Newcastle United finally gave their fans something to shout about yesterday when, playing with 10 men for 75 minutes, they came from 1-0 down to earn a spirited 2-2 draw with Manchester City at St James' Park. Without a win for two months, under a caretaker manager and with their owner trying to unload the club, Newcastle have been in disarray and began the day second-last in the Premier League standings with five points.
But yesterday's fightback, albeit spoiled by City's late equaliser, will have massively lifted the mood on Tyneside ahead of next week's derby with Sunderland, whose fans have enjoyed every minute of their neighbours' painful soap opera. It looked bad for the hosts after 14 minutes when Habib Beye was judged to have brought down Robinho in the box and was sent off. Newcastle protested, claiming the defender had won the ball cleanly, and TV replays suggested he did, but the decision stood and Robinho converted the spot kick.
The goal rocked Newcastle but they gradually regrouped and began to run the game. They equalised just before halftime when Obafemi Martins's cross was cleared into the path of Shola Ameobi who struck it in neatly from close range. With the crowd behind them, the 10 men continued to push on and they took the lead after 63 minutes when City centre back Richard Dunne inexplicably turned a Geremi corner into his own net under no pressure.
City came back strongly though and equalised four minutes from time when Stephen Ireland burst clear to finish confidently. * Reuters