Monday January 1st 2006
NEWCASTLE UTD 2 MANCHESTER UTD 2
NEWCASTLE: Given, Solano, Taylor, Huntington, Edgar, Dyer,Parker, Emre (Pattison 87), Milner, Martins, Sibierski.
Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Luque, O'Brien, Carroll.
MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo,Fletcher (Carrick 77), Scholes, Giggs, Rooney, Saha (Park 36).
Subs Not Used: Heaton, Heinze, O'Shea
A dream start to the New Year for youngster David Edgar, who snatched a precious point as Manchester United gave Chelsea another glimmer of hope in the title challenge. Edgar was dropped for the visit to Goodison on Saturday, but returned with a bang in his first ever appearance at St James' Park.
It was a rollercoaster of a match, as Newcastle tried to hold ranks while Sir Alex Ferguson's men went straight for the throat. With a side brimming with world class talent, it was hardly surprising Newcastle were often on the back foot. The visitors kept shape and in the first half always seemed to "hunt in packs" as Newcastle fought skill with enthusiasm.
Glenn Roeder's side was made up of just about everyone who was available, although it was a surprise to see ex-Man Utd star Nicky Butt in the dug-out.
Despite their patched-up side, the Magpies shocked SKY TV viewers when James Milner blasted the home side in front with a 33rd-minute piledriver.
Paul Huntington, Edgar and 20-year-old Steven Taylor joining midfielder Nolberto Solano in the most makeshift probably any of us can remember.
Shay Given, making his 400th appearance for the club, saw a ninth-minute Giggs shot fly across the face of goal, but had to make a fine block to deny Saha after the Welshman had played him in after 25 minutes.
However, it was the Magpies who took the lead after 33 minutes when Milner produced a stunning finish. Kieron Dyer picked him out on the left and the England Under-21 international cut inside before blasting an unstoppable right-foot shot past Van der Sar.
Given had to keep out a point-blank Rooney effort seven minutes before half-time after United had broken at breathtaking speed, but he was finally beaten on 40 minutes when Scholes ran on to Giggs' lay-off and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner.
Antoine Sibierski should have restored the home side's lead on the stroke of half-time when he headed a Solano cross straight at Van der Sar's legs, but the visitors responded immediately as Ronaldo shot wastefully over and Park clipped a post in injury time.
Only 22 seconds of the second half and Scholes did the damaged once again, firing powerfully through Taylor's legs and past the unsighted Given to make it 2-1.
But Roeder's men were back in it when Edgar took aim from 30 yards and saw his rather tame shot somehow deflect off Scholes and trickle past the wrong-footed goalkeeper.
Rooney dragged a 78th-minute shot wide and Solano heading a Ronaldo effort off the line five minutes later.
But Newcastle hung on for a point, and the look of delight on the face of Edgar on the final whistle was indeed a picture.