MATCH REPORTS

United Draw At Manchester City

Manchester City 1: Fowler 49 (pen)
Newcastle United 1: Shearer 9

Final Update: 90mins (7.45pm kick-off)

United: Given, Carr, Bramble, O'Brien, Babayaro, Bowyer, Dyer (Butt 63), Faye, Jenas, Ameobi (Kluivert 65), Shearer  Subs (not used): Harper, Hughes, Robert

City: James, Thatcher, Distin, Fowler, Macken (B Wright-Phillips 84), Musampa, Mills, Dunne, Barton, Bosvelt, S Wright-Phillips  Subs (not used): Weaver, Jordan, McManaman, Onuoha

Referee: Andy D'Urso

GRAEME Souness made two changes to the side that beat Coventry City at the weekend for Wednesday's Premiership game with Manchester City.

Lee Bowyer returned to the side after recovering from a groin strain, replacing Patrick Kluivert who dropped down to the bench. Shay Given was back in goal after Steve Harper played against The Sky Blues. Bowyer lined up in the centre of midfield alongside Amdy Faye, with Kieron Dyer on the right and Jermaine Jenas on the opposite flank.

Manchester City were captained by ex-United star Sylvain Distin, a transfer target for The Magpies during the transfer window.  

City got the game underway attacking the end where the travelling fans were situated, and Shaun Wright-Phillips had the first effort inside the first two minutes with a 20 yard drive that flew wide.

United took the lead on nine minutes, with Bramble's pinpoint long ball finding Shearer, and the skipper took a touch before rifling the ball past James into the roof of the net from 15 yards to register his 250th Prmeiership goal.

Ameobi then curled an effort from the edge of the box over the top on 14 minutes after Shearer's lay off, then James had to race out of his box to boot the ball clear ahead of Dyer after Shearer tried to pick the midfielder out with a low through ball.

Macken saw a glancing header loop over the bar on 28 minutes after a long period which saw most of the play confined to the middle third, then on 32 minutes a free kick for the home side 30 yards out was floated in by Barton but easily gathered by Given.

Bramble did well to recover and poke the ball away from Wright-Phillips after the England star left him for dead with a quick turn on the right channel, then Given had to boot the ball clear two yards from his line after miskicking a clearance when the ball hit a divot.

Mills did well to put the ball out of play on 35 minutes after spotting Dyer down in trouble on the far side, though his own fans were far from happy with the full-back's decision as they wanted their side to press on and take advantage of the extra man. Dyer was able to continue after getting some treatment from physio Derek Wright.

Jenas got the first booking of the game on 38 minutes when his tackle from behind on Barton left the City midfielder in a heap, then Fowler headed over moments later after Distin crossed from the left hand side.

Dyer ran the ball out of play on 42 minutes as he tried to create space for a cross from the right, then a deep cross from Carr drifted out of play and Mills dispossessed Ameobi as he tried to break free with The Magpies finishing the half on top.   

Four minutes into the second half Bramble was adjudged to have tripped Wright-Phillips inside the box as he latched onto a flick on from Macken, and Fowler stepped up to score from the penalty spot to make it 1-1.

Mills did well to get in the way of Dyer after Ameobi tried to square a ball into his path in Newcastle's next attack, then Distin and Bowyer got involved in a spot of pushing and shoving to earn a yellow card each on 55 minutes.

On 63 minutes united made a change, with Nicky Butt coming on for Dyer - and the former Manchester United star got a predictable welcome from the City fans. 

Two minutes later Patrick Kluivert replaced Ameobi in attack.

Bramble turned and fired just wide on 66 minutes when Shearer knocked down Bowyer's right wing free kick, then James had to clear the danger as Bowyer tried to race through to reach Shearer's through ball.

O'Brien got a booking on 70 minutes for a foul on Fowler 25 yards out, but barton swerved the ball high and wide after referee D'Urso finally got the United wall in the position he wanted.

City won two corners in the space of three minutes as the game creeped towards the final 10 minutes, but neither set piece came to anything as The Magpies cleared their lines.

Macken fired a shot straight at Bramble on 80 minutes and when the loose ball fell to Fowler his effort was blocked by O'Brien.

Bosvelt was cautioned on 83 minutes for a foul on Bowyer just outside the centre circle, then a minute later Bradley Wright-Phillips replaced Jon Macken. 

Bowyer won a corner of Musampa four minutes from time but Dunne headed clear, then at the other end Bramble got to the ball ahead of Bradley Wright-Phillips as City tried to mount a quick breakaway.

Two minutes of time were added on at the end, but neither side managed to find a way through as the game ended all-square.

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