"So painful" - Newcastle journalist Caulkin responds to latest outing

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Newcastle United took on Manchester City on Sunday in a game that, as part of the new normal, did not feature a single fan in attendance.

It was not just any old game, either; it was an FA Cup quarter-final and St James’ Park should have been packed with raucous supporters.

Instead, it turned into something of a procession.

Pep Guardiola’s side won 2-0 thanks to a Kevin De Bruyne penalty and a Raheem Sterling strike, setting up a semi-final date with Arsenal in the process.

The hosts had just 25% possession across the 90 minutes and managed four shots to City’s 21.

Only one was on target. 

And The Athletic’s Magpies correspondent, George Caulkin, expressed his sadness that there were no supporters in attendance to cheer Steve Bruce’s side on.

He wrote on Twitter: “This is so painful.

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“I’m trying to think what the stadium would be like full today, with a loud and beery crowd and how that might mitigate against City’s (inevitable) dominance.

“The occasion would be huge. This is… I don’t know. So small.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Caulkin isn’t wrong.

The occasion felt flat because it was, and City’s dominance wasn’t fun to watch; it was just dull.

Ultimately, though, having a semi-final line up of City, United, Arsenal, and Chelsea is probably for the best.

Having smaller clubs taking on the titans without fans would have been nothing short of dismal at Wembley; those four going toe-to-toe feels far less tragic.

Newcastle’s loss, ultimately, may not have been the worst thing in the world, then, as the last four looms.

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