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Season 2023-24
Fiorentina (Italy) (h) Friendly - Sela Cup Day 1


Saturday 5th August 2023, 3.30pm

St.James' Park

Conditions: Unimpeded

Admission: �30 adults (�55 for advance weekend ticket)
Tickets were on sale up to kick off from the Box Office and cash turnstiles at the Leazes End were also opened. The advertised �35 match day price wasn't charged.

�3.50 covering both days




2 - 0





38 mins Domilson Do Santos carried the ball infield from the right just inside the Newcastle half, but was easily dispossessed by Sven Botman. He played a short forward pass to Alexander Isak, who pushed forward with two opponents backtracking. 

Reaching the box, he played the ball into the path of Miguel Almiron, whose diagonal run took him past his marker and allowed him to take a touch before cracking home a low right footer from about eight yards out. 1-0

Half time: Newcastle 1 Fiorentina 0

82 mins Isak's run down the left ended in him gaining a corner. Kieran Trippier's delivery from the Strawberry Corner was met with a glancing header from Alexander Isak into the far side of goal. 2-0

Full time: Newcastle 2 Fiorentina

We Said


Eddie Howe said:

"Good game, good opposition again - it certainly wasn't an easy game for us but I did think we created some good chances. 

"There was some good passages of play and when we needed to, I thought we defended in the main pretty well. There were one or two moments in the first half,
(we were) better second half defensively but exactly the type of test you want at this stage in our pre-season.

"You think they finished eighth in their league last year and were in the Conference League Final so
(they are) a good team and a good squad

"No worries about the standard of the game for us we wanted an improvement drom our previous games in pre-season and we saw that today physically, technically and tactically.

"As always with pre-season games you hope you come through it with no injuries and fingers crossed we�ve done that.

"We have a few tired bodies after 90 minutes but I think we�re looking stronger physically for the games that we�ve had and I think with another week�s training we�ll get to our optimal level.�

On Alex Murphy:

"He's done very well during pre-season and I think that the beauty of his performances has been his versatility - he's played left centre half, left back and today right side centre half and he's predominantly left-footed so that's a bit of a challenge for him.

"I thought he handled himself very well - I think it helps when you've got Sven next to you one side and Kieran the other side. He can be very pleased again with his performance."

On Sandro Tonali:

"Out of possession it was a step up in his recent performances which was good to see. We are working on every aspect of his game. 

"For Sandro, the Premier League is different. He would have found that in the few games he played in America where there was a step up - just the speed, sharpness, where opponents place themselves. 

"We have to be solid defensively if we are to have success. He�s a combiner, he�s going to need relationships to show his best qualities. 

"In time those will grow and we will see the player I know he is going to be. He was very good today. I was pleased with Sandro, he played as an 8 and a 6 and was composed in possession.�

On Lewis Miley:

"I think today was a really good experience for him, no doubt. He is playing in front of a big crowd against top level opposition. I thought he was getting a little bit tired towards the end so I took him off to try to protect him. 

"I think that is where I have to be with him. I have to protect him and nurture his talent. These are important years for him, so we have to push him and protect him at the same time. So hopefully I can get that decision right."

They Said


Vincenzo Italiano (who despite his surname was born in Germany) said:

To follow....


Midfielder Sofyan Amrabat was omitted from the squad amid speculation over his sale. Also missing but in England was defender Gaetano Castrovilli, who was due to sign for Bournemouth but returned to Italy after failing his medical. Former Everton defender Yerry Mina has signed but didn't travel. 

The Viola have been coached by Italiano since 2021 and he led his side to defeats last season in the finals of both the Copa Italia and the Europa Conference - the latter losing to West Ham.

Following their two games at Gallowgate they face two more home friendlies before a Serie A opener against Genoa on August 19th. Eighth place last season saw them qualify for the Europa Conference League playoffs and they'll face opposition to be confirmed on August 24th and 31st. 


Sela Cup:

Sat 05.08.2023:

1-1 Villarreal (12.30pm)
Newcastle United
Fiorentina (3.30pm)
NUFC Women then defeated West Bromwich Albion 3-0 in a friendly (6pm)

Sun 06.08.2023:

Fiorentina v Nice (1pm)
Newcastle United v Villarreal (4pm)

Format: three points for a win, one point for a draw and an additional point per goal scored.

The Viola have visited Tyneside before, just 12,656 fans taking the plunge for a Saturday afternoon pre-season kickabout in August 2011. Continuous heavy rain eventually resulted in the game being called off after 63 increasingly farcical minutes, with the score at standing at 0-0.

Italian sides @ SJP - PL era:

 Ascoli lost 0-1 (Anglo Italian Cup
1992/93 Cesena drew 2-2 (Anglo Italian Cup)
1998/99 Juventus won 2-1 (FR)
1999/00 AS Roma drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
2002/03 Juventus won 1-0 (Champions League)
2002/03 Inter Milan lost 1-4 (Champions League)
2007/08 Juventus won 2-0 (FR)
2007/08 Sampdoria won 1-0 (FR)
2011/12 Fiorentina drew 0-0 abandoned (FR)
2017/18 Hellas Verona won 2-0 (FR)
2022/23 Atalanta won 1-0 (FR)
2023/24 Fiorentina won 2-0 (FR)
NUFC in friendly tournaments - PL era:

Boro (h) won 1-0
1992 Sporting Lisbon (h) lost 3-5
1994 Manchester United (n) drew 1-1 (won 6-5 pens)
1994 Sampdoria (n) lost 1-3

1997 PSV Eindhoven (n) won 3-2

1997 Derry City (n) won 2-0

1997 Chelsea (n) drew 1- (lost 1-3 pens)

1997 Ajax (n) lost 0-3

1998 Benfica (n) drew 0-0 (lost 3-4 pens)

1998 Boro (a) drew 1-1 (won 4-3 pens)

2003 Birmingham City (n) won 2-1
(Kuala Lumpur)

2003 Chelsea (n) drew 0-0 (lost 4-5 pens)
(Kuala Lumpur)

2004 Rangers (h) won 4-2

2004 Sporting Lisbon (h) lost 0-
1 (SJP)
2008 Hertha Berlin (n) lost 0-1

2008 RCD Mallorca (a) lost 0-1

2012 Olympiakos (n) drew 1-1 (drew 4-4 pens)

2012 SC Braga (n) won 2-1

2014 Malaga (n) lost 1-3

2014 Schalke 04 (a) won 3-1

2019 Wolves (n) lost 0-4

2019 West Ham (n) won 1-0
2023 Fiorentina (h) won 2-0 (SJP)

Pre-season pitch time (in minutes):

0+62+45+78+0+88=273 +
3 goals
72+45+45+0+90+90=342 +4 goals
Ashby 26+28+0+5+59=118 +1 goal
Darlow 45+45+0=90
De Bolle
Diallo 0+0+0+0+0+0=0
Gordon 0+45+45+90+0
Hackett 0+0+0+0+0+0=0
Huntley 0+0+0+0+0+0=0
0+45+45+90+0+88=268 +2 goals
Manquillo 72+45+45+0+0=162
McArthur 0+0+0+0+0+0=0
Pope 0+0+0+45+90=135
Saint-Maximin 64+0=64 +1 goal
Savage 45+0+0+0+9
J.Smith 0+0+0+0+0+0=0
Trippier 64+45+45+85+0
18+0+0+5+10+2=35 +1 goal
0+45+45+0+75=165 +1 goal



Newcastle took pole position after day one of the Sela Cup on Saturday, goals from Miguel Almiron and Alexander Isak deservedly defeating their Serie A foes at St. James' Park.

With Tino Livramento looking on from the Directors box ahead the completion of his transfer from Southampton, United's front trio of Anthony Gordon, Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron combined well from the off to keep Fiorentina under pressure.

Isak tested visiting goalkeeper Michele Cerofolini and Gordon shot narrowly wide before striking the Leazes End goal frame soon afterwards on 25 minutes.

The breakthrough came seven minutes before the interval; Isak pushing forward before laying off a pass that Miggy ran on to and confidently dispatched.

What attacking threat there was from Fiorentina came from Nicolas Gonzalez - the Argentinean right winger linked with a move to Tyneside in January and intent on showing United what they missed.

Aside from a couple of moments of self-created peril though - Kieran Trippier skidding one pass across his own goal - any further goals always looked like they would come at the other end.

Home debutant Sandro Tonali sent one free kick just wide of the target before Miggy robbed an opponent and saw his early shot blocked. Gordon then again seemed set to break his SJP duck, only to blaze over from Trippier's inviting 74th minute centre.

A second goal did belatedly arrive with eight minutes left, Trippier's flag kick from the Strawberry Corner met with a glancing header from Isak into the far side of goal.  

That confirmed United's unbeaten pre-season record would extend to a sixth game and sent a crowd who had gained entrance via the club's new digital ticket scheme home happy. New card readers looked to have worked OK, although some problems arose after the card payment system failed. 

That left anyone without cash unable to purchase food and drink and led to the club hastily issuing pass outs for fans to use cashpoints and visit local shops.

Back on the pitch and there were more encouraging contributions from Elliot Anderson and Lewis Miley to cap a successful pre-season for both. Mention also to 19 year-old central defender Alex Murphy, who completed 90 minutes in the seniors for the first time and didn't look out of place. 

Nice and Villarreal earlier drew 1-1 in the opening tie; Villarreal's Ben Brereton Diaz tucking away the rebound when his 51st minute penalty was saved, before Nice's Morgan Sanson equalised

Saturday's results s
aw United top the group with five points (three for a win plus two for their goals scored). Nice and Villarreal sit behind on two points each, with Fiorentina still to get off the mark.

The visiting Italian press were merciless in their summary, one Florence-based reporter calling the Viola the "usual mess" in defence and "bungling" in attack


Page last updated 07 February, 2024