Toon on the rise with deserved win at Old Trafford

Posted by Lee Ryder

Alan Pardew was quite rightfully praised for his tactics at Old Trafford on Saturday as Newcastle United ended 41 years of pain and misery to beat Manchester United 1-0 at the Theatre of Dreams.

That should be the story after 93 pulsating minutes between two sides that were once classed as title rivals.

Yes, David Moyes is under the spotlight right now with the champions now having five losses on the board -- too many to win the league in the eyes of many -- but Saturday should be about a great win for the much maligned Magpies.

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- Pardew delighted with win

It would have been easy for Pardew to travel to Manchester and get men behind the ball and try to grind out a point, or for what the bookies had slated as an unlikely narrow win. But this victory was only slender in terms of the scoreline.

Newcastle fully deserved to pick up their first win at Old Trafford after 33 attempts and four decades of trying.

Despite Pardew setting his team up though to have a real go at the Red Devils, the visiting Magpies didn't create a hatful of chances in the first period.

However, Moyes' under-fire team also didn't serve up much at the other end either.

Javier Hernandez's desperate claims for a penalty in the first half summing that up neatly while Phil Jones' week shot on 18 minutes was the nearest the home side came to testing Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul.

True, Newcastle waited until first half stoppage time to record their first shot on target when the brilliant Mathieu Debuchy struck one straight at David De Gea. Yet that didn't matter.

Newcastle had completed the first phase of their tactical plan with Loic Remy leading the line and chasing everything as part of what looked like a 4-5-1 when defending and a 4-3-3 when trying to catch the home side out.

The Magpies started the second half in positive manner too and although Krul had to be at his best to keep out Hernandez when he beat away the Mexican's shot, Pardew kept going for the jugular.

He threw on Hatem Ben Arfa after 57 minutes for his longest stint in weeks and the former Marseille bad boy showed some neat touches. Then Yohan Cabaye wrote his name into Geordie folklore.

Moussa Sissoko made a powerful burst down the right-hand side and crossed into the 18-yard box in text-book manner before the Cabaye calmly clipped the ball beyond De Gea and handed the Magpies a deserved lead just after the hour mark. Ben Arfa could have sealed it but sent his shot flying over the top.

There were hearts in mouths when Robin van Persie rose high to head past Krul, but Sian Massey's flag correctly ruled the goal out for offside.

Substitute Wilfried Zaha curled one just wide on 73 minutes but that was the last real scare for Pardew's side on a day of history.
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But the home side were almost done. They were spent. Newcastle were almost home and hosed.

Instead of defending desperately they pushed forward and dominated the closing stages.

Using many of the time wasting tricks that Man United invented themselves under Sir Alex Ferguson, it was too much for the home fans who had spent the Premier League years taunting the Toon Army.

This time they could only walk away in anger.

Then it was a case of running the clock down -- something Newcastle managed in style with Shola Ameobi and Ben Arfa holding it up near the quadrant.

And it was the sound of Andre Marriner's full-time whistle that made history as the Toon Army partied in the ground for close to 35 minutes after the final whistle, chanting the name of Cabaye.

Should Newcastle keep this type of run up then the Toon board will have to make a big call on whether to bring in the required cover to challenge for a European place.

But this weekend belongs to paying tribute to the players that beat Manchester United.


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