Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Press Self-Destruct Button in Reckless Fashion - as Championship Awaits

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Press Self-Destruct Button in Reckless Fashion - as Championship Awaits

Article excerpt

Byline: John GIBSON

NEWCASTLE'S suicide squad are hurtling towards the oblivion of the Championship after imploding THREE times on the ground of their biggest relegation rivals.

In racking up their eighth successive away defeat - United's worst run on the road in Premier League history - they unbelievably cut their own throats when an escape route was twice clearly signposted.

The grounded Magpies are now stranded six points beneath Norwich, who occupy the last survival spot, with an inferior goal difference -which effectively makes the gap seven.

A game in hand is their one lifeline, though how that brings genuine hope when victory is the rarest of travelling companions I don't know.

United were reckless, naive, stupid, and amateurish in a see-saw match upon which so much depended.

Needing to be professional, they became headless chickens running round in ever decreasing circles.

Their programme of self-destruction read thus: When they desperately wanted to get to the interval at 0-0, Cheick Tiote conceded a needless free-kick two minutes into first-half injury time from which Norwich took the lead to completely change the complexion of the match.

Having gained a foothold in the contest through an equaliser from super sub Aleksandar Mitrovic, they unbelievably conceded again within two minutes of the restart through a total lack of concentration.

Back to 2-2 and with 93 minutes on the clock, Newcastle failed to see out the match - giving up a winner to Norwich left-back Martin Olsson.

A sell-out Geordie contingent of 2,660 fans who had made the long trek to East Anglia were on suicide watch!

If timing is everything then for United to concede in added time at the end of both halves and two minutes after the joy of an equaliser was taking things to a disastrous extreme.

The harsh reality is Rafa Benitez has been brought in too late. …

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