Ireland helps Manchester City to draw with 10-man Newcastle
London, Oct 21 (DPA) Stephen Ireland hit an equaliser with four minutes remaining to deny Newcastle United a remarkable victory as Manchester City earned a 2-2 draw at St James' Park in the English Premier League.
Having fallen behind and been reduced to 10 men after 14 minutes Monday night, Newcastle struck back through Shola Ameobi and took the lead with Richard Dunne's own goal.
Ireland's leveller took the gloss off the performance and meant Newcastle finished the evening in the relegation zone, but manager Joe Kinnear was still happy enough to punch the air at the final whistle. If nothing else, he has instilled a fighting spirit in the crisis-ridden club.
It was seen previously when Newcastle came from 0-2 down to draw a fortnight ago at Everton, and was very evident against City.
Things couldn't have begun much worse for Newcastle, as they conceded a penalty and had Habib Beye sent off after 14 minutes.
Replays subsequently showed that the Senegal defender had grazed the ball as he challenged Robinho, but it was the lightest of touches, and the decision of referee Rob Styles, while wrong, was understandable.
Robinho stepped up and converted from the spot.
Newcastle have discovered new resolve since the appointment of Joe Kinnear, though, and like Tottenham Sunday, they responded to going behind and going a man down by taking the game to their opponents. Like Tottenham, they equalised in messy fashion.
Dunne's clearance cannoned off Fabio Coloccini and fell kindly for Ameobi who, with a wild swipe, notched his first goal in two years.
Unlike Tottenham, Newcastle were able to maintain their momentum after half-time and took the lead as Dunne's night went from bad to worse. He was under no pressure as Geremi sent over a right-wing corner, but, presumably seeing it late, he side-footed the ball into his own net.
The longer the game went on, though, the more City pressed.
It took a superb save from Shay Given, plunging full length to his right, to push out an Ireland drive, but the Irish midfielder wasn't to be denied for long. He scored his fourth of the season to level it with four minutes remaining, latching onto Robinho's through-ball and driving a low shot into the bottom corner.
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