Tag Archives: graham

Martin O"Neill tells Sunderland winger James McClean to forget about Twitter

Sunderland players given social media lesson after McClean's latest Twitter row

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

16:31 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 2 March 2013

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has called on a technology expert to teach his players the pitfalls of Twitter and other social networking sites.

The briefing follows James McClean’s latest Twitter row, which led to the Republic of Ireland winger deleting his account this week.

Last Friday, McClean professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer by the Wolfe Tones. The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group’s members in the 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War.

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

One DUP MP called for McClean to be sacked but O’Neill, who has repeatedly warned his players about Twitter, is hoping the midfielder’s decision to stay off the site can help him concentrate on re-establishing himself in the Sunderland team after losing his place following Danny Graham’s arrival.

O’Neill said: ‘We have had someone in to talk to the younger boys about the social media thing and he’s going to have a chat with the senior boys for them to keep an eye on it.

‘He can tell you all the ills and woes and the possibility of what might happen if you were sending out a normal message to your friend, how people can log into these things, and it goes global. It will be a real eye-opener for me because I want to be in the meeting.

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

‘It’s just getting back to trying to be a bit more responsible for your own actions. I’d never have believed even five years ago that we’d be having this conversation.’

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will open talks on a new contract, just days after his agent claimed he would have to quit Sunderland to enhance his international career.

Captain Lee Cattermole has had an injection in his knee but still faces a lengthy lay-off.

Celtic want UEFA answers over referee"s performance in Champions League defeat to Juventus

Celtic demand answers from UEFA over Champions League ref with boss Lennon still furious at Juventus wrestle tactics

By
John Mcgarry

PUBLISHED:

14:01 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 15 February 2013

Celtic will go to UEFA to seek an explanation as to why referee Alberto Mallenco failed to apply the letter of the law in the 3-0 defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.

Neil Lennon’s side were comprehensively beaten by the Italian champions, but much of the aftermath focused on the reluctance of the Spanish official to penalise the roughhouse tactics of the visitors while defending set-plays.

Despite Juve’s back-line repeatedly bear-hugging their opponents at the 10 corners Celtic forced, Mallenco’s actions were limited to yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner and Simone Padoin, while Gary Hooper and Scott Brown were also cautioned.

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

Corner chaos: Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon got to grips with Celtic striker Gary Hooper

NOW READ GRAHAM POLL

Celtic
were beaten by Juve – but they were let down by the referee. Big Daddy,
Giant Haystacks and Mick McManus were all that was missing from this
wrestling extravaganza

And Lennon, who does not dispute that Juve deserved to win the match, will now dispatch a DVD of the visitors’ tactics to Nyon in the coming days together with a letter seeking an explanation for Mallenco’s inaction.

‘We have DVD footage of the game and we would like someone to give us some answers,’ said the Celtic manager.

‘I am compiling it myself along with the video-analysis guys and writing a letter (to UEFA) asking for a ruling.

‘I have asked this question again and still haven’t had an answer. We played Juventus 11 years ago.

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

Too close: The tussle between Buffon, Hooper and Stephan Lichtsteiner was like a wrestling match

‘We were awarded a penalty from which Chris Sutton scored. What is the difference from 2001 to 2013 Can somebody please give me an answer

‘What Juventus did was way beyond the limit of the law in football.

‘This wasn’t even close to a bit of shirt-tugging. This was arms up around players preventing them from forward momentum.

‘They were basically pulling and holding them at every opportunity.

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

Now for the headlock: Hooper is held in the box by Lichsteiner

‘You may as well turn the game into a wrestling match.’

The performance of Efe Ambrose was also under close scrutiny in the wake of the defeat after the Nigerian —fresh from winning the Africa Cup of Nations — made errors that contributed to Juve’s first and third goals.

Ambrose only arrived back in Glasgow the day before the game.

Lennon, though, insists that if he had to select his side again, Ambrose would be included.

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

Hands off: Hooper and Lichsteiner carry on their struggles

‘Efe is all right. He was very apologetic after the game,’ said Lennon. ‘He made basic errors but, if I had my time over again, I would still pick him.

‘Efe has been fantastic for us. He’s added a different dimension to the way we play, particularly in Europe.

‘His performances away from home in Barcelona, Lisbon and Moscow were as good as any centre-half I’ve seen at the club for a long time.’

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Up in arms: Scott Brown gets the treatment too, from Simone Padoin

Lennon stressed there was no issue between Kris Commons and Ambrose on account of the former’s outspoken remarks.

‘I would imagine he has apologised privately, yeah,’ he said. ‘I have dealt with it internally.’ Mikael Lustig, Scott Brown and Rami Gershon will miss today’s game against Dundee United, while Victor Wanyama is a doubt.

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

Pushing their luck: Brown has words with Andrea Pirlo after another round of shoving

Sunderland hope to seal Danny Graham deal while Paul Scharner could sign

Sunderland hoping to seal 5.5m Graham deal as Scharner closes in on Stadium of Light switch

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:32 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 28 January 2013

Sunderland still hope to finalise a 5.5million move for Swansea’s Danny Graham and are closing on a move for former Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner – claims his agent.

Scharner, 32, quit West Brom on a free transfer to join Bundesliga side Hamburg in the summer. But injury and suspension has meant he has seen little action for the strugglers.

Deal broker Valentine Hobel said: ‘Paul wants to show next season what he can do for HSV but for that he needs match practice and that would probably be at Sunderland.’

Seeing the Light: Scharner is close to a move to Sunderland, according to his agent

Seeing the Light: Scharner is close to a move to Sunderland, according to his agent

Graham, meanwhile, has been the
subject of intense speculation throughout January, with Norwich also
among those interested in the former Watford man.

The
striker struggled to earn much playing time early in the season under
Michael Laudrup, with summer signing Michu proving undroppable.

However, Graham has hit a good run of goalscoring form since the Spaniard picked up a knock over Christmas.

Close: Sunderland hope to push through the move for Danny Graham

Close: Sunderland hope to push through the move for Danny Graham

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup confirms bids for Sunderland and Norwich target Danny Graham

Swansea boss Laudrup confirms bids for Sunderland and Norwich target Graham

By
Andrew Gwilym, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:35 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:03 GMT, 18 January 2013

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup
confirmed the club has received offers for striker Danny Graham but was
coy over his pursuit of Stoke's Kenwyne Jones.

Graham has been consistently linked with a move away from the Liberty Stadium in January.

The 27-year-old has scored four goals in
his last five appearances but the outstanding form of Michu has limited
his first-team opportunities and left the former Watford centre forward
frustrated.

On his way Graham is the subject of bids by Norwich and Sunderland

On his way Graham is the subject of bids by Norwich and Sunderland

Sunderland and Norwich are understood to have made offers of more than 4million for Graham.

The Dane said: 'Everywhere it is saying there have been some official bids, it is true, but apart from that I don't really have any comment as in the next four days we have two very important games.

'Tomorrow is a very important home game against Stoke in the league as after that we have two difficult away games against Sunderland and West Ham, and we all know about the game on Wednesday (against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup), so that is much more important.

'So my only comment is we have had some bids and I don't want to go into detail about what clubs they are.'

With Graham seemingly set to leave, Swansea are interested in bringing in Jones from the Potters, and the Trinidadian is likely to start against the Swans at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Reports suggest Swansea are set to return with an improved offer after having an initial 3m bid rejected but Laudrup would not be drawn on the topic.

Coy: Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup

Coy: Swansea City's manager Michael Laudrup

He said: 'He (Jones) will probably play, maybe if he can play with us it can be 12 v 10 but I don't think that will happen.

'Let's just say it is not the proper time to talk about a player when he is playing against us in around 24 hours time.

'Let's hope tomorrow he does not have too good a day as it is better for us.'

Laudrup will be without midfielder Kemy Agustien against the Potters after the Dutchman damaged ankle ligaments in the midweek FA Cup third-round replay defeat at Arsenal.

A big miss: Kemy Agustien (right) will be out for around five games

A big miss: Kemy Agustien (right) will be out for around five games

The Dutchman, 26, suffered the injury during the first half at the Emirates Stadium and tried to play on before being withdrawn.

The problem is set to keep the 26-year-old out of Swansea's next five games, including the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Laudrup said: 'We had bad news after losing the other day, we have lost Kemy Agustien for, I think, the next four weeks with his ankle.

'He twisted it in the first half, he tried to start the second half and there was some problem with the ligaments.

'It could have been a lot worse, but still four weeks means he will be out for at least our next five games, four in the league and the game on Wednesday (against Chelsea) as well.'

Final flourish: This goal by Graham gave Swansea a 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final lead and put them on the brink of their first major cup final appearance

Final flourish: This goal by Graham gave Swansea a 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final lead and put them on the brink of their first major cup final appearance

Wednesday's meeting with Chelsea, which Swansea enter with a 2-0 lead from the first leg, is one of the biggest in the club's history as they seek a first appearance at a major Wembley final in their centenary season.

But Laudrup knows he and his squad cannot afford to look beyond this weekend's league action.

He said: 'No (I will not be resting players for the semi-final). The game tomorrow is very important, it is a league game, it is a home game, so I am only thinking about Stoke.

'It really doesn't matter because whoever plays on Wednesday, even if they play against Stoke, even if they are tired, they will not feel it on Wednesday, I am sure.'

Branislav Ivanovic says sorry to Chelsea team for errors that cost Chelsea

I'm sorry! Ivanovic apologises to team-mates after his mistakes leave Chelsea's Wembley dream hanging in the balance

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

07:53 GMT, 10 January 2013

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 10 January 2013

Branislav Ivanovic apologised to the Chelsea team after his disastrous performance in last night's Capital One Cup semi-final defeat by Swansea.

The Chelsea defender was at fault for both goals as Michael Laudrup's side secured an incredible 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Ivanovic was furious with his performance and had to be calmed down when he made his way down the tunnel and into the home dressing room.

Feeling down: Branislav Ivanovic shows his disappointment after making two costly errors

Feeling down: Branislav Ivanovic shows his disappointment after making two costly errors

Uphill task: Chelsea go into the second leg 2-0 down

Uphill task: Chelsea go into the second leg 2-0 down

He then said sorry to his team-mates for mistakes which led to Michu opened the scoring and substitute Danny Graham adding Swansea's second in injury time.

Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez defended the centre half but Ivanovic has taken full responsibility for the defeat. It was easily the worst performance of the Serb's career at Stamford Bridge and it is unusual for him to be so careless.

Chelsea
need to win by two goals to take the tie in to extra-time but they face
a massive battle to face Aston Villa or Bradford in next month's final
at Wembley.

Error one: Michu makes the most of Ivanovic's mistake to score the first

Error one: Michu makes the most of Ivanovic's mistake to score the first

Error two: Danny Graham scores a late second after another Ivanovic clanger

Error two: Danny Graham scores a late second after another Ivanovic clanger

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2 – Capital One Cup match report

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2: Marvellous Michu makes sloppy Chelsea pay before Graham adds late second

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:37 GMT, 9 January 2013

Michu once again underlined exactly why he is being touted as signing of the summer as he plundered his 15th goal of the season to give Swansea the advantage at half-time in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

The 2million man proved to be the best Spanish striker on the pitch as his goal late in the first-half won the match in which 50million Fernando Torres struggled badly to find any rhythm.

Chelsea enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but failed to beat an inspired Gerhard Tremmel.

And they made to pay the ultimate price when a Branislav Ivanovic mistake was pounced on by Michu.

Danny Graham then doubled the lead in stoppage time.

More to follow….

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

Red action: Swansea have the lead at half-time in their Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea

MATCH FACTS

CHELSEA: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires (Lampard 71), Hazard, Oscar (Marin 83), Mata, Torres (Ba 81). Subs: Hilario, Ferreira, Bertrand, Ake.

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Ki, Routledge (Tiendalli 63), Hernandez, Michu (Graham 84).
Subs: Vorm, Dyer, Monk, Shechter, Agustien.

Goal: Michu 39, Graham 90

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Star man: Michu proved to be the difference, as so often he has been since he joined the Swans

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Rough and ready: Swansea matched Chelsea every step of the way at Stamford Bridge

Sunderland close in on Danny Graham

Sunderland close in on 4m swoop for Graham

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 7 January 2013

Sunderland are closing in on a 4milllion-plus move for Swansea striker Danny Graham, as exclusively revealed in Sportsmail last week.

A deal could have been completed over the weekend but for Swansea being held up in their efforts to sign Kenwyne Jones as replacement.

Swansea still hope to reach an agreement with Stoke for Jones.

High five: Graham could be on his way to Sunderland

High five: Graham could be on his way to Sunderland

Luis Suarez handball: Graham Poll"s verdict

Suarez can't be held responsible for his handball, even if he owned up the ref's call would have stood

By
Graham Poll

PUBLISHED:

21:58 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:59 GMT, 6 January 2013

Luis Suarez has form when it comes to cheating. But in the latest incident to attract negative headlines the Uruguayan striker was blameless, scoring what proved to be the winner in the FA Cup clash at Mansfield Town.

Handball remains the only offence in law which must be deliberate for a free-kick to be awarded – if the referee sees it.

*LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF SUAREZ'S HANDBALL BELOW AND GRAHAM WILL RESPOND TO THE BEST DEBATED COMMENTS ON MONDAY AFTERNOON

Instinct or intent Luis Suarez handled the ball before he scored for Liverpool

Instinct or intent Luis Suarez handled the ball before he scored for Liverpool

Another view: Suarez bats the ball back into his path before firing it home

Another view: Suarez bats the ball back into his path before firing it home

No chance: Alan Marriott is helpless to prevent Suarez netting the Reds' second of the tie

No chance: Alan Marriott is helpless to prevent Suarez netting the Reds' second of the tie

Rolled in: Suarez tapped the ball into an empty net

Rolled in: Suarez tapped the ball into an empty net

However, there are occasions when the
officials may see a handball they do not believe to be deliberate,
though penalise the offender because they have gained too great an
advantage from the ball hitting the arm.

The Suarez goal was just such an
incident which is why I am sue referee Andre Marriner did not see the
contact, rather than judge it to be accidental. Replays certainly showed
his view was obscured.

To be clear, Suarez sees the ball
rebound from the Mansfield Town goalkeeper, Alan Marriott, and tries to
get his arms out of the way; the ball hits his right arm and drops
kindly for the striker to tap the ball into the empty net.

Complaints: Mansfield players were unhappy with the decision to allow the goal

Complaints: Mansfield players were unhappy with the decision to allow the goal

The celebration, the commonly known
kiss of the wrist, was in no way an indication to opposing fans that he
had cheated, as was asserted by the ESPN commentary team.

Having known he gained from the
handball there have been suggestions that he should have told Marriner,
but I do not believe that would have made any difference – other than to
improve the Uruguayan’s tainted image.

Referees give what they see and stick
with those decisions. The images of Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler asking
Gerald Ashby to change a penalty award at Highbury are still clear – but
the penalty stood.

Trademark: Suarez kissed the inside of his wrist, as he does to celebrate his goals

Trademark: Suarez kissed the inside of his wrist, as he does to celebrate his goals

There was a period when after such
incidents referees in Germany's Bundesliga asked a player if he had
handled the ball. If the player took the opportunity to admit his guilt,
the goal was ruled out.

If, on the other hand, he denied it,
he could be suspended with the use of video evidence. This would not
need a law change to be introduced here – just a change of disciplinary
code from the Football Association.

Perhaps an overspill from his days
playing in Germany, Miroslav Klose did exactly that when playing for
Lazio in Serie A last year. As a result, the referee disallowed the
goal.

Confession time: Miroslav Klose admitted to handling the ball to score during a Serie A match in September, and the referee Luca Banti duly disallowed the goal

Confession time: Miroslav Klose admitted to handling the ball to score during a Serie A match in September, and the referee Luca Banti duly disallowed the goal

There are of course two other
options; Liverpool could have allowed Mansfield to score straight from
the restart, or the referee could have looked at a replay of the
incident.

As neither of those are likely to
happen in the foreseeable future why not allow the offender the option
to confess and improve everyone’s opinion of modern day professional
footballers

Graham Poll: Huddersfield Sheffield Wednesday referee Mick Russell has my sympathy

He has my sympathy, but gaffe ref Russell will face ban

|

UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 30 December 2012

Referee Mick Russell will be feeling empty and confused not just all day today but throughout the week after his error in the Huddersfield v Sheffield Wednesday game, when he failed to send off a player despite booking him twice.

I have both empathy and sympathy for him having suffered similarly, albeit on a bigger stage.

People who do not officiate, and even some that do, cannot understand how such a basic error of not recording the correct number of a player that you caution can occur.

Howler: Referee Mike Russell gave Jeremy Helan a second yellow card in Sheffield Wednesday's game at Huddersfield, but didn't send him off

Howler: Referee Mike Russell gave Jeremy Helan a second yellow card in Sheffield Wednesday's game at Huddersfield, but didn't send him off

Howler: Referee Mike Russell gave Jeremy Helan a second yellow card in Sheffield Wednesday's game at Huddersfield, but didn't send him off

Russell knows exactly how badly I had been affected in the summer of 2006 when doing exactly that at the World Cup in Germany.

Incredibly, he was the fourth official on my very first game after my faux pas. He provided me with great support throughout that day and we discussed at length how such an error could be made. Despite that, Russell now finds himself having done the same.

He recorded a caution for Sheffield Wednesday’s No 7 Michail Antonio for diving in the ninth minute, not No 24 Jeremy Helan, who is on loan from Manchester City. In the 24th minute, Helan brought down Huddersfield winger Adam Hammill and it was a clear yellow-card offence.

Getting it wrong: Josip Simunic is shown a second yellow card by Graham Poll but not sent off. The mistake is later rectified (below)

Getting it wrong: Josip Simunic is shown a second yellow card by Graham Poll but not sent off. The mistake is later rectified (below)

Off you go: Poll shows Simunic a red card

Russell has said since he clearly recorded the wrong number at the first caution and so is taking full responsibility. However, in the fullness of time he will reflect and wonder what happened to his two assistants and fourth official, who record all instances of misconduct.

Russell will now be written to by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd and the FA for his explanation of events and as he has already admitted his culpability a charge will follow.

Since he is clearly guilty of failing to apply the law —sending off a player after giving him a second yellow card — he will probably be suspended for at least three matches.

Sir Alex Ferguson defends referee rant

Fergie stands by ref rant after United go clear with thrilling win over Newcastle

|

UPDATED:

20:45 GMT, 26 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson defended his decision to give referee Mike Dean a half-time blast of his hairdryer before Manchester United sealed another famous comeback win.

Javier Hernandez's last-minute winner against Newcastle at Old Trafford gave United a 4-3 triumph from a game when they had trailed three times, and took them seven points clear of Manchester City.

But an incident-packed afternoon had one of its most notable moments as the teams came out for the second-half.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) argues with referee Mike Dean after he allowed a Jonny Evans own goal to stand

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (left) argues with referee Mike Dean after he allowed a Jonny Evans own goal to stand

Ferguson gave Dean a blast of his famous hairdryer during half-time of the game that eventually saw Manchester United win 4-3

Ferguson gave Dean a blast of his famous hairdryer during half-time of the game that eventually saw Manchester United win 4-3

Ferguson first rounded on Dean, then fourth official Neil Swarbrick before finally launching into assistant referee Jake Collin over Newcastle's second, an own-goal from Jonny Evans, which he was convinced should not have been allowed to stand.

'The referee changed the linesman's mind,' said Ferguson after Collin had flagged for offside against Papiss Cisse, only to get over-ruled after Evans turned home Danny Simpson's cross.

'He said it was an own goal. But if you see it again, and the referee can't, the guy is in an offside position, then he pulls Evans' arm.

Indecision: Ferguson said that Dean changed the mind of assisstant referee Jake Collin (right) who had ruled out the goal for offside

Indecision: Ferguson said that Dean changed the mind of assisstant referee Jake Collin (right) who had ruled out the goal for offside

'If that is not interfering what is I think it was a bad decision.'

Yet former World Cup official Graham Poll had already taken to Twitter to insist Dean was correct, as Newcastle chief Alan Pardew also felt.

'At the time I thought it was an own goal,' Pardew said.

Fergie congratulates Javier Hernandez, scorer of the decisive goal who scored the decisive goal in the 90th minute

Fergie congratulates Javier Hernandez, scorer of the decisive 90th minute goal

'It doesn't matter who is offside, he could be 20 yards offside if the defender sticks it in.

'I don't know if the striker got a touch before the defender but I don't think so. I can't see a problem with it.'

The Premier League also confirmed that 'as Cisse did not play the ball, then he was not interfering with play'.

They also stated that: 'It is also the case that Cisse didn't interfere with the opponent.'

It is now down to Dean to decide whether Ferguson overstepped the mark with his protestations, although he did have the option of sending the United boss to the stand, which he declined to do.

There was further controversy in stoppage time too, when Antonio Valencia slid in on Vernon Anita, leaving the Newcastle man needing to be stretchered off with an injured ankle.

'I was a bit upset with that tackle,' said Pardew. 'I have seen it again and I don't think it was malicious but Valencia has mistimed it badly and unfortunately it might cost us a player.

'I am not sure what is wrong. It is too early to say.

'It is a bang on the ankle. We will have to see whether he will make Arsenal, which would be a loss to us.'

Chicarito's 10th of the season means Manchester United are top of the league, seven points clearer of local rivals City

Chicarito's 10th of the season means Manchester United are top of the league, seven points clearer of local rivals City

Pardew also confirmed midfielder Jonas Guttierez faces a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury after missing today's game.

'He will be missing the next two or three games,' he said.

'Guttierez will have an injection in his knee tomorrow. It is not clearing up and he is not 100%.'

And those talking points do not touch on an amazing game.

Three times Newcastle led, through James Perch, Evans and Cisse, only for Evans – becoming the third player this season to score at both ends – Patrice Evra and Robin van Persie, with his 16th goal of the season, to respond.

Further chances came and went in a thrill-a-minute game.

But when Sammy Ameobi struck the inside of a post with a shot Pardew thought was going in, he feared the worst.

Dean received some flak for his decisions from players of both Manchester United (above) and Newcastle United (below)

Dean received some flak for his decisions from players of both Manchester United (above) and Newcastle United (below)

Dean received some flak for his decisions from players of both Manchester United (above) and Newcastle United (below)

'When it went back to the goalkeeper I thought 'mmm, it might not be our day', said Pardew.

He was right. And it wasn't Manchester City's either as Hernandez struck in the dying seconds to ensure United will be top on New Years' Day no matter what the outcome of matches against West Brom and Wigan.

'I wish it was the last game of the season,' said Ferguson.

'It tells you about the courage of our team though.

'We had a lot of bad decisions against us in the first-half.

Newcastle had lead three times with goals from James Perch, a controversial Jonny Evans own goal (pictured) and Papiss Cisse but were pegged back with goals at the right end from Evans, Patrice Evra, Robin van Persie (below) and Javier Hernandez

Newcastle had lead three times with goals from James Perch, a controversial Jonny Evans own goal (pictured) and Papiss Cisse, but were pegged back with goals at the right end from Evans, Patrice Evra, Robin van Persie (below) and Javier Hernandez

Newcastle had lead three times with goals from James Perch, a controversial Jonny Evans own goal (pictured) and Papiss Cisse but were pegged back with goals at the right end from Evans, Patrice Evra, Robin van Persie (below) and Javier Hernandez

'That could have demoralised the team. But they didn't give in. That is the great quality they have.

'We were down three times and came back three times, then we scored the winner.

'It is a really significant result for us. It puts us in a good position.

'But as I always say about December, it is a month that tells you everything.

'Hopefully when we come to January 1, after that game at Wigan, we are still top of the league.'

Alan Pardew's (pictured) Newcastle side slipped to 15th in the table after the extended their winless away run this season to nine games

Alan Pardew's (pictured) Newcastle side slipped to 15th in the table and are still without an away victory in nine attempts this season