Newcastle United v Manchester City: Five things we learnt from St James' Park League Cup clash

 

1. Multiple team changes show you cannot be serious

Forget whatever platitudes the respective managers may offer up about the importance of the Capital One Cup – and Newcastle's Alan Pardew even took to name-checking John McEnroe in a bizarre effort to underline his squad's readiness for battle. The acid test of their commitment to the competition is the number of changes made which involve resting key personnel ahead of the weekend's Premier League action. It's a simple equation – the more new faces, the greater the lip service paid. City walked it in the couldn't-care-less stakes, with 10 changes, compared to a more modest five from Newcastle.

2. Maintaining a free press is an elemental struggle

Newcastle's decision to ban three local newspaper titles, after perceived unbalanced coverage of what was a modestly attended fans' protest before the recent home game against Liverpool, remained a hot topic of conversation – mainly among the assembled reporters rather than supporters, it must be said. As the rain lashed down on to assorted laptops in the press box thanks to the non-existent shelter offered by the vertiginously high main stand roof, several other hacks no doubt wished they had been serving a similar ban as they cut sodden figures in their efforts to ensure reports were filed before deadline.

3. Pantilimon casts a shadow over Hart's safe keeping

Costel Pantilimon is one big unit – Newcastle supporters in the Gallowgate End defended by Joe Hart's 6ft 8in understudy before the break could conceivably have claimed their seats were restricted view, such was the amount of floodlight eclipsed by the frame of the giant Romanian. As Hart looked on from the bench wondering whether his banishment to the substitutes was just a Capital One Cup thing, or something more long-term, his replacement enjoyed a largely trouble-free first half, which is more than can be said for those sat directly behind him.

4. A throw-in curve ball can throw out the statistics

ProZone provides a statto's delight of facts and figures regarding a player's performance and work rate during a game, but it would be interesting to see how it coped when Mathieu Debuchy went the extra mile. In his eagerness to take a throw-in early in the second half, the Frenchman vaulted the advertising boards and went off down the exit tunnel in search of a ball that had beaten the stewards and ballboys to bounce its way down along the concourse under the seats. Finally returning after several seconds in the bowels of the stand, let's hope for his sake Debuchy's extra-curricular sprint was included in his vital statistics.

5. City have enjoyed visiting St James' in the long run

City could have been forgiven for thinking they'd been given a bye into the last eight when the draw was made, such is their impressive record against a Newcastle side they are unbeaten against in their last 14 meetings, a run stretching back to Michael Owen – remember him? – scoring the winner for the home side at St James' Park in 2005. That eight-year unbeaten run included victories in the previous eight fixtures between the clubs going into this tie, the most recent a 4-0 stroll at the Etihad in the opening game of the campaign in August.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup