Newcastle forced their way ahead – and deservedly so – three minutes before the break when Ayoze Perez took advantage of indecisive defending to volley home from Vurnon Anita’s cross, and when Georginio Wijnaldum headed home Perez’s 60th-minure corner, a fourth successive home win over the Blues looked to be on the cards.
But surely Terry would not have allowed Perez to bring that ball down unchallenged as Zouma did?
Meanwhile Mourinho will be missing Costa and could start Radamel Falcao or Loic Remy instead.
The match was not over though, and Ramires pulled a goal back in the 79th minute, running onto Eden Hazard’s through ball to beat Tim Krul from long range.
The Bosnian goalkeeper first denied Perez and just seconds later got down low to his left to keep out Daryl Janmaat’s effort. Gabriel has since had his sanction overturned – although he has admitted a charge of improper conduct for failing to leave the match promptly enough – while Costa has been banned for three games for an altercation with Laurent Koscielny that prompted Gabriel’s intervention.
Steve McClaren is willing to loan out Newcastle United’s Rolando Aarons – despite his team’s goalscoring problems.
In the end, he was pleased with a point despite coming so close to the win.
“The fact that he could mentally cope with it gave us a little push, and for the evolution of the players it is better if they can stay with us, even if they don’t play as much as they could play in a smaller club”. We are a team, from the boardroom to the boot room, and we will respond like one.
“I think in this country, only one manager is not under pressure”, Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference.
Tonight, they were applauded off at half time after earning a slender, but deserved, 1-0 half-time lead over the champions, with the noise from St James’ Park likely being heard on Wearside.
“It won’t be easy and it won’t happen in three months, you have to stick to your philosophy and that’s what we’re doing and the players are buying into that”. This is good news for our defense (to a degree) and to their faces as well as he won’t be around to try to headbutt them. I’m very happy with the second half, really disappointed with the first half.
“I knew after the second goal we wouldn’t get the goal as I know what Newcastle wanted and what kind of referee Mr. Atkinson is. Poor in individual performances and as a result of that, impossible for a team to be a good, competitive team”.