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Newcastle United 0, Manchester United 0 - Post Game

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We said when speaking of expectations for this game that anything but a loss would be cause for a party. So...

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Seriously, though...well done, Newcastle. The pessimist will wonder where that effort was all season long, but for now, I'm just happy that they decided to show up at home against the table toppers and forced a draw.

There were good performances all around. Tim Krul stopped an early gimmee from Chicharito in the early stages, averting what would have surely been a meltdown involving slumped shoulders and hanging heads, and generally directed traffic in the back with great effect. Newcastle played the two center midfielders almost as far back as the back line, and as a result Wayne Rooney's got to be wondering how he's going to get himself out of Tiote's pocket. It wasn't all roses for the wondrous Cheik Tiote, as he gained another stupid yellow and could have been called for a penalty on a handball in the box, but he and Guthrie were very effective. Guthrie played with width and seemed comfortable, something that we haven't always been able to say about him.

Meanwhile, the Man of the Match for my money was Jonás Gutiérrez, who together with Jose Enrique Sanchez gave Manchester United's right side all they could handle. In the end, there was no score because the Toon continue to suffer from a lack of finishing (and they also got a bit lucky with some Manchester United misses down the stretch), but as a card-carrying member of the Toon Army I'm holding my head high after today. With 40 points, the team is surely safe, and now they have answered the question on everybody's lips the last time these two teams played: Yes, they belong in the Premier League.