The BBC programme were seemingly unable to pick up on the deafening thump that echoed around the City of Manchester stadium, having to report after the game the seriousness of the tackle. But because it’s Nigel de Jong, a World Cup finalist at a potential ‘top four’ club, nothing is to be made of it. Say had Joey Barton, Lee Cattermole or Karl Henry made such a violent challenge, there is no doubt that they’d be publicly castrated with what would cast a long shadow over their career.
In Barton’s case it might just be added to the long list of offences. Martin Atkinson provided the proverbial cherry on the top as he deemed the tackle to be legitimate.
Refereeing errors were key to what was ultimately an entertaining match for the neutral. Manchester City were awarded a dubious penalty when Michael Williamson was judged to have unfairly brought down Carlos Tevez in the box. Replays show that Williamson got the ball. The penalty itself was lucky to find the back of the net as Tevez chose to blast straight down the middle with the ball ricocheting in off Tim Krul’s knee.
The Magpies didn’t keel over as might have been expected after a series of unfortunate event, instead digging in harder. Coloccini came close with a volley from the edge of the box, producing a fine save from Joe Hart. However, it was another Argentinian that grabbed the equaliser as Jonas Guitierrez fired in from close range, right after creating the original move for the goal.
The introduction of Adam Johnson to the game in the second half would separate the two sides. The youngster picked up the ball on the edge of the box, cut inside whilst weaving through the Newcastle defence to fire home a superb left footed shot past Tim Krul. Though it’s debatable whether City were the better team to take all three points, Johnson’s goal was definitely worthy of being a match winner.
Martin Atkinson had the opportunity to redeem his poor decision making when Shola Ameobi was brought down in the City box by Joleon Lescott. A blatant penalty not given, it just wasn’t to be for Newcastle who played with one up front for most of the game until the 77th minute when Andy Carroll was brought on for Kevin Nolan. The forward could do little to bring Newcastle back into the game at this point.
Joe Hart – 7
Vincent Kompany – 7
Jerome Boateng – 7
Joleon Lescott – 6
Kolo Toure – 7
James Milner – 7
Gareth Barry- 6
David Jimenez Silva – 6
Nigel de Jong – 6
Yaya Toure – 7
Carlos Tevez – 7
Emmanuel Adebayor (For Yaya Toure) – 6
Adam Johnson (For Gareth Barry) – 8
Patrick Vieira (For Carlos Tevez) – 5
Tim Krul – 6
Fabricio Coloccini – 7
Jose Sanchez Enrique – 6
Mike Williamson – 7
James Perch – 6
Kevin Nolan – 6
Joey Barton – 7
Jonas Gutierrez – 8
Cheik Ismael Tiote – 7
Hatem Ben Arfa – 5
Shola Ameobi – 6
Wayne Routledge (For Hatem Ben Arfa) – 5
Sol Campbell (For Fabricio Coloccini) – 7
Andy Carroll (For Kevin Nolan) – 6
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