Man United’s title charge slowed by Newcastle draw

Manchester United’s Premier League title charge was slowed by Newcastle on Tuesday, the leaders being held to a 0-0 draw to end a run of three consecutive wins.

The point took Man United seven points clear of Arsenal before the second-place London club plays at Tottenham on Wednesday.

United was denied a penalty kick in stoppage when Javier Hernandez was instead booked for diving after being challenged by Newcastle defender Danny Simpson.

“I didn’t feel like I touched him,” Simpson said. “I feel like he went down too soft.”

But United manager Alex Ferguson hit out at referee Lee Probert.

“It was a clear penalty. It’s an insult because he’s booked him,” Ferguson said. “I thought the referee had a good game tonight, but he’s let himself down by booking the player.

“If it’s not a penalty, fine. But to book him is an insult. There is definitely contact, no doubt about that.”

Ferguson claimed not to see Newcastle’s earlier penalty claim, in which Peter Lovenkrands felt he was tripped by United midfielder Anderson.

Story of two penalties
“The more obvious penalty was Peter Lovenkrands — it’s an absolute cert,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. “It was a story of two penalties: one that definitely was for us, and one that wasn’t for them.”

United has five matches left in pursuit of a record 19th English league title, but the draw has raised spirits at Arsenal before the north London derby.

“BIG BIG BIG thank you to Newcastle United!” Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny wrote on his Twitter account. “Great spirit by the team and well done [Newcastle goalkeeper] Tim Krul for motm [man-of-the-match] performance!”

In the first half at Newcastle, Krul denied Hernandez and Wayne Rooney, who returned after a two-match suspension for swearing into a TV camera during a goal celebration against West Ham.

With around 20 minutes to go, United winger Ryan Giggs curled the ball wide with the goal at his mercy after being picked out by Patrice Evra.

The draw took Newcastle up to ninth place, reaching the 40-point mark that is usually enough to be safe from relegation in the team’s first season back in the Premier League.

“I think we owe it to ourselves and to the rest of the league that we put in a full performance [at Blackpool] on Saturday,” Pardew said. “I think with the commitment we’ve shown tonight, the points we’ve got, the goals we’ve got, we’re pretty much safe. But we want to finish high and put in the same commitment and effort as we have tonight against the probable champions.” — AP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders