Norwich City 0 Newcastle 0 match report: Loic Remy and Bradley Johnson see red on goalless night
Neither team were able to break the deadlock and Remy red card means striker misses derby against Sunderland
Tuesday 28 January 2014
Newcastle United will never know how they managed to begin life after Yohan Cabaye with anything less than a win. While the man who had been their outstanding player departed for a new life with Paris Saint-Germain, his erstwhile colleagues were denied less by Norwich City than by their goal-frames.
Alan Pardew confirmed before the game that Cabaye was on a plane to Paris to complete the formalities of a move for a fee “considerably more” than the £14m bid from PSG that Newcastle rejected at the weekend. “We wish him well,” the manager said. “He’s been very good for us and all his team-mates wished him well.”
There were rumours that not all his new colleagues – notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tiago Silva – were well-wishers, but PSG owner Nasser al-Khelaifi brushed that notion aside. “Of course, they want the best players in the world to come to Paris. The fans do as well. And Cabaye is a very good player, no doubt about it,” Al-Khelaifi told L’Equipe.
Pardew said: “Of course you can’t lose a player of that quality and not replace him.” But the expected completion of a loan for Luuk de Jong, a Dutch striker who has scored just six times in 36 games for Borussia Mönchengladbach, hardly counts as like-for-like.
Even without the departed playmaker, Newcastle were by some distance the better side, as Hatem Ben Arfa took the string-pulling duties.
Three times in quick succession in the first half they were unlucky not to go ahead. First Loïc Rémy set up Moussa Sissoko, whose back-heel from five yards came back off the near post. Three minutes later another run by Rémy ended in a shot that struck John Ruddy’s other upright, before Ruddy denied Ben Arfa’s spectacular shot.
Newcastle hit the woodwork for the third time on the hour when Rémy, taking a free-kick in what would have been Cabaye territory, beat Norwich’s wall and Ruddy but not the crossbar. Norwich then hit the bar themselves, Tim Krul doing just enough to deny Gary Hooper.
Ten minutes from time a pushing match between Rémy and the home side’s Bradley Johnson brought red cards for both. Only late on did Norwich mount sustained pressure and it would have been very rough justice on Newcastle had they made it pay.
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