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Season 2004-05
 Olympiakos (h) UEFA Cup Fourth Round Second Leg


Date: Wednesday 16th March, 2005
Kick-off 7.45pm  Live on ITV2 

Venue: St. James' Park

Mild, unruffled

20 adults. 


Newcastle United


4 - 0
(7-1 on agg)




18 mins Stand-in striker Dyer opened the scoring with a cheeky back-heel from 8 yards, following a half-cleared Laurent Robert free-kick at the Leazes end. 1-0 

45 mins That man Dyer again scampered down the United right and fed the ball across the six yard box to where Shearer scrambled it home despite the attentions of three defenders. It could easily have been his fourth of the night. 2-0

Half time:  Newcastle 2 Olympiakos 0

54 mins Lee Bowyer sent a looping header over Olympiakos 'keeper, Antonios Nikopolidis but the goalie recovered and tipped the ball off the line. Jenas retrieved the ball and played back to Bowyer whose low shot squirmed through Nikopolidis and crossed the line. 3-0

69 mins Shearer rounded the 'keeper and fired the ball past a covering defender into the roof of the Gallowgate net. 4-0

Full time: Newcastle 4 Olympiakos 0

We Said

Graeme Souness told the press:

"We wanted a big start, we wanted Olympiacos to know that we did not think the tie was over. We made a good start, we got them on the back foot and kept them there throughout.

"I am very pleased with them. We made a good team look very ordinary at times. 

"Like in any cup competition, as in the FA Cup as well, the further you go in the competition, the more difficult it becomes. That will apply to this competition as well.

"The problem for me at this time is that we have got so many good midfield players. It is trying to keep them all happy, trying to give them games and trying to make sure you come up with the right blend.

"That is the strong part of our team. The intensity with which we play in midfield is fantastic. We played with such intensity from the first minute to the last, and I think that maybe caught Olympiacos out.

"When we gave the ball away, we got the ball back very, very quickly."

"It is important that they (the fans) enjoy their football, that is the most important thing at any football club," he said. "But you are also a realist and you know that you are not going to be 4-0 up in every game."

About Kieron Dyer:

"Kieron was outstanding. That is a position he enjoys playing in - if you ask him, I think that is his favourite position and he was excellent there.

"He complemented Alan. To have that much movement in and around Alan, I think they both enjoyed it.

"He has given me food for thought. 

"Kieron has been excellent in the six months I have been at the club and here he has shown me something else that I had been told about, but had not seen with my own eyes, and he was excellent throughout."

About Alan Shearer:

"We wanted to bring him off after an hour, but he told us he wanted to stay on "I think he enjoyed himself."

The two-goal striker commented:

"We respect the teams who are left in the competition, but I do not think we fear anyone.
We know that if we continue to play with confidence and determination, then we can beat anyone."

"I should have scored a hat-trick.

"Obviously, I am pleased with the two goals I scored, but I would have been even more pleased with three. And I should have got a hat-trick because I probably missed the easiest chance of all when I was clean through.

"But I will take the two I have got and, hopefully, there will be a few more to come in Europe before the season is over.

"It only looked easy because we did the job properly and did exactly what the manager told us to do. He rammed it into us before the game that there was only one way the tie should go, and that we needed to get among them right from the start.

"We did that and I think the game was over by half-time."

Kieron Dyer added:

"We have done well in the FA Cup to get to the semi-finals, and in Europe we are looking forward to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

"But what we have to do now is forget about those competitions and focus on getting up the league table. Along with Liverpool, we should be up there fighting for fourth spot, not hovering around in mid-table, and it is about time we started doing something about it.

"Portsmouth on Saturday is a massive game for us now. We are not that far off the top six - we are only five points off Middlesbrough and we have games in hand on them as well as a game against them at our place.

"Three points on Saturday would be another little boost for us."

They Said

A downcast Dusan Bajevic conjured up the ghost of Doris Day and said:

"What has happened has happened. This was our worst game - but I blame the score in Greece. We still have two targets left, the Greek league and the Greek cup, so they now will be our aims."


Alan Shearer extended our European scoring record to 27.

Shay Given
extended our European appearance record to 49 and he cannot have had many quieter ones than this - his first and only save coming in the 93rd minute as he tipped a low effort round his right post.

Senior debut for defender Peter Ramage.

This was our eighth consecutive victory in all competitions - something we've  managed twice in recent times:


Leicester (a) 3-1
Coventry (h) 4-0
Southampton (h) 5-1
West Ham (a) 3-1
Chelsea (h) 4-2
Antwerp (a) 5-0 (UEFA Cup)
Arsenal (a) 3-2
Barnsley (h) 2-1 (League Cup)

1995-96 season:

Man City (h) 3-1
Bristol City (a) 5-0 (League Cup)
Chelsea (h) 2-0
Everton (a) 3-1
Bristol City (h) 3-1 (League Cup)
QPR (a) 3-1
Wimbledon 6-1
Stoke (a) 4-0 (League Cup) 

We also did it in 1908/9 - and on all three occasion the sequence was ended not by a defeat but by a draw.

(the 1994-95 one was from the start of the season and technically was a 9 game winning run, as we beat Arsenal 2-0 in the final game of the previous season.)

It's now 329 minutes since we last conceded a goal at SJP (versus Bolton)

The infamous er stat: this is becoming spooky now -  scorers of our last 18 goals:

Shearer  - Man City (a)
er - Charlton (h)
er - Heerenveen (a)
er - Heerenveen (a)
ert - Chelsea (h)
er) - Heerenveen (h)
er - Heerenveen (h)
er - Bolton (h)
er - Bolton (h)
ert - Liverpool (h)
er - Olympiakos (a)
ert - Olympiakos (a)
ert - Olympiakos (a)
ert - Tottenham (h)
er - Olympiakos (h)
er - Olympiakos (h)
er - Olympiakos (h)
er - Olympiakos (h)


Newcastle confirmed their second successive UEFA Cup quarter final qualification with an emphatic victory over the meekest possible opposition, who had posed more of a threat a week ago in Greece when reduced to nine men.

And victory marked the completion of our first hundred games in European competition in the desired manner - but had this been a cricket match, then our century would have come up courtesy of an underarm delivery against the most benevolent of field placings.

The first question asked of the visiting coach by Greek journalists was an enquiry as to why Olympiakos were so bad. 

And being as the bloke paid to manage these lot could do no more than admit that we were good, that's as valid a starting point for us as owt else.

This was another noteworthy Newcastle display, when we were presented with time and space to play our football - and didn't disappoint, entertaining a decent enough crowd with two goals in each half that could easily have been at least three.

Comfortable it was, but we made it so by first of all coming roaring out of the traps in Piraeus and then doing nothing daft here in the return leg. In other words, a mature and professional display over two legs that got the job done - the essence of cup football.

Everything Graeme Souness does continues to come up trumps - be it decamping to Dubai, bringing in McDermott, banishing Bellamy or on this occasion playing Kieron Dyer out of position - in a role he once pleaded with Sir Bobby to utilise him in.  

But, in classic miserabilist toon supporter style - and in the midst of our best run of form in a decade - may we just inject a note of caution at this point and partially apply the handbrake to the bandwagon.

In the space of a few weeks we've gone from tabloid whipping boys to media darlings. 

Nothing new there for those of us who have been exposed to our peaks and troughs on a prolonged basis, but it never does any harm to revisit that old Kipling  truism about treating triumph and disaster equally as imposters.

You just know that the same people throwing rose petals at Souness's door will be at the front of the queue with their bouquets of barbed wire if we stumble at Cardiff or somewhere on the continent. Don't believe the hype - just believe.    

(speaking of media manipulation, did anybody else have a wry smile when the Man U / Arsenal transfer battle for Jenas appeared within hours of our semi-final qualification? Next up will be a kiss and tell / love rat story - probably on semi-final weekend...)

At this stage last season we'd disposed of Breda, Basel, Valerenga and Mallorca. Things this time out have become more convoluted at the behest of UEFA, but it's important to remember that we're now at the same stage when we were preparing to play PSV.

As we said in our report of that first Eindhoven game "this was the night that the UEFA Cup got serious" - it certainly wasn't tonight.

We can wait for Friday's draw now secure in the knowledge that there's nothing in there that might defeat us, other than possibly a trip to Moscow less than 72 hours before the Cardiff jaunt.

But it won't do us any harm to retain in our minds that every round we play serves to remind us that the UEFA Cup competition is a second-rate lashed-up facsimile of the real thing. 

Don't be under any illusions that we wouldn't walk to Lisbon to see Al lift that trophy - but retaining a sense of proportion off the field and dampening down the media-stoked welter of expectation building in respect of both FA and UEFA Cups might just help Souness keep his squad's feet on the ground and head out of the clouds - and clubs.

We really have done very little so far - but the chance to put right decades of misadventures presents itself again, as it has done occasionally over the last decade. 

One of these times we've got to get it right, haven't we? 



Page last updated 16 March, 2012