Toon just aren't at the races
Great North Run weekend it may well be but Newcastle United just weren't at the races at the City of Manchester Stadium.
OK, they did take a deserved lead against City but after Oba Martins had lifted the ball over Joe Hart they soon came off the track.
And just in case you've had enough of the same old cliches on the weekend of the North East's famous half marathon I'll get one more in before we can dissect the latest sorry defeat of the Magpies because let's be honest, they well and truly hit the wall against Sven Goran Eriksson's side!
The day started with the news that Steve Harper had been dropped by Big Sam with Shay Given taking his place.
Harper's face said it all during the warm-up and you have to feel sorry for him.
The Easington-born keeper has performed wonders between the posts with Given injured and most of us thought that despite the Irishman's display at Arsenal, we would see Harper back in goal after his own fine display against West Ham.
But no, it was back to Given and it all must leave Harper thinking: "What more do I have to do."
Given justified his selection though with a string of fine saves and again going back to the honesty policy there was little he could do about the three goals.
The first two came from wing play which the Toon back four failed to deal with as they were left exposed and left wanting as Petrov and Mpenza were left unmarked to turn a 1-0 reverse into a 2-1 lead.
Elano's free-kick capped off the performance with a strike which I believe Americans would say went into the "upper 90".
City's attacking play probably had a lot to do with the unsung hero of the Kevin Keegan era.
A man we know as Derek William Fazackerley born in sleepy little Preston who likes to stay out of the limelight and concentrate on coaching duties.
Boy, wouldn't that be a breath of fresh air at St James' Park today?
But at least United emulated half of it correctly on the day because while the attacking impetus was sadly missing, their defensive duties were pretty similar to the much maligned back four of the KK glory days.
Positives on the day?
OK, let's try but at least Oba Martins looked like he wanted to be the Toon's top striker when he polished off Geremi's long ball to score his fourth of the season.
It takes him to 21 in total for Newcastle which isn't a bad tally considering he's had a few problems, isn't first choice and has been pretty much starved of decent service since he got here, it isn't bad.
But overall that was about all United could really take from this and it wasn't enough for the travelling fans who again turned out in their numbers and chanted their hearts out all of the way through which can't have gone unnoticed by the players.
In the end there was plenty to be sad about for the Toon Army with the Everton clash now a must win game or the doom and gloom merchants will be ready for a field day.
WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK?
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