Ref justice! Newcastle 0-0 Metalist Kharkiv

Cisse shows his frustration against Metalist Kharkiv
Cisse shows his frustration against Metalist Kharkiv
Newcastle were left frustrated last night as two offside flags, some poor finishing and some good saves combined to leave United’s Europa League participation in the balance.

A 0-0 result on the night means that Alan Pardew must take his side to Ukraine knowing that anything less that a score draw will mean elimination from the competition.

It could and perhaps should have been a different scenario had it not been for the intervention of the offside flag with Papiss Cisse being denied twice by one harsh and one just plain wrong offside call. With the benefit of those decisions we’d be heading to one of the more hostile grounds in Europe with a two goal advantage although missed chances on the night also prevented us from taking an advantage to Kharkiv next Thursday.

Three changes were made from the side that lost to Tottenham last weekend as Gabriel Obertan replaced the injured and cup-tied Yoan Gouffran, Cheik Tiote replaced James Perch and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa made his full debut for the club replacing a cup-tied Mathieu Debuchy.

However despite the strong side it took until the 17th minute for United to register their first real effort at goal. Moussa Sissoko rolled the ball to Gabriel Obertan who shot wide of the Leazes End goal.

The visitors weren’t just playing for a draw though and caught United napping when Marlos threaded the ball through for Sosa only for Xavier to get in his way just as he was about to strike the ball leaving Tim Krul with perhaps an easier save than he might have had otherwise.

Moments later came contentious decision number one as Moussa Sissoko was flagged offside before squaring to ball for Papiss Cisse to scramble home even though subsequent replays show the former Toulouse man was played onside by a number of yards by the Metalist left-back.

But again Metalist showed their threat as Xavier got on the end of a cross forcing a fine save from Tim Krul with his headed effort.

Just after the half-hour mark Cisse was again denied, this time by Horyainov in the Metalist goal after Yohan Cabaye played the ball through to the Senegal striker first time leaving Cisse free of the defence. Sissoko then found the Ukrainian ‘keeper equal to his effort after bursting into the box from the left as the first-half drew to a close.

Half-time: Newcastle 0-0 Metalist Kharkiv

Papiss Cisse fired wide after a good first touch early in the second period, while a long-range effort from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa flew harmlessly over the Gallowgate End goal.

With 20 minutes left Santon crossed for Cisse who again found Horyainov in the Ukraine goal equal to his effort before Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa crossed for Cisse to prod home the ball via the inside of the post only to see that effort denied by the offside flag.

Contentious issue number two but with the benefit of still shots and TV replays Cisse was marginally offside, although how it could have been called in real time with any real degree of accuracy is beyond me. And where is the benefit to the attacker as mentioned in the rulebook? We’re talking a matter of inches here.

Shola Ameobi replaced Cheik Tiote and his knockdown very nearly found the boot of Moussa Sissoko before more frustration for the home side in stoppage time as Horyainov denied Papiss Cisse’s point-blank range diving header after a cross from Davide Santon.

Full-time: Newcastle 0-0 Metalist Kharkiv

I hate blaming officials for results but you can’t get away from the clangers they dropped in this one. If you feel hard done by with the second decision then the first one must leave you searching for words to describe such an error.

It wasn’t just about the offside calls though. Newcastle picked up yellow cards for things which Metalist were getting away with, and whilst I have no qualms about Cheik Tiote’s or Yohan Cabaye’s bookings I feel Moussa Sissoko was hard done by.

Having said that we’re also guilty of missing some glorious chances and should be taking a lead to Ukraine. Unfortunately that isn’t the case and now we have to name a stronger squad than we perhaps would have liked if we are to progress to the Round of 16, which could cause issues for our next “six-pointer” against Southampton just three days later.

On a positive note I’d like to give honourable mentions to Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Papiss Cisse. Yanga-Mbiwa played well at right-back and looked both powerful and composed on the ball. He could be a real defensive asset for us although it’s early days as yet. As for Cisse, he was unlucky not to score and did all the right things pretty much but that degree of luck just deserted him when he needed it most. However it was his hold up play and link up play which impressed me the most. A vast improvement from the Senegal hitman.

I noticed some people last night bemoaning tactics and saying that we played poorly. For me that wasn’t the case. We had the bulk of the ball, the bulk of the chances and but for some dire luck we would be taking a lead to Ukraine. We did everything right last night, apart from avoiding some dodgy decisions and encountering a 37-year-old goalkeeper, who was only playing due to injury, in top form.

Howay the lads!

Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon; Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Gabriel Obertan, Moussa Sissoko, Jonas Gutierrez; Papiss Cisse

Subs: Rob Elliot, Danny Simpson, Massadio Haidara, Vurnon Anita, James Perch, Sylvain Marveaux, Shola Ameobi

Metalist Kharkiv: Oleksandr Horyainov; Cristian Villagra, Papa Gueye, Marco Torsiglieri, Fininho; Edmar Halovskyi, Juan Manuel Torres; Marlos, Cleiton Xavier, Jose Ernesto Sosa; Jonathan Cristaldo

Subs: Vladimir Disljenkovic, Andriy Berezovchuk, Oleh Shelayev, Sebastian Blanco, Jaja Coelho, Oleh Krasnopyorov, Willian Gomes

Attendance: 30,157

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

91 thoughts on “Ref justice! Newcastle 0-0 Metalist Kharkiv

  1. I will be truely gutted if we spend good money to bring Carroll back.
    He is NOT the answer.
    Any new striker we do bring in has to be told he is in direct competition with Cisse for the starting place. You cant bring in a top quality striker and tell him he is a back up. Utter tosh.
    Competition for places is the only way to get Cisse to improve. He certainly isn’t getting that from Shola, Campbell, or Ranger.


  2. “For the first goal it was Sissoko offside, once he touched the ball. Thats the rules. The linesman was right to call that one too.”

    You don’t know what you’re talking about I’m afraid…


  3. Beardsleys Boots
    February 16, 2013 at 00:12

    “For the first goal it was Sissoko offside, once he touched the ball. Thats the rules. The linesman was right to call that one too.”

    Sorry mate. That’s pure bull****. Have a look at this link, second picture down, or first one down after the main one.

    It’s a still of the moment the ball was played through for Sissoko. Can you explain to me how on earth Sissoko is offside? Or in fact how any NUFC player is offside? 😕


  4. Look, the way I see it is that this kind of **** happens. All you can hope for is a bit of swings and round a bouts and we get a couple of these go in our favour. Does it make it right, of course not, but this is the way of things during a game of footy. 🙂


  5. Prem, can’t say for sure as I don’t live in South Australia but the Blue Eagles play in the SA super league. From what I can gather it is a level lower than the A League which is the top level in Oz. A lot of theses types of clubs are feeders for the A League so the standard is good but not great. I have seen some really good young players coming from these lower leagues tho 🙂


  6. We still complaining about those 2 goals 🙄 😉 the first one should have been allowed to stand, the second one was offside, saying the linesman couldn’t be sure in real time is all well and good and he probably did take a guess at it, the fact is he guessed right though. We had plenty of other opportunities to win the game and didn’t take them, that’s football. We’re still in the competition and I still reckon we’ll go through. It’s annoying but we’ve had incorrect decisions go our way this season, even in that game, that’s the way it goes I’m afraid….we’re in danger of starting to sound like Arsenal fans 😯 😆


  7. I’m using “we” to avoid singling people out as there’s alot of sensitive little flowers on here 😉


  8. Beardley’s Boots

    So if we stop supporting Cisse to come right and get on his back is that going to help his confidence?
    Lets all trash talk the only out and out striker we have fit?

    Would you prefer Shola in his place? Because even in the pathetically poor form Cisse is in, he still has a better goal scoring record that Shola at his best.


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