Tim Howard scuffed a
clearance that fell straight to Ambrose.
Ameobi did his best to get in the way but Ambrose jinked into the box and tucked
the ball past the advancing 'keeper at the Stretford end.
Half time: Man United 0
A long punt forward by Keane was headed back infield by
Ramage and before the ball hit the ground, Rooney hit a spectacular 25-yard
volley into the roof of the net - Shay didn't even get close to it.
A corner from the left was met by the head of Brown
as Ameobi put in a half-hearted challenge.
Full time: Man United
2 Newcastle 1
Graeme Souness said:
"I feel as
though we have been unlucky again today. We got our goal in the first-half
and, after that, I cannot really remember Shay Given having a save to make.
Rooney's wonder strike they did not hurt us. We tried a new formation and it
worked for us. We're disappointed with their second goal, which has come
from a set-piece, but it was their first goal which mattered most.
a point. That is the second game in a row where we have lost matches because
of a contender for goal of the season. It was the same at Norwich in
frustrating for us, but I wouldn't say it is irritating. I don't like to
keep coming out after games talking about another hard luck story.
can happen in football and you have to get on with it. It's very easy to
start feeling sorry for yourself, in football, as in life. I get low because
I don't like losing, but I'm not letting my head go down."
"We had to
put out a very young team because that is all we had left. I'm finding a lot
about the players here during these difficult times. I'm finding out who I
want to have with me when the going gets tough. There are a few players who
have played here who have impressed me with their attitude and commitment.
"There are a
few who come away from this game with a plus next to their name. I thought
Charles N'Zogbia had an excellent game and you have to give praise to Peter
Ramage who has made his debut in such an intimidating atmosphere and come
through it well.
Goalscorer Darren Ambrose told the Chronicle:
"Everyone is down in the changing room because we all felt we
deserved more out of the game. We had a young team out there and they did
well. It's all so disappointing.
Peter Ramage was making his Premiership debut against Ryan Giggs and I
thought he was fantastic.
"Funnily enough, I thought the chance I had just before that when I
volleyed my shot just wide would have been a better goal.
"Shola Ameobi was just
about to shoot and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
All I had to do was to push the ball forward, outpace the defenders and turn
the ball into the net.
"My goal at Bolton was a
fair strike but I liked this one better because Old Trafford is such a big
"I have not had that many
chances this season but when I have I feel as though I have done OK. We
still have five games left and my immediate aim is to play in as many of
them as I can."
Alex Ferguson commented:
"It took a fantastic goal from Wayne Rooney to change
the game. I was ready to take him off, because he had picked up an
injury [dead leg] in the first half."
"It was phenomenal, considering he was injured. I
don't know how far out he was - he looked as if he was 30 yards.
"It was very, very important to win.
"I said to the players at half-time
- we have got to
get used to these hot days. The winter has gone and it got a bit sticky
out there - this is a period when you have to get over lethargy - it was
maybe a lethargic performance."
About the ref:
"The same ref gave the most frivolous decision at
Portsmouth this season, which was hardly a penalty, turned down a
penalty against Chelsea."
"We should have had a clear penalty today - it seems
to me now that we are not going to get penalties no matter what the
"It's getting ridiculous now. I'm not sure if they're
instructed but it's sinister to me."
About the stretchered-off Heinze:
"It's a bit swollen but he's tough."
"We've got one or two bumps and bruises - Roy Keane
came off with double vision and Wayne got a knock - but they can have a
little break now."
“I caught this one sweetly and it went into the top corner. It’s the
best goal I’ve ever scored.
“If you can hit the ball as hard
as you possibly can you’ve always got a chance because the keeper
might not be able to hold on to it.
“Then, even if he does save it,
there’s a chance of it rebounding for someone else to score.
“You concentrate 100 per cent on
the ball rather than where the keeper is.
“Any forward will tell you they
always know where the goal and the keeper are so as long as you
concentrate on the ball and catch it nicely, you’ve got a chance of
it going in.”
Wayne Rooney's spectacular volley drew
comparison with Shearer's similar effort against Everton two seasons
ago. Rooney had come on as sub in that game ten minutes before Shearer's
It was a year and a day since Shearer's other recent
eye-catching strike against Chelsea.
Reds @ Old Trafford: Premiership
93/94 drew 1-1 Cole
94/95 lost 0-2
95/96 lost 0-2
96/97 drew 0-0
97/98 drew 1-1 Andersson
98/99 drew 0-0
99/00 lost 1-5 og(Berg)
00/01 lost 0-2
01/02 lost 1-3 Shearer
02/03 lost 3-5 Bernard, Shearer, Bellamy
03/04 drew 0-0
04/05 lost 1-2 Ambrose
And the SJP stats (league only):
93/94 drew 1-1 Cole21.
Rammy becomes the 10th debutant in this season's league campaign
and the 114th player to have represented us in the Premiership.
94/95 drew 1-1 Kitson
95/96 lost 0-1
96/97 won 5-0 Peacock, Ginola, Ferdinand,
97/98 lost 0-1
98/99 lost 1-2 Solano
99/00 won 3-0 Ferguson, Shearer 2
00/01 drew 1-1 Glass
01/02 won 4-3 Robert, Lee, Dabizas, Brown og.
02/03 lost 2-6 Jenas, Ameobi
03/04 lost 1-2 Shearer
04/05 lost 1-3 Shearer
Premiership debut for defender Peter Ramage at the age of
this was his first start and first Premiership appearance, he did make
a 23 minute sub appearance in the UEFA Cup home game against
Olympiakos last month)
There are two ways of looking at this defeat -
in the context of a losing streak that now extends to five consecutive away
games in all competitions, or in isolation.
Taking the latter option, this loss by the odd goal in three doesn't seem nearly
as bad, coming as it did amidst a climate of fear in black and white quarters
that we would end up on the wrong end of a scoreline more associated with the
cricket ground just across the street from Old Trafford.
But while we can curse our ill luck at meeting a Manchester United side whose
premature hibernation was only disrupted by the second unstoppable strike in as
many games, the fact remains that we took the lead once again and failed to win,
for the 13th time in the league this season.
And while we would have celebrated like loons
had either of them netted, it was a shame that Kluivert and Robert were used at
all in this game, their shabby ambling attempts at getting involved taking the
shine off a gutsy and industrious performance that probably warranted a point.
As at Norwich, for the majority of this game we played some good football,
keeping our shape and showing a decent work ethic and desire to play as a team -
in stark contrast to some other games in recent times. If nothing else, this was
an honest performance.
However there's no getting away from the truth of the matter - while inexperienced players
such as Ramage and N'Zogbia gave a decent account of themselves, we were
ultimately found wanting at both ends of the field.
Had we been battered here, we could have used the fact that Carr was an
emergency midfielder, Ramage was playing in an alien position and we had a full
team of players sidelined by dint of being incapable, ineligible or unwilling to
play their part.
But losing narrowly, we're left to reflect that experienced players
undermined our efforts - yet another headed goal conceded pointing to slackness
in marking amongst first choice players and a depressingly barren afternoon for
the number nine, who looked weary as he led the line single-handedly and
received little in the way of help from Milner or Ameobi.
In the context of the game and our resources that's perhaps hard criticism, but
until the Premiership adopt the New Faces scoring system, we only get points for
winning and drawing, not for effort, application or star quality.
Today we were almost at the stage of being labelled plucky - like those other
teams at the wrong end of the table are when they conjure up a good performance.
This was better than the last few 90 minute disasters, but only comparatively.
We got battered at Cardiff and lost - in this rematch we competed on a more
equal basis, but still lost. Like the youth policy of Ardiles in the early
1990s, people applauded his effort and endeavour, but the results didn't come
and he was shown the door.
And so the defeated Newcastle players left the field to another hearty round of
applause from supporters who had backed them from first whistle to last, as the
opposition followers sat on their hands and buttoned their lips.
It's important to remember though that many of those away fans would be here
regardless of what league we were playing in. The number of spare season tickets
suddenly available for the Boro and Palace home games is a reminder that not
everyone is as forgiving - the atmosphere would be decidedly more hysterical,
had we been losing these games on home soil.
Better Newcastle sides than this have been outplayed and beaten out of sight on
this ground - neither of which happened to us today. The team that picked itself
repaid Souness by putting in a committed and whole-hearted display and that's at
least something to cling on to, as we scan the horizon for the promised
We've endured possibly the most morale-sapping, downright depressing three weeks
on the road, with disappointments on five foreign fields. Now comes the
opportunity to start putting things right with two home fixtures in quick
Fans and players alike have to believe that things will improve and our luck
will change - anything else simply doesn't bear thinking about.