Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cup Draw Brings an Extra Match Magpies Could Just Do Without

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cup Draw Brings an Extra Match Magpies Could Just Do Without

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

IT is a rarity almost exclusively reserved for Newcastle's domestic cup-ties.

A drawn match comes along this packed season nearly as often as a dodo is spotted waddling down Northumberland Street.

Only once in 25 Championship games have United shared the spoils but twice now it has occurred in the EFL Cup and FA Cup when the Mags do not really want such complications.

After United and Hull could not be separated in the League Cup (0-0 90mins, 1-1, 120 mins) United were forced to face the dreaded penalty shoot-out when their legs inevitably turned to jelly and they were knocked out.

The FA Cup, of course, still allows replays and so it came about at St Andrew's United's shadow team played out an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Birmingham, a team they trounced 4-0 up here not so long ago.

It means an extra match which Rafa Benitez could do without and the switch of their next Championship encounter at Brentford, now brought forward 48 hours because of the replay. To add to the feeling of slight deflation, Aleksandar Mitrovic lasted but five minutes before being stretchered off into what was initially feared to be a lengthy absence with a knee injury, now thankfully not so bad.

Rafa made eight changes and United played like the strangers Let's hope a temporary Surely it a Norwich into mid-obscurity...

they were. Cheick Tiote and Massadio Haidara almost had to be introduced with formal handshakes so long is it since they were firstteam regulars.

The Magpies have lost the art of winning at the moment - they have managed it only once in their last four outings without Jonjo Shelvey - and that was only confirmed when the opposition went down to 10 men.

Let's hope it is only a temporary blip.

Surely it cannot be a Norwich nosedive into mid-table obscurity. …

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