Blackburn Rovers (h) Championship
Half time: United 0 Rovers 0
75 mins A flag kick from the North West corner was played short by Craig Conway and when Liam Feeney's right-footed cross was whipped over, Charlie Mulgrew acrobatically volleyed past Karl Darlow in the Leazes End goal from six yards. 0-1
Full time: United 0 Rovers 1
"It was very disappointing because I
didnít like the way we started the game.
"Newcastle will go on and win the
league, I have no doubt. But we showed that we can play a bit ourselves.
"The important thing now is to build momentum. That is what I said after beating Brentford, there is no point having a great performance then come to Newcastle and not perform to our maximum.
"People will think I'm a little bit crazy, but we certainly believed that we could come here and win.
is a lot of perception in football and people see the table and think Blackburn
are a poor team; nothing could be further from the truth.
52,000 fans gathered to witness a piece of NUFC club history, but rather than a tenth successive win were given a reminder that we're past masters in the art of making things difficult for ourselves.
A Blackburn Rovers side who had managed just four points from a possible 24 away from Ewood Park this season were rated at 9/1 for the win, but once again found the Tyneside air to their liking.
Discounting our FA Cup success in 2012, we've
now lost six of the last seven home meetings with Rovers - if they could
replicate that sort of form elsewhere they'd still be in the Premier League....
Similar circumstances brought unfashionable Grimsby Town to Tyneside then, a frustrating afternoon capped by a journeyman called Jim Dobbin scoring the goal of his career and ending Newcastle's run.
Ultimately that proved to be a temporary setback for United, who went on to lift the title. Hopefully we'll look back on this as nothing more than a blip, but a third home defeat in nine outings underlines the fact that we're by no means the finished article and remain a work in progress.
Like the loss to Wolves - our last reverse some ten weeks ago - United's major deficiency was creating and finishing the chances that should have followed large spells of possession.
That day, a Chancel Mbemba own goal gifted Wolves the lead but this time the central defender was less generous on his recall to the side (ex-Rover Grant Hanley unfit to face his former side).
He was one of three changes in defence while Dwight Gayle and Yoan Gouffran joined their captain on the bench - fatalists aware that we're yet to lose a game the Frenchman started this season....
Aleksandar Mitrovic's attempts to lead the line were more misfire than on fire, the Serbian chasing down lost causes and keeping his temper in check - but infuriatingly opting again and again not to jump for aerial balls, resulting in frequent loss of possession.
However, Mitro was only partly culpable for the side's stuttering with Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu well short in the delivery department, Jonjo Shelvey less influential than of late (partly due to a lack of runners to hit) and Ayoze Perez peripheral.
Fit-again and making a first Championship start at left back, Jesus Gamez left the field on a stretcher shortly after the break with a collar-bone injury. Paul Dummett replaced him and almost immediately played in Ritchie from the left, only for the Scot to fire over in the 58th minute.
Ciaran Clark allowed Jason Steele to smother
from close range and just five minutes later Charlie Mulgrew netted from the
second of two corners in quick succession - the first wrongly awarded by referee
Although he denied it post-match, Rafa's
starting selection looked to be influenced by a cup trip to Hull on Tuesday and
a league visit to Forest on Friday.
PS: Dobbin's 1992 heartbreaker was also followed by a League Cup tie away to top-flight opposition. We lost 1-2 at Chelsea. Go to Hull thinking that we have a divine right to win and we'll get another custard pie....