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Season 2012-13
Club Brugge (h) Europa League Group Stage Game 3

In association 

Thursday 25th October 2012, 8.05pm
Live on ESPN

 St.James' Park

chilly winds, sleet late on 

Admission: 15


Newcastle United

Club Brugge

1 - 0




Half time: Newcastle 0 Brugge 0

mins Instinctive improvisation, Ameobi style. United scored what may be one of the goals of the season thanks to some trickery from Sammy and Shola. The former took a short pass in centrefield well in his own half, flicked the ball up and then evaded Bacca with another neat dink and twist.

The pass dropped into the path of Shola, who reached it ahead of an opponent and tipped it forward with another angled ball that reached the advancing Sammy. Allowing the ball to bounce once, he then manoevured away from Bacca again by touching the ball over the Brugge player's head and running into space to collect the rebound.

Progressing over halfway towards the Gallowgate End and with Cisse plus a trio of retreating defenders ahead of him, Sammy maintained possession before laying a precise pass out to the unmarked Gabriel Obertan on the right, just as Ameobi junior was tackled from behind.

Obertan's first touch took the ball into the box and without further ado, he then struck with a right footed rising effort that
Jorgacevic got a hand to, but couldn't prevent from slamming into the side netting inside the far post. 1-0

Full time: Newcastle 1 Brugge 0

We Said

Alan Pardew said:

"It was a great performance because (Bruges are) a good team. They keep the ball very, very well and that's why they're top of the league. They've got experience in the team.

"But our young players shone tonight and that's what it was about. I showed faith in them because they've been doing it on the training ground. Do it on the training ground and you've got a chance of performing on the big stage and Sammy and Fergie have been terrific in training and they took it into the game and that's perfect for a manager.

"I thought our passing was good in the first half, but we lacked a little bit of threat which is about nailing that system down, but in the second half, bringing Shola on was always going to unsettle them a little bit, which it did.

"Brugge showed why they are a good side because they came back at us. We had a couple of scares towards the end, and Harps and the defence had to play well.

"We have got Maritimo at home, who have had a good result tonight, by the way, that's helped us too. We are going to need to grab something from one of those (away) games, and by the look of that Brugge game tonight, it's going to be difficult. They are a good side.

"We have approached this competition in the right manner and we have got our reward for it. We tried to attack the game, but Brugge are a good side. This was a tough game tonight. They have two or three outstanding players, so it's a big win for us, make no mistake.

"It was nice to see us squeeze past, because that's what we did, really. We just did enough tonight. We haven't focused too much on this league, more on the Premier League. 

"It will be tactically interesting how we approach the next two Europa games - if we get a win and a draw then we'll be in a good position.

On the goalscorer:

"He's still only 23. He has a fantastic future. We owe him a big debt for the last two European games because we wouldn't have won without him. He's been terrific for us and hopefully he'll play a bigger part in the Premier League as we go along.

(Tiote) was affected by the sending off on Sunday: there was a lack of focus in his game, probably because it was so soon after Sunday's game, he is hurt. No one was more hurt that Cheick."

They Said

Georges Leekens (who played as a defender for Brugge between 1972 and 1981 commented:

""As promised, we tried to play football here. We emphasized on tactical discipline and played a good game. Unfortunately, our finishing was a bit erratic. We showed great mentality, and everyone did what was asked and expected from them. 

"Today's performance pleases me. We had chances to score in both halves, but did not manage to make the most of them. We deserved at least one point. 


It's fantastic that so many fans made the trip to Newcastle. I'm also happy for them that we were able to offer them a good performance. It's a pity, though, that we couldn't offer them a point. When they scored, we should have made a professional foul to stop that attack. We still need to learn that. 

"Now we need to prepare for next Sunday's game - the Europa League ranking right now is of no importance."


United are unbeaten in their last 21 European home games (excluding the Intertoto Cup*), having won 18 and drawn the other three ties staged at SJP since losing 0-1 to Partizan Belgrade in 2003.

* if the Intertoto Cup defeat by Deportivo La Coruna is included, the record is ten games (eight wins and two draws) with eight successive wins since a 0-0 draw against Levadia Tallinn in 2006. 

We've now gone 426 minutes since last conceding a goal in European competition, exceeding the previous record of 401 minutes that had been recorded during the 1969/70 Fairs Cup campaign.

Steven Taylor captained the side for the first time on home soil and the second time in his career, after the League Cup loss at Peterborough in September 2009.

The 36th game of Gabriel Obertan's Newcastle career (25 starts) brought the second goal, after his similar effort in the Premier League away to Blackburn Rovers in February 2012. He managed one goal in 28 appearances for Manchester United (13 starts).

Brugge became the fifth Belgian side that we've met competitively - and beaten at SJP - after Anderlecht, Royal Antwerp, Sporting Lokeren and Zulte Waregem.

Belgians @ SJP - competitive games:

1969/70 Anderlecht won 3-1 Robson 2, Dyson
1994/95 Antwerp won 5-2 Cole 3, Lee, Beardsley
2001/02 Lokeren won 1-0 Bellamy
2006/07 Zulte Waregem won 1-0 Martins
2012/13 Brugge won 1-0 Obertan

Europa League Group D - 2012/2013:

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Newcastle 3 2 1 0 4 0 +4 7
2 Bordeaux 3 1 1 1 5 4 +1 4
3 Brugge 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
4 Maritimo 3 0 2 1 1 3 -2 2

The other game in Group D tonight ended Maritimo 1-1 Bordeaux.


There may not have been any streakers on the pitch at St.James' Park on Thursday night, but Alan Pardew's side came uncomfortably close to being caught with their pants down before completing a victory that went a long way to assuring their progress from the Europa League Group Stage.

Brugge arrived on Tyneside at the top of the Belgian league despite slipping to their first domestic defeat since April at the weekend. And while they were without a handful of first choice players, United's selection showed nine changes from the starting XI on wearside the previous Sunday.

One of the two remaining players was Cheick Tiote, whose red card and domestic ban made his inclusion here a no-brainer. Unfortunately that description could have been equally applied to a performance that saw him go easy on the opposition (although picking up yet another booking) in the tackle and provide a helping hand to Brugge with a clutch of misplaced passes.

The Ivorian was included in a central midfield block with Gael Bigirimana and Vurnon Anita that may have restricted the counter attacks of the visitors, but restricted their own side's progress thanks to a succession of harmless sideways and backwards passes.  

What creativity Newcastle could muster came from the wing duo of Sammy Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan, plus Shane Ferguson - again shoehorned into left back. That translated into forays down either flank and the occasional cross, but aimed towards the solitary figure of Papiss Cisse.  

Our number nine managed to get on the end of three chances (including another peach of a cross from Fergie) in the opening half, forcing Serbian 'keeper Bojan Jorgacevic into action twice. Cisse also had a penalty appeal turned down when leaned on by Bart Buysse (on the losing side here for Zulte Waregem in 2007) but referee Martin Hansson waved away strong United appeals. 

A change in personnel looked inevitable before the resumption and so it proved, with Shola Ameobi preferred to Anita - although it could just as easily been any of the middle trio. The effect was almost instant, as he and younger brother Sammy combined to set away Obertan to shoot home.

Further goals looked likely, but the lime-clad Magpies failed to build up any real momentum and the healthy contingent of Brugge fans began to find their voices as the tie wore on. Their side came agonisingly close to levelling just after the hour mark, only for prolific striker Carlos Bacca to direct his header from Maxime Lestienne's left wing cross into the turf so it bounced up and over Steve Harper's crossbar - a genuine let off.

Despite Bigiriimana contributing little to proceedings, the tiring Sammy Ameobi was an expendable luxury and after warming up both Yohan Cabaye and Fabricio Coloccini, Pardew opted to introduce both in an attempt to see the tie out.

The latter appeared first and had the desired calming effect, with one diving header from the edge of the box that returned the ball to a grateful Harper almost worthy of the man of the match award on its own.

Cabaye meanwhile provided the drive from central midfield that had been sadly lacking until that point, but wasn't able to inspire a clinching second goal. In truth though, Brugge remained fairly sluggish in the final third of the field and most of our defensive discomfort was self-induced.
Substitute Ivan Trickovski's added time effort caused momentary consternation until Steven Taylor headed the ball behind for a corner, but the two additional minutes came and went as flurries of sleet rounded off a chilly but ultimately successful night. Job done.


Page last updated 06 July, 2013