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PREMIER LEAGUE: Lucky goals for both Man Utd and Newcastle in gritty Old Trafford draw

A resolute performance from Newcastle United has frustrated Manchester United into a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford today.

Both sides were recipients of fortunate goals but it was the defensive showing from the Magpies which allowed them to record a point against a Manchester outfit who did all they could to produce a winner but were unable to again breach Tim Krul and his defence after a lucky opener from Javier Hernandez.

What's more is that Alan Pardew's men played the last 10 or so minutes with ten men after Jonas Gutierrez was sent off for a second bookable offence for his hack from behind on Nani.

The opening goal came four minutes into the second half in rather fortuitous circumstances through for United. Wayne Rooney's free-kick from the top of the 'D' was kept out by the Newcastle wall with the deflection falling for the England striker who hit a sweet left-footed volley goalward but Steven Taylor's attempted clearance went straight into Hernandez and bobbled past Tim Krul who was desperately unlucky. Newcastle's equaliser came contentiously when in the 62nd minute the referee's assistant awarded a penalty when Rio Ferdinand tackled Hatem Ben Arfa in the area. The Frenchman drove into the box and was brought down by Ferdinand who clearly made contact with the ball and should not have been penalised but referee Mike Jones agreed with his assistant and allowed the decision to stand. Nonetheless, Demba Ba stepped up to the spot and sent David De Gea the wrong way for his ninth of the season to restore parity.

Magpies keeper Krul was the star of the show with a number of vital save - namely his 31st minute outstretched right glove to Ryan Giggs' neat touch from Fabio's cross from the right, his unorthodox save with his chest from Nemanja Vidic's 79th minute pointblank header and a diving stop from Patrice Evra's swerving shot.

Sir Alex Ferguson's charges had umpteen chances late in the match to put the resilient Magpies away especially when Ashley Young cannoned his shot into the upright moments before Danny Simpson produced a brilliant goal-line save from Hernandez' header. The Mexican then had the ball in the back of the net in injury-time but was adjudged off-side as Newcastle hung on by the skin of their teeth.

The draw has seen the Red Devils slip four points behind title rivals Manchester City, who are away to Liverpool tomorrow, whilst Newcastle remained fourth with a valuable point on the road.

Manchester United: 1 (Javier Hernandez 49') Newcastle United: 1 (Demba Ba (p) 64') Old Trafford, Manchester - 75,594

Yellow cards:MANU - Fabio 54' NEW - Hatem Ben Arfa 27', Yohan Cabaye 52', Jonas Gutierrez 65'/79', Danny Guthrie 67'

Red card:NEW - Jonas Gutierrez 79'

 Click here to reach the No1 destination for hard news and exciting gossip on Manchester United

 Click here to reach the No1 destination for hard news and exciting gossip on Newcastle United

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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