Newcastle United amidst injury crisis after 1-1 draw to Maritimo
Newcastle United is falling under an injury crisis once again. Toons manager Alan Pardew was frustrated after he lost striker Papiss Cisse and midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa to injury in 1-1 draw to Maritimo.
The draw was good enough for Newcastle United to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League, so there was a silver lining after all.
Sylvain Marveaux drew first blood in the game by putting Newcastle United ahead in the 23rd minute of the game. Alan Pardew’s men were unable to create a lot of goal-scoring opportunities, which allowed Maritimo to put the pressure on the English side. Eventually, Maritimo equalized through Philipe Fidelis in 79th minute.
Newcastle United are now second in Group D. The Toons are breathing down the necks of Bordeaux, who are just a point away from them. Newcastle United and Bordeaux will face each other in the final game of the group.
In his post-game interview ESPN, Alan Pardew confessed that Newcastle United’s victory over Maritimo was bitter-sweet. Hatem Ben Arfa was forced off field because of an injury just five minutes before the half-time break. Early injury reports suggest Hatem Ben Arfa is out of Newcastle United’s Premier League clash with Southampton this weekend.
Papiss Cisse’s injury added more frowns to Alan Pardew’s face. The striker was called off just five minutes after the half-time break. Demba Ba, who is still recovering from his injury, is the lone star left in Newcastle United’s attack now.
“He [Hatem Ben Arfa] is not everything for this football club,” Alan Pardew told ESPN after the 1-1 draw.
“He [Papiss Cisse] got a kick on the thigh and we thought he might stiffen up over half-time which he did. We think he has a good chance for Sunday,” Alan Pardew added.
“We are just having blow after blow. We are going to have to wait and see on Papiss and I think Hatem will miss Sunday. We didn't have enough attacking flair to keep the ball and put the pressure on.”
Newcastle United are placed 12th in the Premier League, just a point below Liverpool. Their opponent for the weekend, Southampton have spent the majority of the season in the relegation zone, therefore Alan Pardew and Co. won’t be tested to their limits. Nonetheless, the injury crisis could see them lose valuable points.
“It gives the other team a lift and we didn't have enough getting down the sides and attacking play. We needed to get a result and got that and got through,” Alan Pardew added. “I look at this competition - with a sticky second half today but otherwise I think we have been excellent.”