Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cushion Goes Flat for Souey

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cushion Goes Flat for Souey

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

It has all the pitfalls of Hannibal's trek across the Alps.

Chelsea and Liverpool away, Arsenal at home before the year is out. Probable stumbles, possible falls.

Therefore the cushion of three more points was urgently required when the upstarts of t'other side of Liverpool came calling.

After three successive defeats at St James' Park there was also the little matter of pacifying impatient fans.

New boss Graeme Souness had loudly trumpeted that United could easily have won the three they lost on their own midden and here again there were plenty of home opportunities.

But United no longer turn chances into goals at St James' and that has to be of great concern.

United had the huge advantage of an early goal, beautifully worked and clinically executed, but instead of building upon it, they hit timber or defending bodies.

Everton certainly aren't pleasing to the eye. They are more mongrel than pedigree but they are very difficult to play against. They flood the midfield to deny space and rely on scoring off set-pieces with big guys bombing the box ( and so it came to pass.

Once the equaliser went in second-half, direct from a free-kick, they dropped 10 men behind the ball and shepherded Newcastle into a series of cul-de-sacs.

It has worked for them all season so why not yet again? Everton's answer is that they are third top 10 points ahead of the envious Magpies.

United's goal four minutes into hostilities was excellent. Shay Given kicked off the floor from a backpass, Lee Bowyer facing the ball backheaded on, and Craig Bellamy worked a quick one-two with Patrick Kluivert to take out both the centre backs. The little Welshman galloped on to bury his shot past Nigel Martyn at the near post.

Newcastle's pace all over the park was bothering Everton. …

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