Gabriel Obertan

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

A fired up Gabriel Obertan almost returned to haunt Manchester United as Newcastle gave it their all in Wednesday's Capital One Cup third round tie at Old Trafford.

The former Red Devils winger was a constant threat to his former side as the Magpies created several chances - particularly in the second half - to force extra time or even win the match.

Anderson and Tom Cleverley scored for the hosts either side of half time but Papiss Cisse pulled one back just after the hour mark before Alan Pardew's side came agonisingly close to an equaliser.

Cisse's overhead kick which hit the crossbar was their best opportunity but it was Sir Alex Ferguson's men who progressed to the last 16, where they will face an away tie at Chelsea.

"It's disappointing but to be fair, the way we lost it was not like we let them play," Obertan told nufc.co.uk after the 2-1 defeat.

"We did play well and we had a lot of chances which is quite unusual at Old Trafford.

"So it was disappointing but we have more time now to focus on the Premier League and the Europa League.

"They played well and they had a very good side offensively speaking with Wayne Rooney and Javier (Hernandez), but I think we did pretty well.

"We were unlucky with two great goals from them, but overall I think our confidence is quite high at the moment and we've got good things to take from the game."

Obertan's own display not only served to prove a point to his ex-employers, but also reminded his current boss of what he is capable of.

Pardew recently admitted the Frenchman is "flying" and revealed that he is very much in his thoughts despite failing to start a Barclays Premier League game this term.

"I feel quite good at the moment anyway," the 23-year-old said. "It's always good to see old team-mates and I feel good.

"The Europa League's been good and every time I come on I feel good as well. Physically I'm fine and hopefully I'll keep playing this way.

"It's a bit frustrating at times but there's communication between me and the gaffer and it's all fine at the moment.

"I've just got to keep working hard and try to have a spot in the first team."

He hopes to have done enough to force his way into the starting XI for Saturday's league trip to Reading, who currently lie second bottom of the table.

But he warned: "Every game in the Premier League is quite hard at the moment.

"It's still the beginning and there's not even been ten games at the moment, so we expect a hard game over there.

"It'll be good to see Danny Guthrie as well but if we can get at least a point there, that would be great."

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