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History Repeating It's Self

Newcastle is back at St James Park tonight for the first time after clinching Premier League survival after their 4-2 win at Leicester City. United play a Manchester City team who also now have nothing to play for other than keeping their players fit for the Champions League final. Steve Bruce has named a mostly unchanged side with Callum Wilson being the only player to miss out. So going into the game with a formation of 5-3-2 with Dubravka keeping his place. Krafth, Fernandez and Dummett occupy the center half position. Supporting the center backs on the wings are Murphy and Ritchie while the center midfield position stays the same with Willock, Almiron and Shelvey. Saint-Maximin starts again along side Joelinton for the absent Callum Wilson.


Seven minutes in and City were on the the attack when Rodri played the ball in to Ake who had a shot but the ball sailed over the crossbar.

One minute later City played a ball into the box which was headed out by Dummett only as far as Jesus who couldn't find the target from twenty yards out. It had plenty of power, just lacked the accuracy.

And then on the 13th minute City came forward again when Gundogan played a ball through for Cancelo who cut the ball back for Torres at the near post but again Torres just didn't have the accuracy.

Twenty minutes in and City get an effort on target with Cancelo who had a go and made it an awkward one for Dubravka as the ball just bounced in front of him but the shot stopper kept his concentration well and made the save.

A quarter of an hour in and United finally start an attack with who else but Allan Saint-Maximin. Saint=Maximin picked out Joelinton who had his shot blocked by Kyle Walker and out for a corner. Shelvey whipped in the corner and just like Dummett last week Krafth got his head on the ball to score an unlikely goal to put United ahead. 1-0.

Just past the half hour mark and City won a free-kick in a dangerous position when Almiron brought down Torres. Gundogan took the free-kick and attempted to catch out Dubravka by going low, near to the post but Dubravka showed his experience and read the action well.

But in the 33rd minute Almiron wins Newcastle a free-kick when ASM plays him through the middle, with Willock to his right Almiron ran it alone drawing the foul from Ake in a dangerous position. Shelvey stepped up to the mark and struck the free-kick well, beating Carson but hitting the crossbar to deny him a brilliant goal. Unlucky.

United could have done with that goal going in as City went forward in the 39th minute as Cancelo made his way into the box on a slight angle, Cancelo took the shot and with a deflection off of Murphy the shot found it's way into the bottom right corner of Dubravka's goal. 1-1.

City came straight back in to this game, Winning a free-kick from a good position. Gundogan whipped the ball into the box at the near post to find Ferran Torres who channeled his inner Zlatan Ibrahimovic to jump up and get a flick onto the ball in a sort of semi-scorpion kick style to flick the ball past the keeper. 2-1.

On the 45th minute Ritchie looked to respond by whipping in a good ball for the head of Joelinton, but the flying Brazilian could't direct the ball goal wards as it sails over the bar.

But three minutes into added time in the first half Joelinton was played in by Saint-Maximin. Joelinton controls the ball but Ake, in an attempt to slide for the ball took Joelintons foot instead. Penalty to the Mags. Up stepped Joelinton who smashed it into the back of the net, Carson dived the right way but could not get his right hand to the ball. 2-2.


In the second half and City had a point to prove. fifty minutes in and Gundogan whipped the ball across the face of goal from a free-kick but out stepped Shelvey to nod the ball past the far post.

Four minutes later and Ritchie's corner is met by the head of Fernandez but Walker was there to clear it off of the far post. And United weren't done there. Murphy tricked his way into the box and got a low shot away but his decision was that of the wrong kind as Carson got down well to it. Murphy would have been better drilling the ball into the area for a running team mate.

An hour in and United had another penalty when Willock drove into the box and was tripped by Walker. Like Joelinton Willock won and took the penalty but this time Carson dived to his left and saved it. Parrying the ball to the opposite post Willock reacted the quickest to knock the ball in on the second attempt. 3-2 Newcastle.

City can't let us have nice things can they. Jesus cut the ball back from out wide to the penalty spot for Torres who was ready and waiting to get his second goal of the game. 3-3.

Was the equalizer enough for the champions? Nope. Cancelo had a curling effort form outside of the area hit the post and rebound to Torres who again, channeling the spirit of Zlatan Torres leaped acrobatically to make a smart finish past the keeper for his hat-trick. 4-3.

On the 73rd minute and it was Newcastle who needed to respond. Willock got the ball out wide but couldn't find the target as he snatched the ball wide past the post.

Three minute later Almiron drove at the defense with Joelinton in support. Almiron tried to play in Big Joe but Ake read the pass well to cut it out.

Gundogan has played well today and wanted a goal for himself in the 77th minute but his shot from outside of the area was how they say, high, wide and not very handsome.

The final effort of the game fell to City with the Citizens playing keep ball. But Mendy was released down the left and attempted to hook the ball in for Torres but Dummett was there to clear the ball away. Full Time: Newcastle United 3-4 Manchester City.


In all honesty, even though this is a loss for the Mags, I think the players can go away from this game with their heads held high. They took the game to the champions today, who are also playing in the Champions League Final and have already lifted the Carabao Cup back in February. I think the tactics were spot on today. My only criticism is the lapses of concentration for the majority of the City goals. And to the players defense, when you've got a team coming at you all game like City did, through tiredness alone you're going to make mistakes. and that's why Manchester City are the Premier League champions. They are relentless. Now we head into the final two games of the season against two of the three relegated sides, starting with Sheffield United who beat us in the return fixture. So it's not a must win in terms of survival. But it is a must win in terms of morality.

By Sam West.



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