Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Villa Thriller, but Vital Points

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

No Villa Thriller, but Vital Points

Article excerpt

PERHAPS we can fully understand why John Carver ran on to the pitch after six minutes of nerve-jangling injury time to shake every Magpie hand.

Because a glance at United's "xture list shows that Carver is in for six of the best starting Wednesday night.

His immediate task is to confront Manchester United (h), Everton (a), Arsenal (h), Sunderland (a), Liverpool (a) and Spurs (h).

at's how vital these three points against barren Aston Villa are to his health and hopes.

It wasn't pretty - indeed it was pretty awful - but at least JC gained only the second victory of his fragile tenureship.

Christian Benteke and Gabby Agbonlahor have gone so far back that Papiss Cisse was the only natural "nisher on the pitch so it was hardly a surprise that he should notch the winner.

Less than 10 minutes to halftime United, at last delivered a good cross from out wide - not from either of the wingers, but right-back Daryl Janmaat. It evaded Jores Okore who ought to have done better and fell nicely for Cisse lurking seven yards out. One touch and he swept the ball past a stranded Brad Guzan for his 11th goal of the season.

Cisse may not contribute a ton to general play and may indeed be carrying a suspect knee, but where United would be without him doesn't bear thinking about.

e fact that 51,573, including a fair away following, bothered to turn up for a match between two one-time powerhouses of English football that lived up to all our fears, says much for the loyalty of the paying customer who is not always fairly treated by owners.

Yes it was dire, played at 100mph without any semblance of quality or composure, but I guess we have to be thankful for e!ort when little else is on o!er.

How the club announcer had the bare-faced cheek to ask us "are you ready for some football?" as the teams lined up, I'll never know. …

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