Newcastle United gained a point at Old Trafford Saturday as they played Manchester United to a 1-1 draw that could have easily been 0-0...or 4-1 to the bad guys. Goals were scored by Javier Hernandez (fluke off his chest, 49') and Demba Ba (phantom penalty, 64'). Newcastle acquitted themselves well for the second straight week against a Manchester team and were this time rewarded for their efforts. Once Jonas Gutierrez was sent off in the 79th minute for earning a second yellow (and boy, did he earn it), the tide turned and Manchester United had the run of play, putting chance after chance into the box, but Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, and Danny Simpson all made saves at some point, preserving the draw.
The focus from the national media will be on the very dubious penalty called on
Nani Rio Ferdinand against Hatem Ben Arfa, and it's true that the call was a very bad one. Let's not lose this in the narrative: Chicharito's goal was as fluky as they come. Red Devils supporters will cry foul, but the reality is that Newcastle played with them as long as they had 11 players on the pitch. In fact, this is the last I'll mention it this week (barring an Interpol investigation, of course).
It's a relief to grab a point from this second leg of the #StretchofDoom...I was afraid we'd be putting all of our eggs in the Chelsea basket, a dangerous proposition indeed. After conceding 3 to Manchester City, Newcastle's defense bounced back in a big way.