be pleased with the effort his team put in despite the result. It’s also worth noting that Newcastle played without two key defenders in Coloccini and Steven Taylor, both out through injury. Obviously, Pardew did something right since the Tyneside derby defeat and despite feeling frustration at the end result, the Magpies should look to display the same levels of confident against Chelsea on Saturday if they hope to gain any points at all from a well managed and extremely talented Chelsea line-up.
Its fair to say this season has been a rocky road for the Magpies so far, but tonight’s evidence would suggest they have what it takes to challenge even one of the best clubs in the world as they so regularly have done in the past.