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Take 2: Magpies battle for a point at Theater of Dreams

Newcastle United received a fortunate call to deny a clear goal from Wayne Rooney, but what followed was the kind of battling performance Magpies fans have been yearning to see.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

A large banner was unfurled at a match last season and immediately set social media on fire and was shared all over the globe.

It's message was very simple and directed to Newcastle United then coach John Carver, his staff, the players and especially owner Mike Ashley and the board.

Never was this more on display than Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford. Newcastle faced an unending siege in the first 20 minutes and final 20 minutes of the match.

And never faltered.

It took a couple amazing saves from keeper Tim Krul, good defensive cover by first Vernon Anita and Jack Colback and later Cheik Tiote and terrific defending from Chancel Mbemba, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara.

Wave after wave came at NUFC in the second half, and amazingly, Newcastle United could have and should have done a monumental smash and grab job victory, but Papiss Cisse's first touch let him down again.

But we'll get to that later.

The stats tell one story. Manchester United fired 20 shots at Newcastle's goal, eight of them on target, but the battling Magpies kept the Red Devils from celebrating.

Newcastle United managed no shots on goal.

Now for what the stats do not say. Despite no "official" attempts on net, Newcastle United created two terrific scoring opportunities in the match. New signing Aleksandar Mitrovic cannoned a sure-goal header off the corner post and later another new signing, Florian Thauvin, within a whisker of re-directing Cisse's desperation shot/pass across goal.

Manchester United also was left shaking its head with its missed opportunities, none more than Chicharito Hernandez, who thought he had grabbed the winner, only for Tim Krul to produce a save that was man of the match worthy.

But the real star was Coloccini, who did receive the MoM honor. Colo had been linked with a move to Crystal Palace for weeks before reaffirming himself to the club and signing a one-year extension. His performances at center back have been inconsistent at best, but he was at his best in the Saturday in the Old Trafford cauldron.

"I think you saw out there today (Coloccini) was the leader," NUFC coach Steve McClaren said in an interview with Chronicle. "Concentration is the key thing because I've been there when you lose it and you lose the game at the end. We kept our focus and could have won it (at) the end.

"i thought Colo and Taylor and Tim Krul were excellent, they were immaculate. They kept us in the game in the first 20 minutes and the last 10 minutes. You have to defend well and they showed their experience."

The match began with Newcastle not just on the back foot, but seemingly still on the bus coming to Manchester. The Red Devils were all over NUFC in the opening minutes, so much so, that one could easily forget how much Manchester United have struggled in front of goal so far this Premiership season.

Then in an instant, a seemingly out-of-form Wayne Rooney -- who has made a living out of scoring against Newcastle United -- was free behind the defense and calmly placed his shot by a helpless Krul for a 1-0 lead.

But just as fast as the celebration began, it was snuffed by a glorious sight for NUFC fans, the linesman's flag. The replay showed the call was wrong and the goal should've stood.

Good teams take advantage of fortuitous calls and happenings, and that is exactly what Newcastle United did.

For MUFC fans screaming about referee decisions, later in the match, MUFC's Adnan Januzaj should've seen yellow for one of the most ridiculous dives of the season. And Newcastle supporters still remember last March when the black and whites should've received a clear-as-day penalty kick. It was clear as day to everyone except referee Anthony Taylor.

Things have a way of evening out, so consider that fortunate decision the Yang to Manchester's Yin last spring at St. James Park.

Minutes later, with Manchester United fans and players still fuming at the offside decision, Chancel Mbemba took possession and raced down the wing, putting in a perfect cross for Mitrovic, who was inches away from giving the away side a 1-0 lead.

That was a warning shot across ManU's bow and Newcastle kept up the pressure and came back into the game more with the team's even at halftime.

The second half was more like the opening minutes of the first as ManU pushed the pace and tried to unlock Krul's defense, but couldn't do it.

A fortunate bounce on a ball in the box put Hernandez in, and it looked for all the world like the dam was finally going to crack in the 80th minute.

But Krul delivered a world-class save, sprawling to push the attempt wide.

Then it was Newcastle United's chance to hit back on the counter.

Not before a header from Manchester United defender Chris Smalling off a corner smacked off the post in injury time, sending NUFC away in the other direction.

It turned into a 3-on-1 with Cisse and new boys Georginio Wijnaldum and Thauvin. Wijnaldum played a perfect pass to Cisse. But his touch took him wide and enabled Manchester United players to race back. He still got off a semi shot/cross but the mercurial striker with his experience should've at least got away a shot on goal.

"The last 10 minutes is an onslaught," McClaren said. "This is a new team and they need driving on. They need a bit more belief on the ball and that's what we need to improve."

As for Cisse, unfortunately his bad-touch debacle on the final scoring opportunity is something we've seen too many times. When he arrived from Freiburg in 2012, Cisse couldn't stop scoring, highlighted by physics-defying sparkler against Petr Cech and Chelsea. But Cisse is now more identified with spitting in player's faces, missing clear-cut chances and/or being offsides on others.

With Mitrovic chomping at the bit to take over the starting role up top, Cisse must start putting these chances away, or those rumors of his imminent move to Turkey will be fact instead of fiction.

All in all, Newcastle survived and have taken 2 points from a home opener against in-form Southampton and difficult road tests at Swansea and Manchester United.

It is definitely something to build from.

Unlike last week, McClaren and Newcastle's legion of fans worldwide learned something from the team.

This group is going to try -- and eventually succeed.