MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 19: Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle United competes with Nigel de Jong of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the City of Manchester Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo byAlex Livesey/Getty Images)
And so THUNDERDOME™ has come and gone. Newcastle hung in for the first 40 minutes, conceding massive possession to City but not breaking. Tim Krul pulled a tremendous save from a Balotelli header to keep things level midway through the half, and Ba had an effort turned around by Joe Hart to keep things level, but it always seemed like Manchester City would break through, which they did. Ryan Taylor left his left arm high and trailing, conceding a penalty just after 40 minutes, which Mario "Be Impressed With My Attitude" Balotelli converted before Taylor again was culpable for Micah Richards' second just minutes later.
[edited to add MotM poll-OSotP]
Steven Taylor was massive. Once again, he rarely put a foot wrong and was crucial to many snuffed City attacks.
Captain Colo was slightly less solid on the day, but he did several times provide the cover needed to be that last foot as City looked to break through to goal.
Hatem Ben Arfa- although he did concede the second penalty, his 60th minute effort on the ball gave sufficient hope that he may be nearly back to best form.
5 first half minutes from Ryan Taylor. The penalty concession happens, but you would have hoped that it wouldn't have been followed up with him getting turned around and failing to clear an easily defensible ball that led to Richards' goal. A bad 5 minutes from not his best match of the season, and they were very costly. If we only go into half at 1-0, I feel like it's a different match altogether.
Honestly, there's not much fall-out in this, I don't think, save for the inevitable week of "We told ya Newcastle were posers!" that we will now have to endure. We're still on 26 points from 12 matches and well ahead of any possible dreams we would have harbored before the season started. The hope will be that we learn the lessons from this match and come out against Manchester United with a little more first-half intent. 2 matches left in the #StretchOfDoom, 6 more points out there for grabs.
#unbeatoon is no longer... who was your Man of the Match?
Steven Taylor (11 votes)
Fabricio Coloccini (2 votes)
Jonas Gutierrez (0 votes)
Tim Krul (2 votes)
Other (please specify for purposes of Man of the Month consideration) (2 votes)
17 total votes