We’d restricted the in-form home team to two chances – Abdoulaye Faye’s header hit the post from Emre’s corner, Radek Cerny saved well from Michael Owen – as the clock ticked towards half-time but were then caught out by a long ball from Jose Enrique and Obafemi Martins, our nemesis from last season, capitalised to hand Magpies the lead.
Worse was to follow when an identical corner to the one that led to Faye’s header striking the post in the first half this time led to a bullet header into the top corner from Claudia Cacapa, Emre again providing the ammunition to the near post, to make it 2-0 in the 51st minute.
The lads fought back and we looked in the game when Darren Bent’s header came off the post and Robbie Keane pounced for his seventh goal in seven games to make it 2-1 after 57 minutes.
Dimitar Berbatov was thrown into the mix and Bent fired a half-chance wide but any hopes of another spectacular recovery were abruptly ended when James Milner found the bottom corner with a dipping volley after 73 minutes.
Martin reflected: "I thought we looked fairly comfortable in the first 40 minutes but it was the same old story - you can’t expect to win games if you concede goals like that.
"We had a couple of chances but then made a mistake and they scored.
"We tried to come back and the spirit was good, we played well but the thing is even when we play well, we seem to concede goals like that.
"The first goal was a long ball to a small striker and the second goal was the same, a corner kick and a near post header.
"We tried to come back into the game but conceded goals at the wrong moments.
"We had a good spell up until today, okay, perhaps not good enough but we were six games unbeaten, we’ve drawn games and perhaps we should have won some of them, especially at Liverpool.
"I feel if we get one result the confidence will be there."
Martin Jol admitted that conceding bad goals hurt us again as we suffered a 3-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Monday night.