On a cold February night it seemed that the officials were to blame for a goalless draw at St James’ Park after Newcastle United had a number of chances chalked off for dubious offside calls. Newcastle looked to have played a strong squad with only 3 changes from their fairly successful new look Premier League squad with Perch, Gouffran and Debuchy being changed for Tiote, Obertan and Yanga-Mbwia. Metalist were missing their first choice goal keeper but the challenge with star man Cleiton Xavier starting for the Ukrainian outfit.
With a crowd of 30,000 people out showing their support on a cold February night Newcastle United were ready to go out all guns blazing. Playing a 4-2-3-1 formation the team looked extremely good in possession with some creative passing from deep lying playmaker Yohan Cabaye opening up Metalist’s defence. New star Sissoko was causing all kinds of chaos in the hole showing how he can truly dominate going forward. Newcastle’s first disallowed goal came from Cisse after he was at most inches offside. St James’ Park went insane but the flag of the linesman put a stop to the black and white celebrations.
After half time it was much of the same as Newcastle United dominated the possession playing some fast attacking football. Metalist had their chances with a violent shot saved by Tim Krul but they never truly looked like getting one in the net. Coloccini and Taylor looked solid in centre defence snuffing out most of the away side’s chances. Cisse then had another chance called offside. The Newcastle fans went insane thinking for sure this goal would stand. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. With the crowd getting behind the team in the last throwes of the game Cisse had a point blank header saved by the Ukrainian keeper.
Overall it was a solid performance by Newcastle United who should have taken a 2-0 lead into the away leg but the officials had a big hand in making sure this match ended as a bore draw.
Final score 0-0