Demba Ba Still The Man With The Shirt (and the goal!)
Newcastle 1 (Ba 33)
AS Monaco 0
Demba Ba gave a timely reminder that he’s still the man in black & white as he gave Newcastle their first pre-season win in Landsberg.
The friendly against Monaco at the neutral lower league German venue saw a number of opportunities for United but predictably it was Ba who put a chance away, climbing above the keeper to put away an impressive close range header.
In front of a crowd measured in hundreds, Newcastle were the better team and had a much stronger and experienced starting eleven compared to the opening fixture against Chemnitzer.
The few dozen United fans saw Tiote as well as Ba make his first showing of this campaign but the predicted appearance of Coloccini and Cisse didn’t materialise.
Shola had almost opened the scoring in the first minute when he and Ba combined, only for Ameobi’s header to come back off the post.
A rare appearance by Harper saw him involved a number of times in the first half as he dealt comfortably (well maybe not the close range effort that hit him full in the face!) with a few half chances, before Demba Ba headed United into the lead just after the half hour mark.
Monaco just pipped United in the substitute stakes as they made nine of the seventeen changes, leading to a stop/start second half.
A typical pre-season friendly where the priorities are something along the lines of avoiding injuries, players gaining match fitness and a win is always a bonus; so on that basis a seemingly successful night.
Steve Harper deserved his clean sheet and made sure of that and United’s victory with a late close range save, though a lack of real goal threat apart from Demba Ba sums up a weakness of the squad. Both Obertan and Shola wasting one on ones with the keeper that backs up why Alan Pardew is on the lookout to add players who will give extra goals from various positions.
Last night’s match was covered live on ESPN and if you missed it then they are repeating it today at 2pm, you will find it at Channel 417 on SKY and Channel 529 if you have Virgin Media.
They also regular feature classic past NUFC matches and you might be interested to know that this week they have Spurs v NUFC (A) 2007/08 at 10.30am on Wednesday 10.30am and NUFC v Liverpool (H) 1998/99 on Thursday at 10am, the first is a cracking 4-1 win which is well worth seeing again but you might want to hide behind the sofa for most of the Liverpool match highlights!
The pre-season roadshow now rolls on to SC Ritzing, Sonnenseestadion, Austria who are hosting the Fenerbahce friendly this Saturday 21st July at 6.30pm UK time(7.30pm local), this is also due to be covered by ESPN, though they do have it in their schedules as 6pm-8pm at the moment.
[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/HPRiCxIcw_0″ rel=”0″ showinfo=”0″]
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Davide Santon (Ryan Taylor 57), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson (James Perch 46), Jonas Gutierrez, Romain Amalfitano (Gabriel Obertan 62), Mehdi Abeid (James Tavernier 46), Gael Bigirimana (Cheick Tiote 62), Sammy Ameobi (Haris Vuckic 46), Shola Ameobi (c) (Dan Gosling 62), Demba Ba (Sylvain Marveaux 78)
Monaco: Daniel Subasic, Eric Marester (Jeremy Labor 86), Andreas Wolf (c) (Adriano Da Silva 63), Andrea Raggi (Gary Kagelmacher 63), Layvin Kurzawa (Dennis Appiah 63), Nabil Dirar (Emir Bajrami 75), Nampalys Mendy, Gary Coulibaly (Delvin N’Dinga 86), Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (Tristan Dingome 75), Ibrahima Toure (Valentin Eysseric, 63), Valere Germain (Nacer Barazite 63)
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)
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]