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Match Reports

Cisse, Ba, Coloccini and Tiote Show Their Class

9 years ago

Saturday 21 July 6.30pm 

Newcastle 1 (Abeid 76)
Fenerbahce 1 ( Baroni 90)

If you missed the match or want to see it again,  ESPN are showing an hour of highlights 2-3pm today (Sunday).

Newcastle stepped up in terms of the standard of opposition they were facing and on the pitch the players did the same in their encounter with Fenerbahce.

The Turkish club, kicked out last season over domestic match-fixing, have drawn Romania’s Vaslui on their return to the Champions League qualifiers and play the vital first leg in only a week and a half’s time.

Fenerbahce were barred from the Champions League last season over a domestic match-fixing scandal but escaped demotion to a lower league after the Turkish federation decided in May to take action against individuals and not the club.

Earlier this month, Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim was sentenced to more than six years in jail, although he was released pending an appeal.

After such a dramatic end to their Champions League hopes last season it’s clear how important this qualifier will be for Fenerbahce, so you could only expect that they would be well in advance of Newcastle preparations, given our first competitive match is nearly three weeks later.

Unlike League and Cup games where the result is everything, in friendlies I reckon performances are everything.

The first real goalscoring chances went the way of the opposition in the first fifteen or so minutes but after that it was Newcastle who more than held their own. In those opening exchanges, midfielder Baroni hit one effort wildly off target and then he turned provider, feeding the ball into the path of Alex who lifted his left foot shot over the bar.

A good sign is which team finds it easier to make space for a pass and Newcastle moved the ball well around the pitch despite an uneven bounce and in places, spongey pitch.

Good players will always show through though and it was no surprise that the likes of Ba, Tiote and Coloccini definitely looked the part.  While Cisse looked especially lively in his late twenty minute spell.

Of the younger players, Tavernier looked very comfortable on the ball, while Vuckic was wasteful with the best moments Newcastle created in the first half but still did ok.

On the other hand, sad to say that despite Alan Pardew’s encouraging words it looks like same old for Obertan, moves often ending when he failed to control the ball and a total lack of purpose when he did get hold of it.

Stoch and Kuyt went close at the start of the second half before Newcastle again got to grips with the opposition and became stronger despite the inevitable substitutions as time went on.

Demba Ba unlucky to see Serdar Kesimal make a great block just as it looked like the striker would give us the lead.

Marveaux was introduced as a second half substitute and seems to have continued the very late form he showed on his return last season, as he looks a player to give the manager something to think about when it comes to putting his team together.

However, it was Abeid who broke the deadlock after only three minutes on the pitch, showing great strength to hold off a defender as he fired home from an angle. He looks to be in good shape and possibly more athletic than the early glimpses we saw of him last season.

Shola hit a decent chance into the turf and it just cleared the bar, while Cisse’s cheeky 30 yard effort was comfortably turned over.

The last word though went to Baroni as the midfielder found space around twenty yards from goal and his low shot trundled into the bottom corner.

I can’t believe that Tim Krul would have let that one in and proved once again the void between our best players and the likes of Elliot. Unfortunately, when you are a goalkeeper the gap in class is all too evident when something like that happens, while in other positions you can get away with a bit more.

The expected decent turnout of Fenerbahce fans proved correct with them providing a bit of colour and atmosphere. While the smaller United contingent gave it their best shot as well.

Alan Pardew will be more than happy with the performance and it emphasises fro both him and us what we knew beforehand.

Newcastle do have some promising young players but in the immediate season coming up, we need to add  a sprinkling of other readymade first team players if we are to stand a decent chance of matching last season’s efforts, or even surpassing them, especially with the extra demands of the Europa League.

Newcastle United: Rob Elliot, Danny Simpson (Davide Santon 68), James Tavernier, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor, Cheick Tiote (Gael Bigirimana 59), Dan Gosling (Mehdi Abeid 73), Gabriel Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Haris Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Sylvain Marveaux (Jonas Gutierrez 59), Demba Ba (Papiss Cisse 68)

Subs not used: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson

Fenerbahce: Mert Gunok, Orhan Sam, Bekir Irtegun, Serdar Kesimal, Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Mehmet Topal (Henri Bienvenu 85), Cristian Baroni,  Dirk Kuyt (Semih Senturk 68), Alex De Souza (c) (Selcuk Sahin 68), Miroslav Stoch, Moussa Sow (Mehmet Topuz 46)

Referee: Paul Petho

If you missed the match or want to see it again,  ESPN are showing an hour of highlights 2-3pm today (Sunday).

It has also just been announced that Newcastle’s matches against both Olympiakos (27th July) and Braga (28th July) have been added to the ever growing list of United fixtures live on TV, the Braga match giving the possibility of meeting up again with ex-United player, Hugo Viana .

This follows the previous listing of our opening two Premier League matches against Spurs and Chelsea on ESPN, as well as the pre-season friendlies against Monaco and Fenerbahce, making ESPN an ever more attractive proposition for our fans.

If you already have ESPN then you will find it at Channel 417 on SKY and Channel 529 if you have Virgin Media, if you haven’t got access to ESPN then it might be an ideal time to sign up as they are offering a cracking deal at the moment and already our first two Premier League matches have been snapped up by them.

The following six matches have already been confirmed as televised live, with no doubt many more to follow.

Spurs (H) – Saturday 18th August but moved to 5.30pm (ESPN)

Chelsea (A) – Saturday, 25th August but also moved to a 5.30pm kick-off (ESPN)

Everton (A) – Monday 17th September 8pm (was Sat 15th Sept) (SKY)

Manchester United (H) – Sunday 7th October 4pm (was Sat 6th Oct) (SKY)

Mackems (A) – Sunday 21st October 1.30pm (was Sat 20th Oct) (SKY)

Liverpool (A) – Sunday 4th November 4pm (was Sat 3rd Nov) (SKY)


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