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Newcastle United Struggle, Manage First Win Of Year: NUFC 1 - 0 Leicester City

Newcastle United made hard work of it and ended up getting a result that they maybe just about deserved

Stu Forster

I really just wanted to sit here and type 250 random disjointed words in homage to exactly what we see on the pitch week in, week out.  For whatever reason, this idea fell by the wayside.

The kick-off was delayed an hour due to dangers created by the "new huge scoreboard" not having been hung securely during the international break.  Predictably and on par with expectations, the "new huge scoreboard" is only slightly bigger than the TV in my living room.. but that's neither here nor there.  It turns out that the delayed kick-off was the most excitement either set of fans would get on the day.

During the delay, Cheik Tiote managed to injure himself during warm-ups, so Vurnon Anita got the start in his stead with Pardew ostensibly favoring a 4-3-3 (at least as advertised.)  It would turn out, predictably, that it was a lot more of a 4 - something - 1 with Cissé isolated up front.  Again.  The NUFC official twitter account may have shed light on exactly why Newcastle are struggling so much these days:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>27&#39; - <a href="">#NUFC</a> currently set up as a 4-1-1 here at SJP, with Sissoko operating in behind Cisse. They&#39;re dominating possession but no goals yet.</p>&mdash; Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) <a href="">October 18, 2014</a></blockquote>

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I believe Pardew to be an idiot and all, but surely he's playing more than 6 players?

An early sitter missed by Fabricio Coloccini seemed to set the tone for what would prove to be a long match, although his effort to get down field and end up on the penalty spot like a striker would should be commended... missing the goal by 5 or 6 yards not so much.  As the time ticked away, the quality of the match devolved and got progressively more disjointed.  Papiss Cissé missed Newcastle's second sitter of the match having rounded Kasper Schmeichel and then putting the ball strongly into the side netting.

For the bulk of the match, Gabriel Obertan was by far the best Newcastle player on the pitch.  I'll let that soak in for a minute.

Obertan provided much of the early impetus and became the go-to man as every pass seemingly would be aimed at him - up to the point that we just started hoofing balls in the most time honored Alan Pardew tradition.  It would be Obertan who would deliver the game-breaking goal, receiving the ball on the left wing and cutting back just above the 18-yard box and knocking it towards the middle before blasting a shot just inside Schmeichel's left post.  It was probably more than Newcastle United deserved on a team level, but no more than Gaby deserved for his work on the day.

Leicester earned a late corner that was, predictably, not dealt with well by a Newcastle defense that looked pedestrian at best yet again (had Leicester had a bit more quality in the final third, they could have solved us in exactly the same ways as other clubs have) yielding a shot by Danny Drinkwater that was saved well by Tim Krul in what would be the last really meaningful action of the match.