Not a great advert for the Europa League group format as Newcastle’s reserves took on their French equivalents, both teams making nine changes from their previous match.

Unfortunately, you have to say that overall it wasn’t a great advert for Newcastle’s reserves either.

The first half saw United struggle to retain possession with no outfield player catching the eye in a positive way. It was Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal who kept United in the contest in the opening forty five minutes, several excellent saves including one blinding reflex save.

For those formation fans amongst you, Alan Pardew went with the 4-3-3 favoured by most supporters but tonight proved that the quality of the players is maybe a bit more of a telling factor.

When the goal came it was a left wing cross with time for the Bordeaux player to send in the ball for the giant Diabete to head home with a weak challenge by Perch.

Alan Pardew had seen enough and the second half brought Vurnon Anita on for a wasteful Sammy Ameobi and a change to 4-4-2, Ranger coming in from the right to make it a front two with Shola.

The change almost paid instant dividends as a long ball was headed on by Ranger and Shola touched it wide. Only minutes later, our captain for the night did much better as Bigirimana’s accurate long ball was brought down by Shola and his left foot shot was well saved.

That initial improvement levelled off quickly and Newcastle never looked like getting back into the match.

The second goal came along in the seventy second minute as the lumbering Diabete easily outpaced Williamson and gave Elliot no chance.

Coloccini had been warming up and came straight on after that goal, Williamson making way.

The third and final change was Papiss Cisse for Shola Ameobi, ensuring that Nile Ranger would play the full ninety minutes on his return.

He almost confounded his critics with one moment of quality as he spun on the edge of the box but lashed his shot high and wide.

Those with possibly the most to gain did precious little; Sammy Ameobi dragged off after a poor forty five minutes, Marveaux totally anonymous – apart from when losing the ball, while Ferguson had only a steady game at left-back.

Bigirimana gave his usual spirited performance and Abeid did ok, but none of the fringe/younger players did anything to suggest they should be knocking on Alan Pardew’s door to ask if they are playing on Monday.

Bordeaux: Olimpa, Chalme, Planus, Marange, Poundje, Khalfallah, Poko, Sertic, Saivet, Bellion, Diabete (Sacko 87)

Unused Subs: Keita, Sane, N’Guemo, Maurice-Belay, (Only five!)

Newcastle United: Elliot, Tavernier, Perch, Williamson, Ferguson, Abeid, Bigirimana, Ranger, Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi (Anita 46), Shola (Cisse 81)

Unused Subs: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Anita, Amalfitano, Cisse, Campbell

Ref: Menashe Masiah (Israel)

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