Manchester United had to settle for a share of the spoils in a frustrating match against Newcastle. A side which has looked rather off the boil of late, United were more energetic and sharp in the attack creating enough chances to win the game. An all-hands-on-deck defensive display from Newcastle, however, denied United taking the win on their own soil with goalkeeper Tim Krul being most impressive.
It was unfortunate that a good match between two fiercely contending and strong willed sides was spoilt when it was embroiled in controversy. Having taken the lead early in the second half through Javier Hernandez, United lost it again when an audacious decision was made from the officials to award a penalty. Rio Ferdinand’s inch perfect sliding challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa saw Newcastle awarded a penalty from Mike Jones and his assistant, a decision shown to be wrong from replays.
A tight battle between the two sides saw the United defence also have to stay strong. Vidic kept the back line strong, putting in a very impressive performance. It took him a while to get going but Patrice Evra strengthened his performance in the second half as he tried to keep hold of the tricky Obertan, he also added to attacks at the other end.
Despite a strong defensive display it was refreshing to see United look dangerous in the attack again. Javier Hernandez looked sharp as he put in a performance that drove the attack forward. He was unfortunate that more of his chances did not find the net as he struggled to beat a superb Tim Krul.
Chicharito took the first real chance of the match as he timed his run to receive a lobbed ball over the defensive before controlling it well and cutting inside to test Krul from outside the area.
It was then Hernandez who provided the first goal of the match. It started with Hernandez getting in amongst the Newcastle defence, winning a free-kick as he battled for the ball. Rooney’s free-kick hit the wall coming back to him for another shot which pin-balled in the area as it deflected off Steven Taylor to find Hernandez, doing what he does best by getting in the right position as he knocked the ball into the net.
Hernandez was unlucky not to win the match for United when he connected well with Fabio’s cross, his headed shot would have gone in were it not for Danny Simpson on the line. He was then unlucky again moments later when he was adjudged offside in a very close call after netting the ball.
After enduring a period of struggling to create attacks it was promising to see United create more attacks and trouble the defence. It was unfortunate for the side that Newcastle put in such a solid defensive display, as they blocked and scrapped at every sight of the ball. Had United managed to take the win here it would have been through a performance inspired by Javier Hernandez.