ONSIDE: Newcastle United give Manchester United football and history lesson

Onside
Onside

EDWARD Heath was Prime Minister, Jon Pertwee was Doctor Who and T Rex were number one in the singles chart with Telegram Sam.

I’m talking about February 12, 1972, and the last time Newcastle United won at Manchester United.

Well, until Saturday, that is.

Educational column this, you know.

Mind, I couldn’t tell you who’s number one at the moment and I’m not too sure who’s running the country either.

Even the recent 50th birthday episode of Doctor Who confused me now that John Hurt has suddenly parachuted into the Time Lord’s life story.

Mind, Doctor Who’s adventures often feel tame compared to Newcastle United plot lines.

Who would have thought that a team eventually outclassed at Swansea City could deservedly triumph at Old Trafford less than 72 hours later?

Yes, there was a little bit of luck along the way.

On another day Manchester United could have had two penalties and a man extra if Cheick Tiote’s stray elbow had earned a red card.

Yet weren’t Newcastle on the wrong end of three similar decisions at Swansea in midweek?

What goes around comes around and a pedestrian Manchester United deserved all they got on Saturday just as the Magpies did at the Liberty Stadium.

Alan Pardew crammed his midfield, as he should have done at Swansea, to stifle the hosts and silence their fans.

Gradually Newcastle started to creep forward and rarely looked in danger after taking the lead through Yohan Cabaye.

Most black and white victories, and I’m not just talking about rare wins over Manchester United, normally end with Newcastle camped nervously on the edge of their own six-yard box.

Not this one.

How many people, for instance, felt confident that Shola Ameobi and Hatem Ben Arfa could keep the ball so expertly in the opposite corner as they did in the dying minutes on Saturday?

Pardew’s side deserve the rapturous reception they will no doubt receive this weekend when they entertain Southampton.

The next trick after Saturday’s tactical triumph is to ensure the party does not quickly turn flat.

– GAVIN LEDWITH

@GLedwithHMail