Date: Thursday 7th March 2013, 5pm GMT Live on
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
Conditions: dry, clear and cold
(-9 by full time)
Admission: £26 for NUFC fans, £4 Russians
Programme: Another un-priced official issue designed for press and VIP distribution.
0 - 0
Half time: Anji 0 Newcastle 0
Full time: Anji 0 Newcastle 0
fancy us against anyone at home. If
you're going to go through in Europe you have to win, we've given ourselves
an opportunity at home.
"I'm hoping we get a result on Sunday, that will be important for the
mood and will give me the buoyancy to play my strongest possible team. This
is now an optimum competition for us.
"It was an outstanding performance in conditions that really didn't
suit us - our
technical players played really well and we limited them to just two shots
on target and I'm delighted. We've given ourselves a one-off chance to win
"With our crowd
behind us we are in a good position. Our crowd can make players do strange
"We’re pleased with a
professional job. They are a good side and it was on a difficult pitch
that we aren’t used to. That’s about as good as we could have played
on that. They were right at it and they have some fantastic players but we
were so sound defensively.
"Rob (Elliot) had to make
a couple of saves. Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) was magnificent too. It all
bodes well for next Thursday. If you are going to go through we need to
win – now all we need to do is win any way we can. Rob made one
outstanding save down to his right-hand side.
"We had a massive chance with
Hatem. It was just before he went off, normally I would fancy him to take
Quote of the night however came from ITV "pundit" Jim
Beglin, who displayed a staggering lack of knowledge about the Europa
League by asserting that:
"this is a well-earned point for Alan Pardew's men".
"First of all I would say that Mr.
Hiddink has lost his voice a little and not feeling well. Today we had a
game against a strong team. This is a very good club from England.
"Newcastle is played as usual, and
the moments we had some. Unfortunately, we have not used them. Lacked the
last pass, and acted in the defence of rival compact. I hope in the second
leg will be more attacking football and we will have more space.
"The fact that Newcastle chose defensive football today, shows respect
for our team. And we are not disappointed with the result. Newcastle acted
very wisely and compact in defence."
tie as summarised by Anji:
In the two-legged confrontations during the
playoffs has a known strategy.
To host the first match it contains two important principles: 1) it is very
important not to miss, and 2) it is desirable to score and win. The first task
of "Anji" failed to solve the second failed.
In the battle of the Dagestan team had to face a number of difficulties. If
necessary, beat Makhachkala were without the so-called playmakers: Boussoufa
missed the match through suspension, but Willian was damaged in the first half
of the first inning.
As for the "Newcastle", the English, not really embarrassed, large
forces retreated and did not hide his desire to take away from Moscow draw. The
"Anji" surpassed rival major gaming statistical indicators, but the
victory was not enough.
Most dangerous goal British Eto'o threatened, but all his attacks repelled
goalkeeper "Newcastle". English for the whole fight had a chance to
score, but Ben Arfa could not beat Gabulov.
After the match, the players thanked the fans for their support, which this time
filled the podium much more active than in the game with "Hannover."
It is clear that the final result is not very pleased with the audience, but 0-0
does not consider the negative outcome. "Anji" is not missed, and
therefore, has not only win, but any productive draw in England will bring
Dagestan team to the next round.
United broke new ground by playing the 131st
competitive European fixture in their history and their first in
Russia. That is the 25th different country they've visited in
66 away games as follows:
7 visits: France, Netherlands
6 visits: Spain
5 visits: Belgium, Italy, Portugal
3 visits: Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ukraine
2 visits: Norway, Scotland, Serbia, Switzerland
1 visit: Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, Estonia, Ireland,
Israel, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden.
NB: We're only counting away trips here, not the number of countries
we've opposed teams from. That distinction means that Georgia and
Turkey don't appear, as we only faced teams from those countries at
SJP in the previous UEFA Cup Group Stage format - there was no away
(As a guide, teams from 53 different nations entered this
season's Europa League so we're not yet halfway to completing a full
Europa League - last 16 first
Anji Makhachkala (Russia) 0-0 Newcastle (England)
Basel (Switzerland) 2-0 Zenit St.Petersburg (Russia)
Benfica (Portugal) 1-0 Bordeaux (France)
Levante (Spain) 0-0 Rubin Kazan (Russia)
Plzen (Czech Republic) 0-1 Fenerbahce (Turkey)
Steaua Bucharest (Romania) 1-0 Chelsea (England)
Stuttgart (Germany) 0-2 Lazio (Italy)
Spurs (England) 3-0 Inter Milan (Italy)
From St.James' Park to Gorky Park, United's
global expeditionary force broke new territory on Thursday night as they made
their debut in Russia - and were confronted by temperatures that were over 40 degrees lower than they'd
experienced in Athens last August.
However it wasn't just the black and whites who were trekking to Moscow, with
Anji undergoing a near 1,000 mile journey from their home city to the UEFA-decreed
"home venue" for this competition.
At an almost eerily empty Luzhniki Stadium - past host of both Olympic Games and
Champions League final - Alan Pardew's side stuck to
their game plan of frustrating Anji and completed the task of keeping a clean
sheet and drawing on the artificial pitch.
And if they were unable to break a plastic pitch hoodoo that stretched back to
misadventures at Luton, Oldham and QPR then they at least set themselves up for
a winnable second leg on turf.
The United boss went for a line-up that included Massadio Haidara at left back
and a "forward" line featuring Gabriel Obertan and Ben Arfa with
Moussa Sissoko and Sylvain Marveaux in support. And with the exception of the
almost criminally awful Obertan, selecting so-called "technical"
players was borne out by a compact and controlled display and relatively few
misplaced passes (Obertan aside).
An unbelievably cagey first half saw both goalkeepers largely untested, although
as half-time approached a long range effort from Samuel Eto'o was pushed over
the bar by Rob Elliot. There was little else worthy of note as both teams struggled to control
the ball on the artificial surface and play continually got bogged down in midfield
with free-kicks often halting the flow of the game.
Anji lost £35m signing Willian in the 23rd minute when he fell awkwardly by the
goal line after an excellent challenge from Haidara, then wincing as he took the
resultant corner. He was replaced by giant forward Lacina Traore but James Perch
and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa marshalled the big man well before the break.
Just after the hour mark Eto'o tried his luck from outside the box again and
Elliot did well to get down low and turn the ball wide of his right hand
upright. From the corner, Oleg Shatov went close with a controlled volley from the edge
of the box but then the visitors started to exploit some spaces opening up as
Anji looked to gain a first leg lead and began to tire - inevitable given that
their domestic season has been on a break since December.
Vurnon Anita and Obertan linked up well
Hatem Ben Arfa almost made a goalscoring return
to the first team, trying to chip 'keeper Vladimir Gabulov when he was slotted in, midway
through the second half but the Anji stopper stood tall and easily saved, as
United spurned their best chance of a scoreless first leg.
That was the end of Ben Arfa's evening and although he showed glimpses of what
we'd been missing, he looked very rusty and understandably short of match
fitness. His replacement, Shola Ameobi, looked even more leggy and tried to cut inside
when he could have shot from the left side of the box.
Steven Taylor came on for Anita as Perch moved into midfield and immediately
shook the hand of Eto'o, who he had first met some nine years earlier on his
first team debut when the Cameroonian forward played for Real Mallorca.
A precious away goal would have been a fantastic return from our first Russian
excursion but a clean sheet was still a notable achievement and sets up the
second leg nicely. Hopefully, a 40,000+ crowd can inspire the black and whites to secure a place in
the quarter-finals next week at Gallowgate.
Moscow airport - it's
what he would have wanted...