A stunning James Milner cross from the left fell perfectly for Albert
nod in from eight yards at the far end of the ground from where
the disbelieving Toon fans were stationed.
Some eight minutes later the Spaniard was still celebrating, waving at
those travelling supporters as he left the field, before high-flying
Sibierski in the centre circle and giving him a little demo of exactly
how he headed the ball in. For one second we even thought he was going to
try and swap shirts with an opponent….1-0
Half time: Palermo 0 Newcastle 1
Palermo 0 Newcastle 1
Glenn Roeder commented:
"We are not playing right now like a team which reflects our position in
"We had Palermo watched and saw
them win against Milan and Fiorentina and a few other games. What we saw
suggests that where they are in Serie A is a true reflection.
"They had us on the back foot
and we had to play very well to keep a clean sheet.
"We are hopeful all four lads who didn't travel (messrs Babayaro, Duff, Parker
& Carr) will be fit for the weekend, but they are doubtful.
"There would have been no
chance of them being able to play on Thursday so we decided to leave them at
home for treatment."
On Tim Krul:
"To be honest, we did not expect him to make his debut for another 18 months or
"We intended to send him out on loan to gain some match practice and
we will still do so at some stage. He has that Dutch mentality
which I like and is a joy to work with in training.
On Giuseppe Rossi:
"Rossi cannot play in the UEFA
Cup, and rightly so - I would have done the same if I was Sir Alex Ferguson. He has done us a favour in
lending Rossi to us and it is right that he goes back there on January 1st and be
eligible to go into their Champions League squad."
Tim Krul added:
"What an atmosphere, it was unbelievable, and a I got a clean sheet as
well. It was a header from the tall guy and then I got up and threw my body in
Francesco Guidolin said:
"A draw would have been a fairer reflection of the game, and a
point certainly would have been welcome, but we are still on course to
qualify from the group.
"We started well and missed two or three good chances. We also had a
bit of bad luck. These are things that can happen when you've got a lot
of first-team regulars sitting on the bench."
Our European record now reads:
Played:114 Won:65 Drawn:21 Lost:28 Goals for:198 Goals against:112
Italian Jobs - away games in Europe:
1970/71 Inter Milan Drew 1-1 Davies (FC)
1972/73 Roma Won 2-0 Tudor 2 (AIC)
1972/73 Como Won 2-0 Moncur, Tudor (AIC)
1972/73 Fiorentina Won 2-1 D.Craig, OG (AIC)
Drew 1-1 Kristensen (AIC)
1992/93 Bari Lost 0-3 (AIC)
1999/00 Roma Lost 0-1 (UEC)
2002/03 Juventus Lost 0-2 (CL)
2002/03 Inter Milan Drew 2-2 Shearer (CL)
2006/07 Palermo Won 1-0 Luque (UEC)
FC=Fairs Cup, AIC=Anglo Italian Cup, UEC=UEFA Cup, CL=Champions League
There was a first team debut for striker Andy Carroll as sub at the age of 17
years and 9 months - becoming the club's youngest ever participant in a European
fixture. Tim Krul meanwhile made his senior bow at the age of 18 years and
In the midst of what turned out to be a
desperate week as far as Premiership progress was concerned, United
slipped into Sicily
to write an unexpected chapter in their European history.
Pitted against the Serie A surprise
packets of the season, expectations of victory among the small band of
travelling diehards were low. After all, our opponents were fresh from a
San Siro success and second in the league only on goal difference.
And despite Palermo fielding half a side of
reserves, Newcastle’s well-documented problems had seen the likes of
Parker and Duff left at home and a bare-bones front line consisting of
the Spaniard and two untried youngsters on the bench – all three fresh
from Monday’s reserve match.
Add to that the expected but vaguely
ominous pre-match quotes from the manager about this competition not
being the first priority and talk in the away cage was of the keeping the
score down / fantasising of a draw variety.
But while the headlines were hogged by
Luque’s goal and Krul’s dream debut, the whole team deserve credit
for an intelligent and cohesive performance - especially in the opening
forty minutes when we made the Italians look poor.
With the one-paced Spaniard alone up front much
was required of the midfield, both in terms of providing an attacking
threat and also protecting a defence composed of four central defenders.
Happily we were able to achieve both, thanks to
some selfless running from Milner (plus a peach of a cross) and wise
heads of Solano and Butt, who competently shored up things up.
An early touch for Krul settled both his nerves
and those of the Toon fans away to one corner of his goal and from then
on, he just got better and better – almost visibly growing in stature.
Regular reserve and junior watchers were already
aware of the potential of the Dutch teenager who starred in the Youth Cup
last season, both saving and scoring penalties to lead us to shootout
And on the back of rave reviews playing for his
country in the World Youth Championships, recently-appointed Toon
goalkeeping coach Terry Gennoe was quick to acknowledge Krul’s
However it was widely expected that his senior
team debut would come on loan to a lower league club at somewhere like Gigg Lane
– rather than for
in a televised UEFA Cup tie.
Harper’s and Srnicek’s ineligibility
though handed Krul his chance and ninety minutes later he walked from the
field arm in arm with Glenn Roeder, having posted a mature performance
that gives the manager food for thought when pondering on his options
between the posts.
For the goalscorer though there was rather
less praise, after an uninspiring display that did little to enhance his
reputation or prompt bids for his services (at least one Italian clubs is
alleged to be monitoring him – the Gateshead Pizza Chef social club XI,
Score he did though and although the chance was an
easy one, the run and position was all –important.
Equally vital was the response to a belated charge
after the break, as they called up reinforcements from the bench in an
attempt to slice through the defence that was marshalled by
At times they succeeded, but were unable to beat
Krul – and lost heart in the closing stages, as we broke downfield on
several occasions leaving home players sprawled out on the turf – only
to be pulled up for questionable refereeing calls.
Hold out we did though – the game ending with 17
year-old debutant Andy Carroll leading the attack and Glenn Roeder taking
to the field to reprise his Upton Park arm-waving salute (without enraging the natives
So, after recording victories and clean sheets in
so far this season we were able to repeat the feat against a decidedly
more competent side. Can we not start wearing those lucky blue shirts in
Qualification from the Group Stage is now
virtually assured, which presumably means that more youngsters will be
blooded in this competition – possibly in Frankfurt. That’s if the likes of Huntington, Krul, Carroll and Troisi haven’t
been called upon for Premiership action of course.
Putting aside pertinent talk of fixture congestion
and regardless of what happens in Saturday’s league game and
Tuesday’s Carling Cup tie, this result and performance stands as a
notable achievement for players and manager. Unfortunately it’s
Premiership results and points that will ultimately decide the fate of
them – and us.
It was Bobby Moncur (one of the media
corps on this trip) who once said that Newcastle
were daft enough to win the cup. On nights like this it’s possible to
agree with him – shame that we’re also daft enough to go down…