Newcastle United’s desire and passion vs. Manchester City deserved more than a point

By all means it was a typical Rafa Benitez kind of a performance from Newcastle United, where they kept their shape and were always a chance away from winning it. In the end, Newcastle earned their first point over Manchester City after a gap of over 7 years.

Prior to the kick-off, The Geordies would have happily walked away with a point against Champions League semi-finalists. However, Newcastle did have the better chances in the end to win the game tonight.

Locked at 1-1, Georginio Wijnaldum made a fool out of Alexander Kolarov by twisting and turning to get a clear shot on goal, only to be denied by a wonderful Joe Hart save. If not for the keeper, roof might have come down on St. James’ Park tonight.

Manchester City, however, enjoyed the better of first half when Sergio Aguero scored from a deft header at the near post. Although replays suggested that the Argentine was in an offside position.

Rafa kept his shape and did not tweak too much as there were signs of a possible comeback if City slip up. That moment came on 31st minute with Vurnon Anita going behind City’s defense to put the game on level terms.

Newcastle 1 Manchester City 1 - Post Match Analysis
  Newcastle’s hero on the night

City looked out of sorts tonight, perhaps not quite ready for a game against Newcastle’s ferociousness amid the anticipation of Real Madrid’s arrival. Citizens looked weak in the second half and were easily overrun by a more determined Newcastle side.

Moussa Sissoko, Andres Townsend and Ayoze Perez had the beating of Kolarov and returning Vincent Kompany, who did not look ready for a game as physical as this one.

Despite having the better chances, Benitez marshaled his troops from the sidelines to keep their shape and ensure they do not commit too many men forward or welcome too much pressure on their defense.

Timely substitutions from Rafa kept the energy going for his team which eventually sealed a well earned draw. The result gave Newcastle their 4th point in space of 3-days’ time. Tonight’s point was indeed unexpected and while its value may not be incalculable but it could prove to be invaluable at the end of this season.

As for Man City, they would indeed leave Tyneside feeling like they have dropped 2 valuable points in clinching the automatic Champions League place. Arsenal can pip them for the 3rd spot if they beat West Brom tomorrow night, while Manchester United could also close the gap to just 2 points if they get a win over Crystal Palace 24 hours from now.

Image Credit: Getty