2mins City's defence fatally allowed Yohan Cabaye's corner ball to bounce in the six yard box and travel through to
Loic Remy at the back post, the in-form striker nodding home from close
in at the Gallowgate End 1-0
38mins A great piece of skill in his own half saw Shola evade Bradley Johnson before threading a
fine pass for Remy, who had found space on the right flank. He played a short pass back to Sissoko and he was able to advance in possession
before curling over a right-footed cross into the area.
his marker and headed the ball goalwards, only for John Ruddy to unconvincingly
palm it into the path of the lurking Yoan Gouffran, who rammed it home
from close range. 2-0
Half time: Magpies 2 Canaries 0
Nathan Redmond's corner was by Dutch international Leroy Fer on the
penalty spot, who out-jumped Coloccini to head past Krul. 2-1
Full time: Magpies 2 Canaries 1
"I keep criticising the press locally here in that when we win, we
are a European team or whatever, and then when we lose, itís the end of
the world. Itís just really truly about winning games, keeping our feet on
the ground and seeing where we go.
"What we have got, though, is a really
good group who were really committed to win. The only agenda I have set them,
really and truly, was to win, there was no other agenda because this game is an
easy game to lose.
"You win against Chelsea, you go to
Spurs and then Norwich turn up and you lose, and we have sort of buried that a
little bit, and I am really, really pleased. I am as pleased tonight as I was when
we won at Spurs. I might not look it, but I am.
"This is precisely the sort of game we have lost in the past, it was an
easy game to lose after the wins over Chelsea and Tottenham so Iím delighted
with the win.
"Thatís another goal for Loic (Remy)
and it keeps his run going. I thought that wasn't one of his best games today, but
he is still a young player and he is still learning.
"There were a couple of times when he could have set other plays up and
didnít. Itís too early for me to talk about him staying beyond the end of
the season, thatís an ongoing thing.
"Shola (Ameobi) has had some
fantastic players as competition while he has been here and he has that again
now with Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa on the bench.
"Iíve challenged him to find that
consistency and credit to him because he has done that. He was excellent for us
today, especially in the first half. He played for Nigeria on Monday and heís
not the sort of lad who can play two games in a week regularly because heís a
big guy. He was cramping up at the end.
"I thought we looked a little bit tired
in the second half because of all the players who had been away on international
duty and when you are 2-0 up at half-time, itís easy to lean on that little
"But we still defended very well and
had numerous chances to wrap it up, but the most important objective today was
the win, and we got the job done.
"We had a tricky last ten minutes but
prior to that I thought we were comfortable. You can get a bit lackadaisical in
your play at 2-0 and I donít think we were as good in possession as we were in
the last couple of games.
On recent reports from Argentina that
Fabricio Coloccini was intent on forcing through a transfer to San Lorenzo in
"I wasnít aware of that, if I am
honest, but itís difficult when players go home and they are interviewed. You
never know if there is any truth in it. I havenít spoken to Colo about
"It's very difficult. We know how good Newcastle can be
at St. James' and the last thing you want is to be 1-0 own after the first few
minutes. We then conceded a second to give us a mountain to climb but we know
we've got quality and spirit in the group and we showed that in the second half.
"The pleasing thing for me is that we
made a real go of it and gave ourselves an opportunity, but we ultimately gave
ourselves too much to do - you just canít afford to be 2-0 down at half-time
and certainly not 1-0 down after two minutes.
"We made life too difficult for ourselves. We managed to create some
chances and rallied well in the second half and made a real good go of it, but
ultimately it is those goals that have done us today.Ē
now eight goals in ten Premier League games (nine starts)
for Loic Remy, who netted our first goal from a corner in the
Premier League since Demba Ba at Wolves from Yohan Cabaye's assist in October
And in terms of home games, it's our first since Ryan Taylor's flag kick
against West Brom in May 2011 ended up in the back of the Leazes
End net via Peter Lovenkrands and then Steven Taylor.
Quickest NUFC PL goals scored:
2 minutes or less:
Aug 1997 Sheff Wednesday (h) Tino Asprilla
Sep 2002 mackems (h) Craig Bellamy
Feb 2006 Aston Villa (a) Shola Ameobi
Apr 2006 Spurs (h) Lee Bowyer
Sep 2007 West Ham (h) Mark Viduka
Feb 2009 West Brom (a) Damien Duff
Feb 2011 Birmingham City (a) Peter Lovenkrands
Jan 2013 Everton (h) Papiss Cisse
Nov 2013 Norwich (h) Loic Remy
1 minute or less:
Jan 1996 Arsenal (h) David Ginola
Jan 2003 Manchester City (h) Alan Shearer
Mar 2004 Charlton Athletic (h) Alan Shearer
(Precise timings to the second aren't available for all of the above
goals, meaning that the above lists are written in chronological order,
once divided by the minute mark)
three consecutive wins in
the Premier League for the first time since April 2012.
NUFC last six PL seasons
after twelve games:
2013/14: 20 points, 8th (scored
17, conceded 17)
2012/13: 14 points, 12th (scored 13, conceded 17)
2011/12: 25 points, 3rd (scored 18, conceded 11)
2010/11: 17 points, 5th (scored 21, conceded 16)
2008/09: 12 points, 18th (scored 15, conceded 20)
2007/08: 18 points, 10th (scored 19, conceded 18)
versus Canaries - post WWII:
2013/14 won 2-1 Remy, Gouffran
2012/13 won 1-0 Ba
2011/12 won 1-0 Cisse
2004/05 won 2-1 Jenas, Sh.Ameobi(pen)(LC)
2004/05 drew 2-2 Bellamy, Hughes
1994/95 won 3-0 Beardsley 2(1pen), Kitson
1993/94 won 3-0 Cole, Lee, Beardsley
1988/89 lost 0-2
1987/88 lost 1-3 Gascoigne
1986/87 won 4-1 Goddard, Gascoigne, McDonald(pen), D.Jackson
1984/85 drew 1-1 Waddle
1981/82 won 2-1 Varadi, Mills
1977/78 drew 2-2 Burns, Kennedy
1976/77 won 5-1 T.Craig, Gowling, Oates, McCaffery 2
1975/76 won 5-2 Gowling 2, Macdonald 2, OG
1973/74 drew 0-0
1972/73 won 3-1 Tudor 2, Guthrie
1964/65 won 2-0 Cummings, Robson
1963/64 won 2-0 Cummings, Iley
1962/63 won 2-1 Fell(pen), Thomas
1961/62 drew 0-0
Full record against Norwich:
Chris Hughton's second return to SJP
again saw him leave empty-handed - but only after his side threatened to snatch a point and ensured a jittery last ten minutes for home
fans on Saturday.
First half efforts from French duo Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran were ultimately enough to
ensure a third successive victory for United . However, Alan Pardew's men should
have put the result beyond doubt well before Leroy Fer breached our defences for
the first time in 266 minutes.
Remy netted after just 113 seconds, converting Yohan Cabaye's flag kick
from the Strawberry Corner and ending our long wait for a goal stemming from a
corner. That barren run stretched back to Demba Ba's effort at Wolves over two
years earlier -
Cabaye also the provider that day.
United failed to capitalise on that early breakthrough though and the Canaries twice
carved out half-chances through long balls into the box; Shola Ameobi well
placed to hoof clear the second opportunity from the six yard box.
Perhaps boosted by thoughts of next summer's World Cup, Ameobi was enjoying one of his most
energetic and effective games in Toon colours for a long while. Lleading the line expertly,
winning headers and holding the
ball up, his astute pass released Moussa Sissoko after 30 minutes, only for
the Frenchman to screw his shot wide when confronted with the advancing Ruddy.
City again caused confusion at the other end of the field though, with the lively Nathan Redmond sweeping a deep cross over from the right
for Anthony Pilkington to head across goal. Tim Krul, Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini all stopped as the ball dropped
towards the post, Williamson then out-muscling his goalkeeper before wellying
Gary Hooper's dangerous nod back away to safety.
Returning after a six game absence, Coloccini was paired with Williamson in
central defence, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa diverted to right back to cover for the
suspended Mathieu Debuchy. Looking slightly ring-rusty at times, there was an early scare when
appeared to be struggling to run and visibly holding his groin. However he
completed the full 90 minutes.
What proved to be the winner soon arrived, Gouffran grabbing his second goal in
as many home games. Ameobi then almost made it 3-0 on
half-time, only for Ruddy to turn his 20 yard blast around the post. Shola and
his side still departed to an ovation though, with the prospect of further goals
warming the crowd as the temperature noticeably dropped.
City lost Pilkington after the break when he was halted on the edge of the
United box, the Republic of Ireland international stretchered off following
treatment with a hamstring pull. That brought Johan Elmander on almost three years to the day that
his two goals and guile for Bolton resulted in red cards for Williamson and
Coloccini and a loss that edged Hughton towards the SJP exit.
The Swedish forward never looked likely to grab his first Premier League goal for Norwich, but
City did get forward with more conviction as United ran out of steam; Cabaye and
Ameobi replaced by Vurnon Anita and Papiss Cisse respectively in an effort to
revitalise the side.
Still the momentum was with City though and after forcing four corners in quick succession,
Norwich halved their arrears with ten minutes to play - Redmond claiming the
assist against the club who had scouted him when at Birmingham City. Presumably
he wasn't French enough for us at that point...
Eyebrows were then raised as Pardew introduced Hatem Ben Arfa for Gouffran - the
former out in the cold in recent weeks, partly due to a perceived lack of effort
when not in possession. Despite donning the perennially bonkers-looking
combination of short-sleeved shirt and gloves though, he did his utmost for the
cause - avoiding the need to track back by taking possession at every juncture.
United came close to sealing the win when Remy and Sissoko combined to put Cisse in on goal - although the
offside flag that ruled out his strike looked decidedly dubious when seen
later on TV. Cisse also headed over after good work from Ben Arfa, before five added
minutes were seen out with only a few squeaky posterior seconds - nowhere near as
intense as the frantic finale at Spurs.
The three points took United up a place to eighth position and a 20 point haul from
twelve games - form that if extended to the end of the season, would have been
sufficient to ensure a sixth-place finish in each of the last two seasons - and
fifth in the one before that.
And therein lies the rub. With communication from the club currently consisting
either of managerial soundbites or programme notes attributed to the Director of
F***all, it's a matter of debate quite what the collective ambition of the club
A cynical answer to that would be along the lines of maximising revenues, but
attempts at clarifying the financial picture by accountants writing in the True
Faith fanzine would seem to indicate a lack of success in that area.
Saturday's programme included news of a new club bonus structure activated by
the first team achieve a tenth place finish or higher, replacing a previous
arrangement kicking in at twelfth.
That tenth place trigger echoes the comments of club directors at a recent fan
forum about being our collective target - but begs the question of whether
settling for that level of finish is a merely public stance the club are taking,
or a hint of something more solid.
Fans may hanker after a return to European competition, but given the grief he
got internally last season, the manager may be more ambivalent. And given our
declared collective disinterest in cup competitions it's a fair bet that the
owner isn't checking the expiration of his
Most immediately, deeds done in the next transfer window may prove to be the
real litmus test of where we're headed. If Ashley's dreadful sports news service
is any guide, then the January sales will see a cavalcade of departures -
although the hype tends to be far greater than the reality. It's easy to imagine
the rebuttal of requests for signings by the manager if we remain in the top
Out thoughts again return to the January 2011 transfer window, when the
unbelievable money offered for Andy Carroll saw United (rightly) cash in,
content in the knowledge that the seventh place they then occupied would be
enough to keep them up.
That manifested itself in a slow decline down to twelfth and the arrival of
Shefki Kuqi - presumably washed up by a freak wave at Druridge Bay. But had we
sat lower in the table when the Liverpool bid arrived, would we have made
greater efforts to sign viable Carroll replacements - including holding the
Anfield club to ransom over loans?
But we're still a long way from that - although thankfully a significant
distance (and nine points) away from the mackem misadventure. It's always unwise
to presume anything round here though: no-shows at the Liberty Stadium and Old
Trafford will soon have the Gloom army recruiting again.