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.

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
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

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories