Negredo 99mins, Dzeko 105mins
- Matchday centre
- Match reports
- 30 October 2013 22:26
- Posted by @baileymcfc
All the tricks and treats were reserved for extra time as City swept into the Capital One Cup quarter finals.
Until the additional thirty minutes this had been something of a pre-Halloween horror show with neither side able to dominate or find fluency at St James’ Park.
Both sides went into this contest looking for the perfect pick me up after weekend defeats though neither shone in a dreadful first half in front of an unusually apathetic north-east crowd.
Costel Pantilimon, City’s cup keeper for the past couple of seasons, made one smart save low to his left to deny Shola Ameobi as Newcastle shaded the exchanges in the opening half.
The home side we more direct than their laboured visitors and produced the better chances. Ameobi had the ball in the net only to be denied by a linesman’s fluttering flag whilst the Sky Blues best efforts were a Negredo shot that was hopelessly high and Micah Richards’ effort that was a similar distance wide.
Tim Krul in the home goal was more in danger of frostbite than letting in a goal in those 45 minutes.
Krul did, however, enter the fray in a meaningful way in the 63rd minute when he was duped by the tenacity of Jesus Navas who set up a chance for James Milner which was curled over the bar as an embarrassed custodian scampered back between his posts.
Krul was in action again in the 78th minute when he managed to get his fingertips to Negredo’s delicate chip after the Spaniard and the goalkeeper had engaged in a game of dare deep in the home penalty area.
Not to be outdone Pantilimon illuminated the early moments of extra-time with a thrilling save from Papiss Cisse and the worth of that effort became manifest moments later when Edin Dzeko and Negredo combined for the later to squeeze the ball home from close range and break the deadlock.
In the context of the game it was a beauty from ‘The Beast’!
Six minutes later, in the 105th minute, the advantage was doubled and Newcastle spirits broken by Dzeko who rounded Krul to make it 2-0. The Bosnian owed his slickly taken chance to a fine one-two between Milner and David Silva.
Ben Arfa had a late shot at redemption cleared off the line by Joleon Lescott but City were never more comfortable than in the additional thirty minutes.
All the omens and stats pointed firmly towards a Sky Blue win. City had won the previous eight meetings between the sides and had not lost to Newcastle since September 2005.
Both sides, as is the way with the Capital One Cup, made numerous changes with City’s re-shuffle allowing for no fewer than ten players to have the opportunity to audition for the visit of Norwich in Saturday’s resumption of Premier League duties – it has to be said some lines were fluffed.
Top sides still mix and match in what is generically the League Cup but the competition is firmly back in fashion with those who collect silverware.
The pot, first won in 1961 by Aston Villa, has found a home in many of the most fashionable and coveted trophy cabinets in the past seven or eight years. Now City are in the last eight for the fourth time in seven years.
Manuel Pellegrini is certainly taking it seriously as he seeks a first trophy in his first season at the helm.