Swansea City (a) Premier League
Half time: Swans 0 Magpies 0
"We did really well today.
It is absolutely galling that we didnít get anything. We are absolutely
disappointed and frustrated that we didnít even get a draw because we more
than deserved that.
ďWe went in at 0-0 but we deserved so much more. After that, Newcastle came into the game and had some very good chances but, like us, they did not score when they were at their best and so that late goal decided the game.
ďIt shows our maturity, sometimes
with smaller teams when they do well and get recognition from the media
you see a reaction in the game after. You can forget every game starts
0-0. I expected what I saw today, but I still had to say it as when you
win a cup a negative reaction is normal.
Another outing for our apparently-cursed change kit saw Newcastle slip to their first-ever defeat at the Liberty Stadium - although only the maroon-clad Magpies will know how just they failed to find the net at least once on Saturday afternoon at a sunny Swansea.
Breaking their trophy duck the previous weekend was a momentous achievement for the Swans, but not necessarily a bad thing for The Magpies, as they sought to prevent Michael Laudrup's men from completing a seasonal win double.
Certainly the Swans looked below-par in the opening exchanges as we sought to take a stranglehold on the game in the manner that led to our last away success at Aston Villa. However, they failed to achieve that level of domination in a disjointed first half, with Rob Elliot kept far busier than Michel Vorm. Steven Taylor was forced into a vital goal line clearance from Michu and his central defensive partner Mapou Yanga M'Biwa tested as City threatened on several other occasions
The former Montpellier captain was the only alteration to the starting XI from the Southampton victory, with Fabricio Coloccini missing with back trouble and fitness issues again delaying the long-heralded return of Hatem Ben Arfa.
Handling his first top-flight fixture, Craig Pawson incurred the wrath of the travelling support by booking both Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote when similar challenges by the opposition went unpunished. And the rookie referee also did himself no favours by indulging Swansea's amateur dramatic act every time a semblance of contact with an opponent took place.
A double stop by Elliot in the opening stages of the second half proved to be a rare upfield excursion for City, as Newcastle upped their game and began to dominate the crucial midfield areas. Before the hour mark, Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse had all missed the target from good positions and a Newcastle goal looked inevitable as Vorm tipped a Cabaye effort on to his crossbar before pawing away a goal bound effort from Sissoko.
Resisting the temptation to alter what looked like a winning line-up for far longer than he'd done previously as Newcastle boss, Alan Pardew watched his side continue to dominate possession and City looked grateful to escape with a point as the prospect of a 0-0 stalemate looked inevitable.
However there was to be a sting in the tail, with Swans substitute Luke Moore bringing another vital block from Taylor in the closing stages before the ex Aston Villa forward almost apologetically found the net.
That triggered the manager into action and he threw on Shola Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux as the 90 minute mark ticked by. Hardly surprisingly though, that failed to provoke an instant response and Swansea played out three minutes of added time with something to spare, before a disheartened United side trooped off after acknowledging their backing from the away section.
In defeat one often learns more than in victory and after tinkering with his teams via substitutions on a regular basis to our frustration, it would be unfair to criticise Pardew for sticking his with first XI until the late panic caused by going behind.
Again though, it's hard to understand quite what he's seeing in terms of contribution from Gutierrez and Santon's defensive work remains decidedly shaky. Realistically, the remaining ten league games are a learning curve for the manager as he attempts to blend his resources into an effective unit, ahead of further personnel changes in the summer. Days like this are part of that process.
Leaving here in the knowledge that we'd enjoyed a greater proportion of the play than when winning here 2:0 last season was no more than cold comfort though - as was the certainty that points will come from worse performances than this. Onwards to Moscow then, that's a novel line to end on.