Manchester City fans were given a rare opportunity to see Pantimilon in action on Tuesday night
Costel Pantimilon has been an understudy to Joe Hart for over two years now, but not until now have there been so many calls and speculation over whether he will displace Hart in the league.
Pantimilion has previously impressed for City in cup matches especially in last season's FA Cup campaign.
He gave some fantastic performances in that competition particularly in the semi-final victory over Chelsea.
He was then cruelly left out by former manager Roberto Mancini for the final against Wigan Athletic.
Joe Hart doesn't seem to be the same 'keeper everyone was raving about a few years back. The last minute goal conceded to Chelsea on Sunday was partly his mistake and Matija Nastasic's, but it led to more talk over whether he would be dropped.
The general consensus on Twitter was that fans were glad to see Pantilimon given a chance.
Interesting to see Manchester City without Joe Hart...Pantilimon finally gets his chance— Raphael Gellar (@raphaelg23) October 30, 2013
Pantilimon needs to be playing more games for City— Finn the Human (@OF_tillwe_OD) October 30, 2013
Pantilimon had his chance against Newcastle and in the 30th minute made a great save down to his left from a Shola Ameobi volley. Newcastle had a lot of possession in the City half but failed to produce many clear cut chances. In the 45th minute the Romanian goalkeeper punched weakly from a corner, but luckily it was cleared away.
Midway through the second half it looked destined for Pantilimon to be the hero in a penalty-shoot-out. The 90 minutes were up and the match went into extra time, and there were already plenty of positives on Twitter about Pantilimon's performance.
Joe Hart should not be dropped on Saturday but just want to tweet that Costel Pantilimon has played with a true presence tonight.— Dave Birty (@BirtyDave) October 30, 2013
Pantilimon has looked confident, deserve a run out against Norwich?— Charlie Livesey (@cllivesey) October 30, 2013
In the first few minutes of extra time Papiss Cisse had an excellent chance to score the first goal of the night, but Costel Pantilimon proved his worth to Manchester City by making a great block.
Pantilimon deserves a start this weekend! What a save— Lee (@leephelan5) October 30, 2013
Looks like Costel Pantilimon has just won himself the #1 jersey at City with that save!— Dan SJ (@DanSattary) October 30, 2013
The City 'keeper plays with a lot of passion and it was clear that he himself was extremely happy with that save. In the next 10 minutes City scored two goals through Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko and the game was sewn up. Pantilimon went on to win the man of the match award from Sky Sports, and after keeping a clean sheet over 120 minutes he has certainly done himself no harm. The reaction on Twitter was very positive and things are looking bleak for Joe Hart, although there is still some faith in him.
Pantilimon is 5x better than Joe Hart.— Tseriki (@PandemicDeviant) October 30, 2013
Pantilimon should start against Norwich— Jack Emmott (@Jack_Emmott_0) October 30, 2013
Pantilimon was superb tonight, but I'll be very surprised if he plays on Saturday. I fully expect Joe to start.— Matthew Yarwood (@MPY123) October 30, 2013
Been saying it for the last year or so - Pantilimon should start for City over Hart— Elliot Pawley (@Pawley131) October 30, 2013
Hart can learn a think or two from Pantilimon.Panti learned a lot from hart over the past years and applies them.#1 choice for next week— Michael Christoforou (@michalis_ch) October 30, 2013
On a side note City will play Leicester City away in the Quarter Final of the Capital One Cup.
Who do you think should start in goal for Manchester City's next league match? Let us know
image: © Mark Freeman