Newcastle United 1-1 Swansea
This one has to be a tale of what could have been.
A dominant but toothless display that just about sums up what Newcastle are up against for the rest of the season.
Well organised and on top of a team that looked a mess in comparison, yet a lack of quality once more meant the the home faithful went home frustrated.
The starting eleven is quite possibly one that played together last season, we’ve not checked but it’s very likely! How did it get to that?!
STARTING XI: Darlow, Dummett, Clark, Lascelles, Yedlin, Atsu, Hayden, Shelvey (Merino, 82), Ritchie, Gayle (Joselu, 64), Perez
Against a Swansea side, somewhat resurgent after the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal, you’d expect this to have been tight. It should have been anything but.
Newcastle dominated from the first whistle and should have been well clear by the break.
A Dwight Gayle header on 4 minutes - straight at the keeper
Diame lashes wide on 9 minutes
Gayle misses again on 12 minutes, this time heading wide when he should really have hit the target
22 minutes, Paul Dummett lashes at a cross which goal well over the bar
Perez found his way clean through but only managed to hit the keeper from 8 yards out
Shelvey next. A free kick just a year outside the box smashed high and wide
So many chances. Such a lack of quality in front of goal. As Rafa says, ‘you get what you pay for’.
Into the second half and Swansea at least came out to make a game of it. Newcastle not so dominant but still looking dangerous with the ball.
It should have been no surprise to anyone what happened next however. 60 minutes on the clock and after a first header was saved brilliantly by Darlow the follow up from the same player Ayew found it’s way into the Newcastle goal.
Having wasted so many chances Rafa would now turn to another Spaniard, Joselu, with just 25 minutes to play.
And where others had failed the Newcastle number 21 did not. A cross from Perez was deflected behind Joselu but just when the chance looked like it had gone he managed to turn on and fire through a crowded penalty area and Fabianski into the bottom corner.
Newcastle would look for the winner as the games rumbled on, but almost lost it in the final moments when a break from a United corner would end in Darlow rushing out at the feet of Ayew only to find the ball rebound to substitute Bony. Only a goal line clearance would save Newcastle from what would have been a devastating loss.
This one was a definitely a ‘must not lose’, that much at least was achieved. But yet again it was a case, at home, of what could - and should - have been.