Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

Tuesday Team Talk: Football mourns Gary Speed as Manchester clubs both draw

Tuesday Team Talk: Football mourns Gary Speed as Manchester clubs both draw

By Jamie Dickenson

Both Manchester clubs dropped points during this weekend's round of Premier League fixtures, one that was overshadowed by the tragic news of Wales manager Gary Speed's death.

The former Bolton midfielder was found hanged at his home on Sunday morning after apprently committing suicide, as England's top division mourned the passing of one of its former sons.

Floods of tributes have poured in for the 85-time internationally capped Welshman, whose passing has stunned the football world.

On Saturday Manchester United were held at home by a resilient Newcastle side, who battled to earn a point at Old Trafford, finishing with just 10 men.

United could not find the winner to seal a home win, with Alex Ferguson's side battering the away team with plenty of chances towards the end of the game without landing a killer blow.

The Scot was particularly dismayed after the match about the penalty decision that allowed striker Demba Ba to fire the Geordie outfit level, launching at over the standards of 'part-time assistants'.

“The referee thought it was a corner and he was near to the incident,” said Ferguson. “It was an absolute travesty.”

“The problem is that assistants are not full-time even if the referees are. I don't think anyone in the ground thought it was a penalty apart from the assistant referee.”

Opposition manager Alan Pardew agreed with Sir Alex: “If it was against me I would be very aggrieved.”

The home side took the lead through Javier Hernandez but were pegged back by Newcastle, leaving United still five points off league leaders Manchester City, who dropped two points away to Liverpool.

Manchester United's two sworn enemies faced each other in a lively affair in Merseyside on Sunday afternoon.

The game finished 1-1, as City held on to take a point back to the Etihad Stadium after losing eccentric attacker Mario Balotelli to a second yellow card ten minutes from time.

Balotelli was booked shortly after coming on for tugging back Glen Johnson, before receiving his marching orders for raising his elbow in a challenge after coming on as a second half substitute.

The Citizens manager Roberto Mancini tried to deflect criticism from his fellow countryman after the game, insisting that Liverpool's players had contrived to get his player sent off.

“I do not agree with this yellow,” said Mancini. “The referee didn't want to get a yellow card out. I think that the referee gave a free kick but didn't want to give a yellow until all the Liverpool players complained.”

The Italian tactician may have a point, as Liverpool players vigorously protested to the referee, however Mancini will surely be more disappointed with the lack of maturity shown by Balotelli, picking up his third dismissal for the club in less than two seasons.

The indiscipline of Super Mario will provide a fresh headache for Mancini, after the former Inter Milan forward had begun to build some consistency into his game, scoring nine times in his last ten outings.

Mancini has already had to contend with the drama of striker Carlos Tevez this season, who appears to be outcast from the club, whilst it emerged today that the club are not willing to loan the Argentine out in January, with AC Milan reportedly interested.

However attention now turns to the Carling Cup for both Manchester clubs, who will be looking to progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

City face a tricky away tie at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal, whilst United are in action against lower league opposition Crystal Palace.

Sir Alex has promised to 'completely change' his first XI from the side that drew with Newcastle, with youngsters Zeki Fryers, Federico Macheda, Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba all set to play a part.