Main Page

Quick Links

The Rest
   Club info
   Last Season
   Unlikely Lads
   A-Z Index



Season 2004-05
Manchester United (a) Premiership


Date: Sunday 24th April 2005, 4.05pm
Live on Skysports1

 Old Trafford

Conditions:  Bright sunshine

Away tickets: £34 & £30 (last season £31)
programme (last season £3)



Manchester United

Newcastle United

2 - 1



27 mins: 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. 1-0

Half time: Man United 0 Newcastle 1

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
. 1-1

75mins: A corner from the left was met by the head of Brown as Ameobi put in a half-hearted challenge. 1-2

Full time: Man United 2 Newcastle 1

We Said

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.

"Until Wayne 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.

"We deserved 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 midweek.

"It's 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.

"These things 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 arena."

"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." 

They Said

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 circumstances.

"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."

Rooney commented:

“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 thunderbolt.

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 Cole
94/95 drew 1-1 Kitson
95/96 lost 0-1
96/97 won 5-0 Peacock, Ginola, Ferdinand, 
Shearer, Albert 
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
21. Rammy becomes the 10th debutant in this season's league campaign and the 114th player to have represented us in the Premiership.

(While 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 rescuers.

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 succession. 

Fans and players alike have to believe that things will improve and our luck will change - anything else simply doesn't bear thinking about.



Page last updated 24 April, 2012