Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.
Today: Newcastle United v. Arsenal – Premiere League 2011
On an early February day in 2011, Newcastle fans (known as the Toon Army) made their way to St. James Park to watch their beloved club take on Arsenal. They had no idea what they were in for.
A Bad Week Gets Worse
The January transfer window that season ended with news that their beloved striker, Andy Carroll, had signed with Liverpool. There were different stories floating around about how it came to pass, but by the time the calendar flipped to February, he was gone. That left a huge void up top for the Magpies, especially since fellow striker Shola Ameobi was out with an injury. Things only got gloomier during a midweek fixture against Fulham that they lost 1-0. To top it all off – they found their side down 4-0 inside of half an hour – victims to an onslaught by Arsenal from the opening whistle that left them blindsided and dumbfounded. It was shaping up to be a painfully long afternoon and the end of an even longer week for those in black and white stripes. They managed to escape the first half only down by the 4 goals and couldn’t get to the dressing room fast enough.
More of the Same?
You would think, after the display over the first 45 minutes, that manager Alan Pardew would’ve made some changes for the second half in hopes of a better showing. Surprisingly – no changes were made. The commentators noted that, in leaving the starting XI on the pitch, Pardew had, in essence, told them to “go out and prove that they can do better than this”. Well, guess what?
The Turning Point
Five minutes into the second half it seemed as though the result had become a formality. It felt a bit like both teams were “going through the motions” until the full-time whistle could blow. That all changed in the 50th minute when Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby was sent off after his reaction to a tough challenge from Newcastle’s Joey Barton. That left Arsenal with 10 men and 40 minutes to play. Still – they were up 4-0 so what could go wrong?
Can You Believe It???
Over the course of the final 40 minutes, Newcastle managed to find another gear. Spurred on by their rabidly loyal fans, the Magpies ramped up the pressure. It paid off as they drew a PK in the 67th minute that got them on the board at 4-1. From there an utterly unbelievable final 20 minutes played out with a little bit of everything. In the end, Newcastle completed what would become a historic comeback, ultimately taking a point by drawing level with Arsenal after an utterly brilliant strike off the foot of Cheick Tioté (RIP) in the 87th minute.
Truth be told – as I watched this game, I think Newcastle probably deserved the win. Had it not been for Aresnal’s keeper Wojciech Szczesny, the Magpies might’ve walked away with all three points.
See You Tomorrow. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Wash Your Hands.
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