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Newcastle 2 City 2

"We're disappointed. We were in complete control early on and in a funny way the thing that went against us was the sending off. They're fighting for their lives and they got a lucky break with both goals.

"So they got the rub of the green with that but in fairness we've got to do better than that. We didn't do a great deal in that second half when we needed to press the opposition. They were running and chasing everything down but we should be better than that.

"We needed to show a little bit of craft and guile in the final third and we didn't really move them around enough. Once they got two banks of four we found it difficult to break them down. In fairness we got a point out of a game that looked like it was going to go away from us, but it should have been an easy three points for us here."

>>Mark Hughes.

For me, it was almost a throwback to watching City games of years gone by last night, where we looked set to completely throw away a game that was as there for the taking as you could hope for.

Echoing Hughes's comments, Didi Hamman lamented the inability to keep possession, and this was symptamatic of a second half that I had to keep reminding myself our opponents were playing with ten men.

It was all looking good in the first half hour, with a 1-0 lead through Robinho's penalty - which subsequently saw Beye sent off. Newcastle are set to appeal the red card decision, but for me it was both a penalty, and therefore a sending off.

Yes, Beye got a touch on the ball, but what has been missed is he went through Robinho to get there and impeded Robinho's advance on goal so it was clear cut, despite the Setanta 'experts' view at half time.

What has been overlooked as well is we could (should?) have had a penalty when Richards was being obstructed by Coloccini as he went through on goal, but perhaps because he is a defender, he stayed on his feet and managed to get his shot away, which was saved by Given.

Richards was looking positive in the first half, with his runs down the right hand side far more productive than would have been offered by Ben Haim, so the decision to split the Richards-Dunne partnership was a good one. Unfortunately, Richards was forced off with injury, which saw the return of Nedum Onouha - who looked rusty indeed.

And so we headed towards the break, with a 1-0 lead that disappointingly wasn't more, against a side low on confidence, low on ideas and appearing to lack the wherewithal to mount a comeback.

Perhaps inevitable then it was going to a goal of the comedic proportions we saw to get Newcastle back on level terms.

A City clearance rebounded off Damian Duff, off the knee of Ben Haim straight into the path of Shola Ameobi - who almost managed to fluff his chance, slicing the ball but still managing to beat Joe Hart.

The goal sparked both the team, and given they were playing with ten men, more importantly the crowd.

The most disappointing aspect for me in the second half was how little pace and urgency we played with, allowing Newcastle far too much time and space as opposed to using our own pace and attacking purpose to overwhelm them.

Damian Duff looked particularly inventive for the home side, but with set pieces going to be a big threat, it was from one of these that we managed to fall behind. And we were the architects of our downfall, with Richard Dunne smashing home his own goal of the season contender to add to his litanty of errors, and weight to a small band of critical opinion which is beginning to gather.

Hughes threw on youngsters Evans and Sturridge in a bid to add weight to the attack - in the absence of any real presence from Jo, and I was surprised Elano was not introduced long before they were to try and create something.

The equaliser came from a moment of class, when Robinho threaded a neat pass to Stephen Ireland who poked past Given - moments after being denied by a great save - to rescue a point.

The press have gone with the line of 'unlucky Newcastle', but despite their battling approach, we were value for the point, but again it is more points dropped and more goals conceded (we are now the league's worst defence - to go with the best attack).

We now have five games (Stoke, Middlesbrough, Bolton, Spurs and Hull) where we do need to put a run together, and develop some real consistency in our play - with the defence becoming a worry.

The talent is undoubtedly there in our squad, but Hughes does not seem to have fully got to grips with the squad or approach so far.

Plenty to ponder then as we approach a potentially defining set of fixtures.