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City 0 Newcastle 0

A game in which we should have had wrapped up comfortably but ultimately were left hanging on just to gain a point.

Unfortunately it was a match which illustrated our frailties and limitations all too well, with an ever-increasing reliance on set pieces as a main attacking option due to the inability to carve out 'genuine' chances from open play. The main chances from open play that were created on Saturday were more as a result of Newcastle's less than average defence allowing opportunities, and if we had come across a much stronger defence then it is doubtful we would have got a sniff of a chance.

There were chances, but unfortunately we couldn't capitalise on them with Barton and Reyna the chief culprits in wasting the chance to put us ahead in the game - chances which would have surely killed the game off. Dickov once again failed to offer much by way of an attacking threat, whilst Vassell looked neat in deep positions but hardly potent in front of goal. The problem for future games is that many of the chances we had were allowed by a defensive unit as poor as I've seen for some time.

The switch in bringing on Corradi and Samaras at least made us more threatening - albeit more directly, and Corradi could be considered a little unlucky not to open his account, whilst Samaras had what appeared a legitmate goal ruled out for a push in the box.

Likewise for Newcastle, the introduction of Dyer (who showed glimpses of his undoubted talent) and N'Zogbia brought what looks a poor side to life and during the final five minutes laid siege on our goal and wasted a couple of gilt edged chances to steal the points.

Positives from the game? I thought Barton won the midfield battle with England international Scot Parker, and once again we managed a clean sheet at home with the defence having in the main a comfortable afternoon but our lack of attacking threat is costing us the opportunity to take three points, and in reality draws at home coupled with our away form will not be enough to keep us away from trouble as we begin heading towards the half-way point of the season.