Magpies escape with point
Ba's controversial penalty seals draw for Newcastle
Last Updated: November 26, 2011 5:41pm
The decision to award Newcastle a penalty shocked Manchester United
Newcastle held on with ten men for a 1-1 draw against Manchester United after coming from behind at Old Trafford with the help of a controversial penalty.
The Magpies may have lost at the Etihad Stadium last weekend but they demonstrated on their return to Manchester the qualities that have helped them make such a strong start to the season, as Sir Alex Ferguson's men were frustrated in a goalless first half.
Ryan Giggs came close to breaking the deadlock with a clever flick that was brilliantly saved by Tim Krul, but it was by no means one-way traffic as Newcastle threatened sporadically themselves.
The real drama arrived after the interval, with Manchester United taking the lead on 49 minutes when Steven Taylor's attempted clearance ricocheted off Javier Hernandez and trickled back over the line.
While Newcastle may have considered themselves unfortunate to fall behind in such fashion, a remarkable decision from the match officials gave them a lifeline just after the hour mark.
Referee Mike Jones appeared to signal for a corner after what looked like a good tackle by Rio Ferdinand on Hatem Ben Arfa in the area, but after receiving advice from his assistant a penalty was awarded instead.
Demba Ba stepped up to slot home the spot-kick and set up a gripping finale, which turned into a Manchester United onslaught after Jonas Gutierrez's sending-off for a second bookable offence.
Krul pulled off a couple more magnificent saves, Ashley Young hit the post, Danny Simpson cleared the ball off the line and Hernandez had a goal disallowed as Newcastle somehow clung on to dent Manchester United's title hopes.
The result means Manchester City can go seven points clear if they win at Liverpool on Sunday.
When he replaced Chris Hughton as Newcastle boss midway through last season, Alan Pardew could not have received a more unenthusiastic welcome on Tyneside.
Sir Alex Ferguson felt Newcastle's 12th managerial appointment since the departure of his old friend Sir Bobby Robson might have been a smart move. And so it has proved.
Unbeaten until last week's trip to Manchester City, the Magpies have soared with an easy-on-the-eye approach that has even brought the best out of former United winger Gabriel Obertan.
The Frenchman was rarely effective on this ground wearing red. Here, he tormented and teased fellow countryman Patrice Evra, twice nipping past him despite having virtually no room to work with.
On the first occasion, the visitors should have gone in front. Instead, Ryan Taylor got his six-yard volley all wrong and completely missed his kick.
Ba also had a decent chance, striding on to Ben Arfa's astute chip but failing to get sufficient power to his first-time volley to threaten David de Gea.
It was enough to keep the visitors' hopes of registering their first Old Trafford win since 1972 alive, even if their hosts had the best opportunity.
Fabio supplied it. The young full-back curled over a glorious cross which Giggs touched towards the corner.
However, instead of extending a sequence that has seen the veteran Welshman score in every Premier League campaign so far, Krul stretched out and pushed the ball away, just as Hernandez was closing in.
Hernandez was the most dangerous member of a United attack that had been bolstered by the return of Wayne Rooney.
The Mexican also had a shot saved by Krul and drove another effort over, with Nani also off target with a curling strike from the corner of the penalty area.
When Newcastle were last level at the break at Old Trafford, they went on to lose by six and they could have conceded four within 10 minutes of the restart this time around.
Fabio flashed a shot wide after pushing the ball through Ryan Taylor's legs, Rooney's header sailed over and Young skimmed a shot wide from Evra's cross.
It was just as well for United that they had profited from some bad luck on Steven Taylor's part as he stuck out a leg to turn away a Rooney piledriver.
With Krul out of the game, having dived to save, Taylor succeeded only in hitting Hernandez, who knew nothing about it as the ball bobbled into an empty net.
As Newcastle were getting swept off their feet, it seemed they were destined for another defeat until they benefited from a massive slice of good fortune thanks to a staggering intervention from the far-side linesman.
When Ferdinand slid in on Ben Arfa, he conceded what he, and referee Jones, thought was a corner.
The linesman, John Flynn, had other ideas and immediately signalled for a penalty.
Ferdinand could not believe it, and TV replays showed why as he clearly played the ball.
As the arguments raged, Ba kept his cool and sent De Gea the wrong way.
United's players were clearly unhappy though, with Ferdinand, Rooney and Evra all making their feelings known as Newcastle celebrated their equaliser.
It was the moment that lit the blue touchpaper, with tackles flying in and every decision being contested as United raged at the injustice.
Gutierrez pushed his luck too far when he slid through the back of Nani. Having already been booked, the red card was virtually automatic.
From the free-kick, Krul brilliantly denied Nemanja Vidic as he turned away the Serbian's powerful header before denying Evra in equally acrobatic fashion.
Simpson then magnificently turned away Hernandez's goalbound header before United's final hope was extinguished thanks to an offside flag.
|Manchester United||Team Statistics||Newcastle United|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|7||Shots on Target||5|
|12||Shots off Target||1|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||37||48|
|10||West Ham United||37||43|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||37||25|