Kevin Keegan make a recall for Steven Taylor after having missed on last weekend’s 3-0 victory over the Royals to partner with Abdoulaye Faye at the heart of the defence. David Edgar who come out to replace him last week return to the bench at the expense of Lamine Diatta.
United showing the same determination as last weekend and we dominated the attacking possession in the first 20 minutes or so, with Obafemi Martins first to give an early challenge to David James when He robs Pompey’s Bouba Diop on halfway. Oba then tries to catch out James with an ambicious 45-yard effort, the Geordies stands on their feet watching the ball flying into the empty net but James finally can gathers with ease.
The homeside can finally put the ballance into the game in 23 minutes. Sean Davis tries to free the ex-Spurs man Jermain Defoe and goes one on one with goal, but wor Steve Harper races out from his line to snatch the ball right at his feet.
We quickly response the home effort with Michael Owen successively get away from two host challenges inside the area, but failed to get a shot on goal as Hreidarsson slides it for a corner. Geremi takes the delivery and meet Faye heads but his effort was high and wide.
United get a good chance to break the deadlock when Geremi picks Barton in halfway before he immediately springs the ball to awaiting Viduka on the right. Dukes set and looks for his strike partner Martins and feed him with an early pass in-behind the Pompey backline. Too bad the delivery was too much weight and only runs for a throw-in for the home side.
Today, we have shown him how the real Newcastle United is to them as we clearly own the first half and give their defenders couple of real jobs to denied some shoot on goal from our three frontmen. If only Martins can uses more of his pace rather than trying to shoot early, we would have lead by two goals.
After his second try to score from 45 yards, he has the second chance to score when he gets away from the challenge of Davis in midway inside the Pompey half, but instead of running more deep into the penalty arean, he fires a 30-yards effort which clears James’ crossbar.
Keegan’s first half team talk shows the way as we are more patient when making the attacking move. Early in the second half, Geremi has freespace on the right, the Cameroon midfielder crosses the ball with pace but luckily to Pompey as it’s Campbell who gets there first and volley it behind for a corner.
In an hour mark, the home side create their chance to score with Glen Johnson skips the challenge from Barton on the right-hand touchline before he rolls the ball into Kanu. His powerful left-foot strike deflects off his own team-mate Defoe and flies wide of the target.
Soon after that The Magpies have two corners in quick succession. Geremi’s deliveries from the corner are only resulting a break from the hosts. Jermain Defoe continues his works a yard for the shot but denied an opening goal by our stopper who does equally well to get down low to divert the ball around the upright.
Toon skipper denied his fifth goal in as many games after Geremi’s delivery from the corner only half-cleared and the ball was back at his feet and crosses it into the penalty area. This time Distin tries to hack it clear but the ball drops for Owen and his shoot on goal was instinctively saved by James with his head. Great jobs from both stopper today!
And in the dying minutes, Owen is again sees the back of the net from Geremi’s deep set-piece but today the former Toon skipper’s deliveries are not accurate and his try to set Owen free once again slightly too high to a grateful James who is able to save. Obafemi Martins was also have his chances today to make it four wins in a row for United when his late low strike wide of the target from a tight angle.
Not a bad result for us. We are playing quite well today and in terms of creating the chances and ball possessions, we are clearly way ahead of them. It’s just that today our phrone three strikers was unlucky to not having a great services from our midfielders, especially from Geremi who made several inaccurate crosses.
Special notes to both goalkeeper, Steve Harper and David James are both playing very well to denied couple of clear chances from both team. Harper did very well to catch the ball out from Jermain Defoe when he’s clear on goal, while the Three Lions stopper have a magnificent save with his head from Owen’s strike. Bring on makems!!!
David James, Glen Johnson, Herman Hreidarsson, Sol Campbell (c), Sylvain Distin, Papa Bouba Diop, Sean Davis, Sulley Muntari, Niko Kranjcar, Nwanko Kanu, Jermain Defoe
Lauren, David Nugent, Richard Hughes, Pedro Mendes, Asmir Begovic
Newcastle United FC:
Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt, Geremi, Joey Barton, Oba Martins, Michael Owen (c), Mark Viduka
Fraser Forster, Damien Duff, Alan Smith, David Edgar, Andy Carroll
Referee: Phil Dowd
Attendance: 20, 507
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