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By Jonathan Stevenson
2212: It's wrap time. Thanks for reading - hope it was entertaining enough to make up for a lack of goals. I'm off to read
Sam Lyon's probably superb match report
and then get myself some sleep before Wednesday's feast of football - Spurs v Arsenal, Chelsea v Birmingham and, as an added bonus, Real Madrid v Barcelona in the Spanish Cup final. I've been
you've been colossal. And without so much a goal, he was gone...
Newcastle 0-0 Manchester United Sam Lyon
reports: "Two points dropped by Man Utd on the face of it but Newcastle more than deserved a point. It means the door remains ajar at the top of the table - and Arsenal, and even Chelsea, will have watched on with interest tonight. Title race over? Not on your nelly."
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "Clear penalty on Hernandez. It's an insult because he's booked him. The referee has had a good game, but he's let himself down by booking him. I'd have to see the Lovenkrands penalty shout again, I haven't seen it. The first 20 minutes, full marks to Newcastle because they played very well, but we improved a lot and got into great positions, we just didn't trouble the keeper. I think we'll be fine now. We're in a better position than Saturday, because we've played one game fewer."
2155: So, all Arsenal have to do to haul themselves back into the title race for the 173rd time this season is win their game on Wednesday... which
is away at north London rivals Tottenham,
who are desperate for points themselves in their fight for fourth place. Dull? Never. Goalless? Occasionally.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew: "Danny stuck a leg out, which is dangerous, but he didn't touch Hernandez, he dived, and I'll praise the referee because it wasn't an easy decision to make at the end. My heart sank because I thought we weren't going to get anything. But Peter Lovenkrands should have definitely had a penalty. We started really well and I was a bit disappointed we didn't get the early goal. But Manchester United are a fantastic team and we were hanging on at the end. I'm very proud of the fans and the team today."
From Nick S, London, on text: "The referee has dealt with two almost identical penalty decisions there, Stevo, and they're both debatable. Yet Lee Probert has been CONSISTENT with both calls, therefore I think he's made the right calls. And that's not because I'm an Arsenal fan..."
Newcastle's Danny Simpson on his late challenge on Javier Hernandez: "I don't feel like I touched him. I didn't feel any contact at the time, I feel like he went down too soft. My heart was in my mouth. But we played well and worked so hard and deserved a draw."
Newcastle's Cheik Tiote: "For Newcastle it was a good result, because Manchester United are a big team and I'm happy for the job we did. We're not safe yet because there are five games left, so we need something else."
From Pete, South Shields, on text: "I'm a Newcastle fan and I think its pretty pathetic that we celebrated a 0-0 draw as if we had won the game. We just sat back and were boring in second half after that blistering start."
2144: SENDING OFF Ricky Ravenhill, Notts County
From RobHickton on Twitter:
"Wasn't a penalty but not a yellow card either. Hernandez didn't even appeal for it. Poor refereeing all game, no consistency."
2140: Full-time Newcastle 0-0 Man United Shame that most people will be talking about the refereeing decisions because that was a thoroughly entertaining game and both teams played their part. We'll hopefully bring you some reaction from Tyneside in the next few minutes.
2139: Wayne Rooney heads a Luis Valencia cross from the right wide.
2138: One minute left at Newcastle. It's frantic.
2136: Massive moment. Javier Hernandez gets to the ball first ahead of Danny Simpson and jumps up as the defender sticks a leg out. Referee Lee Probert books the Mexican for diving. I've seen that three times now, and I'm still not sure. I'm pretty sure you'll let me know your thoughts.
2135: Into stoppage time in the north-east and we're going to get four minutes of it. Don't know why I'm telling you - nothing ever seems to happen in injury time this season, does it...?
2133: Lovely build-up from Man United, patient and concise, but it ends with John O'Shea's pass into the box finding Ryan Giggs and the Welshman turning and shooting wide from about 15 yards. Giggs is a legend and he's been brilliant all season - but he's had a poor evening by his standards, no doubt about it.
2131: Fair to say Man United haven't been at their best tonight, as a John O'Shea pass is too hard for Ryan Giggs to control and the ball runs out of play. As it stands, United will be going seven points clear of Arsenal at the top having played a game more.
2130: Five minutes left at St James's Park. It's Newcastle 0-0 Man United. Do we have a winner left? And is it a title-winning one? It can't be Michael Owen, can it?
2125: Luis Valencia tees up Wayne Rooney and he jinks past a tackle before slamming a right-foot shot high and wide from 25 yards. Michael Owen comes on for Manchester United in place of Nani and the locals are not slow in making their feelings clear to their former player - lots of them waving money in the direction of the ex-England striker.
2124: Goalflash Bradford 1-1 Burton (Speight)
2122: ... Ryan Giggs curls goalwards, it clips the top of the wall and bounces away for a Manchester United corner. Nani then cuts in from the left, gets to the edge of the box and lashes a low right-foot shot just wide of Tim Krul's left-hand post. Is there a goal in this game?
2121: Mike Williamson goes in recklessly on Nani and brings the Portuguese flier down 25 yards away from his own goal. Cue a posse of Man United players who want this free-kick, and big danger for the home team...
From Toby, on text: "Michael Owen to come off the bench and get a later winner against his old side - you heard it here first."
2118: Nemanja Vidic has got a cut above his eye and he'll need to be patched up before he can come back on to the pitch. Only 16 minutes left, it's still Newcastle 0-0 Man United.
2117: Stephen Ireland almost gets off to the fairytale start, taking a first-time volley after a Shola Ameobi flick-on and only just sending it a yard or two wide of Edwin van der Sar's right-hand post. Ameobi is then withdrawn as Nile Ranger comes on for the Magpies.
From DavePayn on Twitter:
"Perhaps we (myself included) are too harsh on refs. It seems every single decision is being over-analysed these days."
2114: Stephen Ireland comes on to make his long-awaited Newcastle debut, while Luis Valencia replaces Anderson for the visitors.
2113: Classic Manchester United - and how Ryan Giggs has not scored I will never, ever know. A magical move down the left sees Javier Hernandez play in Patrice Evra and his pull-back from the byeline falls perfectly for Giggs, 10 yards out, the Welshman somehow side-footing wide with the goal gaping. I'm still staggered.
2111: Chris Smalling down up for an aerial challenge and lands heavily, looks a nasty one as first but he'll be fine to continue. Can't be far away from a substitution, surely?
2110: Peter Lovenkrands fouls Michael Carrick and he's a bit lucky not to be cautioned for that. Wayne Rooney curls from 30 yards and it's an easy catch for Tim Krul, like shelling peas.
2108: Cheik Tiote is booked for a cynical taking out of Wayne Rooney, knowing that, just inside the Newcastle half, the England striker was going to be quicker than him to get to the ball. Plenty of cover to prevent a red, but deserved yellow.
From Paul, realistic Arsenal fan, on text: "Just to be clear, it doesn't matter what happens today, I'm sure we'll find another new, unique way to drop points tomorrow. It's what we do."
2105: Newcastle pile the ball into the Man United box and after Nemanja Vidic and Anderson get the ball half clear, Peter Lovenkrands nods over from about 10 yards. Vidic made sure he didn't have it easy - more top defending.
2104: Peter Lovenkrands goes down inside the Man United penalty area under a challenge from Anderson - and you know what, the Brazilian might just get a bit of him there. But Lovenkrands goes down too theatrically and he'll never get that decision.
2100: Nani cuts inside from the right but lashes a wild left-foot shot way high and way wide. Arsenal fans - you happy with 0-0?
2059: Wayne Rooney fires a cross from the Man United left way over everyone in the penalty area and the home fans cheer. By the way, I think Ali (at 2045) might have been joking. You know, it's just a thought.
From Chana12, on text: "Hernandez showing concern for both Simpson and Williamson by waving on the medics before the ref did. What a star!"
2055: Nani does a couple of step-overs outside the Newcastle box and flings over a cross that Ryan Giggs heads into the grateful arms of Tim Krul. Newcastle haven't got going at all yet after the break.
2053: Another corner for the visitors that John O'Shea flicks on, but his header doesn't find a team-mate and Newcastle clear. Man United have moved up a couple of gears already, looks like they've had the hairdryer treatment and some.
2052: A couple of corners early in the second half for Manchester United, but Danny Simpson and Mike Williamson will both need a bit of attention after a clash of heads. They'll be OK, the Newcastle defenders.
From BenjyWeeks on Twitter:
"Re 2054: Just to update you then, the non-offside against Ameobi and the non-given corner from Rooney's shot." So to summarise: not much, really.
2049: Newcastle get the second half under way. The score is 0-0, incidentally.
2048: The United players are deep in discussion with each other on the pitch - they are out about five minutes before their Newcastle counterparts.
2045: Lots of you suggesting referee Lee Probert has been enormously anti-Manchester United so far. In my position AS A NEUTRAL, WHO DOESN'T SUPPORT EITHER TEAM, I can't honestly say I've noticed much he's done wrong. That booking for Michael Carrick apart, obviously.
From Ali, an Arsenal fan, on text: "Call themselves champions? We were already 4-0 up by now..."
2040: Hey you - get in touch. Text to 81111, or drop us a missive on Twitter
and with the hashtag
too. It's a very good game, don't be put off by the scoreline.
From Interstellarkev on Twitter:
"Utd are being totally outplayed, they look awful, but will nick a late goal, and everyone will say, oh that's classic United."
From Andrew, Man United fan, Belfast, on text: "Berbatov is said to be feeling unwell by television stations so I'd reserve judgement on Fergie in the meantime everyone!"
2033: Goalflash Bradford 0-1 Burton (McGrath)
2033: HALF-TIME Newcastle 0-0 Man Utd Sam Lyon's
HT snap-shot: "Newcastle effervescent but vulnerable, Man Utd threatening but error-strewn - it's a fascinating contest. A goal the only thing missing so far."
2031: Into first-half injury time at St James's Park, of which we will have one minute. Michael Carrick is shown the first yellow cards of the game for clipping the heels of Shola Ameobi, which is a bit harsh. Wayne Rooney presents his case to the referee, but to no avail.
2030: That's a chance for Newcastle, is that. Joey Barton swings in a little smasher of a cross from the Magpies right and it finds Peter Lovenkrands on the penalty spot, the unmarked striker only managing to head tamely wide.
2029: Goalflash Tranmere 0-1 Notts County (Westcarr pen)
2028: Goalflash Burnley 3-0 Middlesbrough (Duff)
2027: Joey Barton fizzes that one in with a bit more pace towards the far corner, but again it's a very comfortable catch for the superbly-positioned Dutch goalkeeper.
2026: Much better from Newcastle and Shola Ameobi wins a free-kick on the left-hand side of their penalty area after a tussle with Chris Smalling. Great chance to get a shot on target and really test the 40-year-old Edwin van der Sar...
2024: Michael Carrick has started to pull the strings for Man United, passing left and right as they probe away for an opening. Newcastle are having to work seriously hard - they need to keep hold of the ball better when they get it.
2021: Some concerted pressure by the visitors, but Newcastle's defence is up to it and they prevent the Premier League leaders getting in a shot at goal. Just signs that Manchester United are more in the game in recent minutes.
2019: Just waiting to explode into life, this one. A very lively start deserved a couple of goals and it has just dropped off a touch since, though the intensity level is still quite high. Jonas Gutierrez drags a shot wide at one end, before Javier Hernandez heads into the arms of Tim Krul at the other.
From Simon, on text: "Fergie's treatment of Berbatov this year has been disgraceful. Top goalscorer in the league and never gets a consistent run in the side. One bad game and suddenly he is dropped. How many bad games did Rooney have before he actually hit some acceptable form yet he never got dropped? Those United fans who want him sold forget that we would be nowhere near winning the title without him."
2015: Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick is in the crowd, furiously scribbling down some notes ahead of their Champions League semi against Manchester United. "Tell players not to go near Nani, he dives," is presumably the most recent entry.
2014: Nani goes to ground inside the Newcastle box with Jonas Gutierrez in the vicinity - Nani is touched by the Argentine, but there was about a two-second gap between the contact and him falling. Poor, but Nani escapes a booking.
2008: Joey Barton throws in another corner from the Newcastle left and Nemanja Vidic heads the ball away inside his own penalty box. On a night like tonight, I bet Sir Alex wouldn't swap Vidic for any other defender in the world.
From AaronWood1986 on Twitter:
"Newcastle coping OK at the moment without a potent striker and Kevin Nolan playing. I think they may spring a surprise."
2005: Wow. That's a surprisingly rubbish finish from such a fabulous player. Javier Hernandez flicks the ball forward and Wayne Rooney slips past Mike Williamson, opening up a one-on-one shooting chance from 12 yards. But he doesn't want to take it on his left foot, and instead opens up his body and lashes wildly over with his right. Could be 2-2 already, this one. Newcastle 0-0 Man United.
2003: Razor-sharp. Javier Hernandez collects the ball 25 yards out, turns neatly and fizzes a shot two or three yards wide of Tim Krul's left-hand upright. He'll never turn into the new Gary Lineker if he keeps shooting from there.
2002: You know when they play like this, Newcastle look a very, very good football team. They are getting the ball down on the floor, finding their wide men and flinging crosses into the Man United box and they are dangerous every time they go forward. Another Joey Barton cross is headed wide by Shola Ameobi after he and Mike Williamson get in each other's way.
From Marshy, on text: "Are you kidding? He may have left Spurs under a cloud but I am one Spurs fan that would love to see Dimitar Berbatov back at WHL. The missing piece of our attack. Imagine Berb, VDV behind with Bale and Lennon wide. Awesome!"
1959: United attack, but their threat from a corner doesn't last long as Javier Hernandez is harshly adjudged to have fouled Joey Barton inside the Newcastle six-yard box. Top-drawer start in the north-east, we're just missing a goal.
1956: Joey Barton woefully over-hits a cross meant for Shola Ameobi. I'll see you later.
From CityMoltenLight on Twitter:
"Will Barton prove that he should be in the England squad today? I can't help but be a little cynical..." So far, he's been imperious.
1953: Newcastle are all over Man United. A corner is headed goalwards by Fabricio Coloccini and United only just manage to clear. They are hanging on at the moment. Cheik Tiote rifles in a low one from 25 yards and Edwin van der Sar gets down well to make the save. Sizzling.
1952: Jonas Gutierrez goes past Nani and Michael Carrick and sees his shot from 20 yards deflected behind. United cannot clear, and from another Joey Barton cross Shola Ameobi's shot at the back stick is saved by Edwin van der Sar. Fabulous start.
1950: St James's Park really is buzzing, and Newcastle have made a very decent start despite that early Man Utd chance. Joey Barton's cross from the right just evades a team-mate at the far post, before Barton opts to pass when Jonas Gutierrez's ball back in finds him at the far post, with United managing to clear.
1949: What a chance that is for United to take an early lead. Wayne Rooney is played over the top down the left, he's in acres and sends over a low cross that looks for all the world as though Javier Hernandez is going to slam home, but Tim Krul gets down superbly and sticks out his left arm to pull off a magnificent save and deny the Mexican.
From Jack in Cornwall, on text: "I wonder how much time Hernandez spends with Owen in training because he reminds me of a young Michael."
1946: The away team get us under way at St James's Park thanks to Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez. Super atmosphere. No sign of Philippe Albert or Laurent Robert, though. Boo.
1944: The teams are out. Great ovation. I've been in the away end at Newcastle - good grief it's high up there, hope none of the United fans suffer from vertigo. I'd imagine the next entry will be all about kick-off...
1942: Man United sub Michael Owen hasn't played against Newcastle since leaving the club. Thanks to my colleague
I've been reminded that
Michael sent this tweet on 12 April
(check out those exclamation marks): "As I've already said, don't know where, don't know when, but there is an important goal to come from me this season - mark my words!!!"
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "It is a fixture I genuinely believe Sir Alex will be very wary of. Maybe not so much because he fears us as a team, but because he fears the ground and the reaction it can inspire the team to. For example,
the Arsenal game."
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson: "The Premier League and the Champions League are the two priorities at this club. Everybody knows when you go to Newcastle you have to deal with the atmosphere up there. They have fantastic supporters and you know they will be on your backs."
1931: Good grief, it would be harsh if Dimitar Berbatov, the top scorer in the Premier League with 21 goals, had been dropped altogether tonight. But if so, does it mean to Bulgarian is on his way out? Would United fans be sorry to see him go? And would Spurs fans want to see him back at The Lane?
From KROmegAMan on Twitter:
"I think Berbatov's United career might be over... Not even on the bench... he's let the team down on important occasions too often."
From Salford Dave, on text: "And I need you now tonight, I need you Patrice Evra... To score first please." Is it wrong that in my head I sang that line before I'd even read it?!
1924: Newcastle v Man United (1945 BST) Sam Lyon
reports: "So Newcastle are able to recall Shola Ameobi following a knee injury and Cheik Tioite after suspension for the visit of Man Utd, though Stephen Ireland must wait for his debut as he starts among the substitutes. Dimitar Berbatov, however, does not even make the Man Utd bench as Sir Alex Ferguson plumps for Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez up front, with Ryan Giggs back in the XI after being 'rested' for that
FA Cup semi-final defeat to Man City
- wonder how Fergie feels about that decision upon reflection..."
1917: Newcastle v Man United (1945 BST) Sam Lyon
reports: "Ask any football layman - go on, do it - and they'll tell you the title is already won. "Arsenal and Chelsea are too far behind" they'll say. "Man Utd are certs," they'll add. Well should Newcastle earn what would be only their fourth Premier League win over United in 34 matches tonight, Arsenal would pull within three points of the league leaders with a win at Spurs on Wednesday - and Man Utd still have to play both the Gunners and Chelsea. Foot off the pedal? Heavens no."
1915: Anyway, as a special treat for you tonight, you've not only got me doing the live text (wait for it), but you've also got
Mr Sam Lyon
on match report duties. Must feel like Christmas and Easter all rolled into one, eh?
1912: When I get an email from
I pretty much know it's gonna be a cracking night. Here's a run-down of their stats-based chat: According to the
Euro Club Index,
Newcastle (ranked 89th) have a 13% chance of winning today, while Man United (third) are 62% likely; Wayne Rooney has scored nine times against Newcastle as a United player; and Javier Hernandez has scored eight away goals this season - only Darren Bent has more in the division; St James's Park has seen more PL goals scored (59) this season than any other ground."
From Sanny, on text: "Need Ameobi and Newcastle to win 2-1 to pay my student loan off. I'm feeling confident."
1905: Newcastle v Man United line-ups: Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Barton, Guthrie, Tiote, Gutierrez, Lovenkrands, Ameobi. Subs: Soderberg, Perch, Ryan Taylor, Ireland, Steven Taylor, Ranger, Kuqi. Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Hernandez, Rooney. Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Park, Fabio Da Silva, Evans, Valencia, Gibson. Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
1902: Breaking team news: Hearing that Wayne Rooney starts up front with Javier Hernandez for Man United, while Shola Ameobi returns for Newcastle. More to follow.
1900: You don't have to be called Philippe Albert or Laurent Robert to play your part in this great fixture. You could be called Ted, or anything. Drop me -
- a line because without you I'm nothing: get the texts in to 81111 and send us a tweet to
and with the hashtag
1853: Newcastle await, that's who. I know what you're thinking -
10th in the Premier League table,
pretty much safe from relegation and no chance of getting into Europe, this could be a walk in the park for the visitors. But if you are thinking that, you're clearly not aware of the recent history of these two clubs. It'd be fair to say they've got a bit of previous...
1850: That's right. Four wins and a draw from Newcastle (A), Everton (H), Arsenal (A), Chelsea (H), Blackburn (A) and Blackpool (H) will be enough to earn Sir Alex and United an incredible 12th Premier League crown and take them above arch-rivals Liverpool as the most decorated team in English league history. So what exactly awaits United tonight, then?
1845: Manchester United's hopes of emulating the Treble winners of 1999 might have
gone down the drain at Wembley on Saturday,
but there's almost certainly one special feat that can make up for that crushing defeat: if United pick up 13 points from their last six league games, a record 19th championship will be theirs.
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