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Oh, Shola Ameobi! Newcastle United 1, Sunderland 1.

Posted on March 5th, 2012 | 22 Comments |

Clattermole
Venue: St James’ Park.
Date: Sun 4th Mar 2012.
Kick-Off: High Noon.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Crowd: 52,388

This was without a doubt a game of twos! Two totally different halves, two penalties, two red cards, two goals and two managers who should know better, being caught up in the rivalry and squaring up to each other both verbally and physically.

It was raining before the game, and it rained a bit during the game, but the wet weather could not dampen the electric atmosphere of the latest Tyne-Wear derby at St James’ Park, NE1. Already assured of a sellout crowd fired with the usual local pride and passion, United fans were further emboldened by the news released 24 hours earlier, that both Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini had signed contracts tying them to the club for the next 5 and 4 years respectively.

First Half

The referee Mike Dean blew his whistle to start the game and nothing happened, as the crowd noise was so intense that Sessegnon, who was waiting to get things under way, didn’t hear it. Eventually we got going however to a wall of boos for the Mackems. There were exactly 32 seconds on the clock when the mackem thug “Clattermole” ignored the ball completely and scythed down Tiote in what was clearly one of those “let him know you’re around” early tackles. He should have been given a straight red card but got away with a yellow, probably because it was so early in the game. Sadly though, this tackle signalled Sunderland’s clear intent to make this a very physical game, and this not only set the tone for the rest of the half, but meant that some of the football went out of the window as United were forced into a war rather than the possession game we have come to expect this season.

If anyone doubted Sunderland’s intent, it was further confirmed 3 minutes later as Santon was chopped down by Larsson as he cut in from the left, again with the ball nowhere near. Ryan Taylor’s free kick led to a corner which came to nothing as Tiote was penalised for standing in front of the keeper. Cattermole then dived near Simpson and got a free kick when there was clearly no contact, but again reinforcing the game plan that Sunderland had apparently set out to achieve. Sunderland then managed to get a couple of corners, but they came to nothing as United defended well. On 12 minutes Larrson ran into the area and crossed dangerously along the ground but there was no-one there to take advantage. Cabaye was then booked for a tackle a little earlier on Bardsley – when the ref had waved play on.

At this stage, the game was pretty even but being played at a frenetic pace. On 18 minutes the “war” re-ignited as McClean steamed into Simpson and brought him down. Krul was incensed and ran across to remonstrate, followed by most of the players from both sides as things boiled over once again. The referee decided to book both players, McClean for the foul and Simpson presumably for the way he reacted. This incident also produced an angry exchange between the two managers.

Demba Ba was booked on 22 minutes for a foul on Gardiner. The resultant free kick proved costly. Richardson took the kick, and as the ball sailed harmlessly over the area heading for oblivion, the referee spotted that Williamson had grabbed Turner’s shirt and hauled him down. Williamson was yellow-carded and Bentner squeezed the penalty past Krul’s outstretched hand. Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 1.

United were not creating any chances for Ba and Cisse, who were having to forage back in order to get involved. Pardew’s long ball tactic was not being productive either, as the Sunderland defence soaked up what was thrown at them. On 38 minutes, a corner by Taylor produced a good header by Coloccini but Mignolet managed to save. 4 minutes later a free kick by Krul saw a Cabaye shot blocked and another corner. A further corner was won after a deflected shot from Ryan Taylor. From that corner Ba hit the bar with a glanced header, then Coloccini fired over. On 46 minutes Ba was blatantly pushed down from behind by O’Shea but the ref refused to give the penalty – maybe because he hadn’t had a hold on his shirt? I give up!

Although United finished the half strongly, Sunderland had probably been the better side, particularly in midfield, and there was plenty for Alan Pardew to think about.

Second Half

At the beginning of the second half United sent on Ben Arfa for Santon – with Ryan Taylor moving to left-back, where he started the season. Pardew had clearly instructed the players to forget the “war” and concentrate on playing our football. On 50 minutes Gardiner was yellow carded for a late tackle on Coloccini in a vain attempt to fire up the “war” again, but in this half, United were having none of it as they set about their task with relish, producing more chances in the first 10 minutes than they had in the whole of the first half.

This was more like Newcastle United as it was all black and white pressure and we were starting to stroke the ball around with confidence. A series of corners was followed by Tiote shooting wide from outside the area. Then totally against the run of play, Krul was forced to make an excellent double save from Larsson and then McClean. The game shifted further United’s way on 57 minutes when Sessignon elbowed Tiote right in front of the referee, and was rewarded for this particular piece of skill by a straight red card.

With half an hour to go, Cabaye had a shot deflected and from the resultant corner, Tiote again fired wide. Ben Arfa was definitely making a difference down the right and causing problems for the Sunderland defence and the United midfield were now in control. On 65 minutes Tiote had yet another shot but again put it wide, in the same place as the other three! By this time, the cries of “shoot!” when he got the ball had become somewhat muted. 66 minutes and a blatant handball in the area by Sunderland was ignored by the referee as Ba and the Gallowgate End appealed.

Ryan Taylor and Gutierrez were combining well down the left this half, and Ben Arfa was proving equally effective on the right as United dominated. After 71 minutes Sunderland withdrew Bentner, sending on Fraizer Campbell in his place. United’s silver supremo responded by taking off Cisse and sending on the scourge of the mackems – Shola Ameobi. A minute later, Larsson was removed, to be replaced by Colback. 74 minutes saw a typical piece of wizardry from Ben Arfa cutting in from the right beating two players, with a last-ditch tackle by a defender putting it out for a corner. 75 minutes gone and yet another handball in the area, this time by O’Shea was waved away by the referee. Tiote then had a header just over the bar.

There was more magic on 76 by Ben Arfa, who brought the ball down, beat Richardson and fired in a great shot which was saved by Mignolet. He did the full-back again two minutes later, but was then pushed over as he ran into the area. Richardson was having a torrid time with Ben Arfa and it was noticeable that McClean had begun to double up on the United winger.

With 9 minutes of normal time left, United were presented with a penalty as Shola Ameobi was brought down in the area by Campbell. Up stepped Demba Ba but Mignolet, although clearly off his line, saved to his left. Following the penalty save United cranked up the pressure even more and Sunderland by this time were clinging on. On 84 minutes, Richardson was spared any further embarrassment at the hands of Ben Arfa, being replaced by John Terry’s best mate, Wayne Bridge.

It was all United now with the Mackem goal under constant pressure. With 2 minutes of normal time left, Pardew sent on Lovenkrands for Ryan Taylor in a final throw of the dice. United kept the pressure on as an extra 5 minutes stoppage time was announced. in the first minute of that extra time justice was finally done. A cross into the box was headed on by Williamson and Ameobi showed himself yet again to be deadly from 3 yards. St James’ Park duly erupted. Newcastle United 1 Sunderland 1

Cue a period of intense United pressure, with Williamson in particular missing an open goal. However we ran out of time to finish them off. There was however further fun for United fans as Cattermole was red carded after the final whistle for “foul and abusive language” towards the referee.

Summary

Sunderland’s game plan almost worked – bring them down to your level with some hard tackling, fouling and start a “war”. However once United remembered they were the better team and started to play football the game changed. Never mind, there will be two more games next season!

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon (Hatem Ben Arfa 45), Ryan Taylor (Lovenkrands 88), Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Papiss Cisse (Ameobi 71), Demba Ba.
Subs: Rob Elliot (G), James Perch, Danny Guthrie, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi.

Sunderland (4-4-2): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley, Michael Turner, John O’Shea; Kieran Richardson (Bridge 84); Sebastian Larsson (Colback 73), Lee Cattermole (c), Craig Gardner, James McClean; Stephane Sessegnon, Nicklas Bendtner (Fraizer 71).
Substitutes: Craig Gordon, Wayne Bridge, Matt Kilgallon, Jack Colback, David Vaughan, David Meyler, Fraizer Campbell.

Yellow cards: Lee Cattermole (1), Yohan Cabaye (12), James McClean (18), Danny Simpson (18), Demba Ba (22), Mike Williamson (23), Craig Gardner (51),

Red cards: Stephane Sessegnon (58), Cattermole (two minutes after the game had ended!).

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NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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22 Responses

  1. Four match ban for Clattermole, and a three match ban for Sessegnon.

    It’s a real shame for the Mackems to lose these key players at such an important stage of the season. Still, I suppose it was worth it for them to scrape one point from their superior neighbours.

    A very nice report BTW UTD111.

  2. UTD111,
    Tiote also got a yellow for very little if any contact. It had more to do with 5’1and’s constant pressure on the ref by that time.

  3. Aye – you’re right Clint – Tiote got booked as well. I had it written down but somehow missed it in the report!

    Cheers mate

  4. It really was a ‘nothing’ yellow, twattermole going to ground with Tiote bearing down on him.

  5. well sais utd111-and worky-they came to cheat and kick us off the park and have kicked themselves in the foot- lets all laff (again) at sunlun-and thank them very much for the 4 points-yet again! lol

  6. @ goodoldjimgold Shola should have took the penno…,i agree mate.

    what a relief the unwashed didn’t take all 3 points.

    i was on the verge of being physically sick toward the end as the last seconds were ticking away.

    Didn’t like Pard’s reaction to the pen,it brought us down to their pond life level.

    thanks for the great read,it got me re-living the game.

  7. Oh aye, UTD, I did have a few alternative titles for this report, such as “The late, late Sho,” “Tyne – War Derby” and “Bench warfare.” I subsequently found out that the Mirror had the last one, along with a great picture of O’Neill cowering behind a big gadgie when Pardew was shouting and pointing at him. They also had “Tyne & War” too, which was very similar to my second one.

  8. The coolest thing for me about this game was my 4 year old daughter wandering around the house humming ‘The Blaydon Races’, she doesn’t quite know the words yet. Then all game she was asking me about the ‘Black ‘n’ Whites, daddy’.
    Then soon as Shola scored i was jumping ’round the room singing ‘Whoa Shola Ameobi’& she says: ‘The Toon is my team too daddy, same as you’, PRICELESS!
    Apparently, they sing a similar song at school, something about the oaky cokey…
    :lol:

  9. It’s important to raise children along a true and righteous path Clint…..she’s obviously a naturally gifted child LOL!

  10. Clint-Tiote’s yellow was for persistent fouling. It was his 5th. I would have booked him at 3. It was a weak call, but do you want Dean to pass on a chance to book someone? Not likely.

    As for the pen: you all do realize that the keeper blatantly came off his line by a couple yards as Ba approached the ball, right?

    CLiNT-great story, get her groomed early! I think that song’s “The Hokey Pokey”. At least that’s what it was over here when I was a boy.

  11. UTD11/tunyc,

    Oh aye, she’s learning the the force.
    :lol:

    Smart kid!

    Aye, mignolet was way off his line for the pen, funny how their pen wouldn’t have been given in 99% of games, yet their ‘keeper coming off his line wouldn’t be given either. 2 little niggles right there.
    As for Tiote’s ‘constant fouling, most of his ‘fouls’ weren’t even that. They just knew if they fell down enough times, he’d get yellowed.
    Sad!

  12. tunyc,

    it’s definitely the ‘oakey cokey’ over here mate.
    Both ‘Pokey & cokey’ sound well sus like.
    :)

  13. Great match report UTD111 – many thanks.
    Any thoughts on our change of tactics and their significance in the second half?
    I have in mind taking Santon off, pulling Raylor back to LB and bringing HBA on the RW.
    Looks like a change from failing 4-4-2 to a fluent 4-3-3 – and long may it last.
    The HBA sub was obvious, but why Santon off & Raylor kept on? I have no complaints, just puzzled in case I missed something – was Santon injured?

    What ever the reason, it worked and we were a much better outfit
    – but was it come inspired tactical insight from AP or just luck?
    I hope it was the former (if say Sir Alec did it everyone who say it was a stroke of genius) and he sticks to 4-3-3
    – or was it just a one match panic measure, and mornal service will be resumed next week?

  14. Supermac says:
    March 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

    “Looks like a change from failing 4-4-2 to a fluent 4-3-3 – and long may it last.”

    I’m not sure that we changed formation Supermac, it was just that we kept the ball down more after Ben Arfa came on, and he could find his way through the Sunderland midfield.

  15. Supermac @20

    That’s very kind of you mate, thanks!

    On the tactical change – I was sitting in the East Stand, and it was very noticeable how Taylor and Gutierrez linked up very well to give them all sorts of problems down the left. And the addition of Ben Arfa on the right also stretched them.

    I think we get bogged down with “formations”. The one thing I do know, is that we get more success when we play with wide attackers (not allowed to call them “wingers” these days apparently!)