NUFC.com in association with
Marco's match prediction
for this game
was that the opening goal would be
scored between 61 and 70 minutes....
8th March 2007, 7.45pm
Live on Channel 5
4 - 2
8mins A neat flick by Duff down the United left released Dyer into
space and his pull back from the byline was turned into the Leazes
End net past his own 'keeper by the Icelander Steinsson, with
Martins in close attendance but not near enough to get a touch and claim
the goal 1-0
22mins A fabulous Sibierski flick from Butt's through ball played Dyer
in and he maintained his improved form in one on one's as he burst into
the box from the right side and lifted it beyond the advancing Waterman 2-0
23mins Within a minute, Parker's block tackle stopped an AZ advance
and allowed Sibierski to threaten down the left channel, playing it
forward to Martins, produced a
fabulous run to take two defenders out of the game before converting
with a low strike from the edge of the box. 3-0
31mins Julian Jenner centred from the right for ex-Rangers man
Arveladze to headed home off the underside of the crossbar 3-1
37mins The three goal advantage was restored as Martins hit an excellent
first-time effort after Solano had pulled the ball back to him from the
right flank. 4-1
Half time: Newcastle 4 Alkmaar
The referee harshly punished Steven Taylor
for a handball in our area. The ball was hit at our man from close range
but Taylor had his arm away from his side and didn't complain much about
Given saved Dembele's weak kick and Parker
put in a fabulous tackle to prevent the taker converting the rebound.
However, the ball fell to Koevermans who was able to dispatch the ball
past Bramble and Given on the line.
Newcastle 4 Alkmaar 2
Glenn Roeder said:
"We'll go there and do a thoroughly
professional job. We certainly know that AZ are going to come and attack us
because they have to. The best form of defence is attack and they need to do
that next Thursday, but with Oba in the team you'd like to think that, on the
counter attack, we will go down the other end and score a goal or two.
had a terrific game and it's just a shame he didn't complete his hat-trick when
he went clean through near the end and hit the goalkeeper. Oba will cause
problems for any defender in the game. The Premier League defenders now know
what he is about and I'm sure they won't be getting so tight to him in the
be giving themselves a metre start because if they try to play level with him
and try to make it a race for the ball they're going to get beat.
it means is that instead of going to Holland with a 4-1 lead we will go there
with a 4-2 lead. Sometimes we would have got away with that one, sometimes we
wouldn't and the referee thought it was a penalty. I don't criticise referees
and I like to think it was an honest mistake.
referees might have looked at it as totally accidental because Steven didn't
move his arms. The most frustrating thing is that Shay Given saved the penalty
and Scott Parker got back to make a terrific tackle, but the ball still skewed
for the lad to put it in.
came out the blocks very fast and to be three-up so early on was a perfect
start. It's nicely poised because, they have two away goals and if they beat us
2-0 they will go through.
I think we've shown enough pace to frighten them over there."
Emre reflected on his comeback:
"I'm very happy,
because I haven't played for the past two months.
"And I have to thank
everybody - the manager Glenn Roeder, our supporters, my team-mates and
my family - for their support.
"When I signed for
Newcastle I knew how good the supporters were, and they gave me strength
when I came on the pitch because I knew they were behind me.
"It's hard coming back
after being out for two months with a calf problem, and now I need to
keep working hard on my fitness.
"I am just very happy to be
"I think the result is
OK, because we can score over there as well."
AZ coach Louis
van Gaal said:
"Newcastle have the biggest chance to go through because they are two
goals up. We scored two vital away goals. It keeps us alive. We must score two
goals and concede nothing next week.
"We frequently lost the ball in midfield and in attack and Newcastle went
very quickly from defence to attack. Martens, who was in blistering form, was a
constant menace to our defence. We defended poorly at times.
"They actually did not earn that many chances, but proved to be clinical
finishers. Tonight every shot was a goal in the first half!
"We won the second half 1-0. Although we put in a below par display, we
"However, we did not meet expectations and were punished for not reaching
the level needed to make an impact at the European stage."
This was our 13th game in Europe this season - so far we've had ten
wins and three draws.
NUFC European record:
P:119 W:69 D:22 L:28 GF:208 GA:117
P:60 W:44 D:8 L:8 GF:123 GA:47
1969/70 Southampton drew 0-0 (Fairs Cup)
1999/00 Sofia drew 2-2 (UEFA Cup)
1999/00 Roma drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
2001/02 Troyes drew 4-4 (Intertoto Cup)
2003/04 Marseille drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
2004/05 Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 (UEFA Cup)
2006/07 Lillestrom drew 1-1 (Intertoto Cup)
2006/07 Ventspils drew 0-0 (UEFA Cup)
Bastia lost 1-3 (UEFA Cup)
1996/97 Monaco lost 0-1 (UEFA Cup)
1997/98 PSV lost 0-2 (Champs Lge)
2002/03 Feyenoord (h) lost 0-1 (Champs Lge)
2002/03 Inter Milan
lost 1-4 (Champs Lge)
lost 0-2 (Champs Lge)
2003/04 Partizan lost 0-1 (Champs Lge Qual)
2005/06 Deportivo lost 1-2 (Intertoto)
Dutch sides @ SJP (competitive games):
1968/69 Feyenoord won 4-0 (Fairs Cup)
1997/98 PSV lost 0-2 (Champs Lge)
2002/03 Feyenoord lost 0-1 (Champs Lge)
2003/04 NAC Breda won 5-0 (UEFA Cup)
2003/04 PSV won 2-1 (UEFA Cup)
2004/05 Heerenveen won 2-1 (UEFA Cup)
2006/07 AZ Alkmaar won 4-2 (UEFA Cup)
This was the sixth time that an OG has been officially recorded
in our favour in a European tie:
1997/98 Kiev (a) Golovko
2003/04 Basel (h) Smiljanic
2004/05 Heerenveen (h) Breuer
2005/06 Dubnica (a) Novak
2006/07 Waregem (a) Dindeleux
2006/07 AZ Alkmaar (h) Steinsson
Obafemi Martins has now netted 16 times this season - 10 in the
Premiership and the rest in the UEFA Cup.
Those half dozen goals have put him into the club's Euro scoring charts as
Alan Shearer 30
Shola Ameobi 12
Craig Bellamy 11
Wyn Davies 10
Tino Asprilla 9
Pop Robson 9
Nobby Solano 7
Obafemi Martins 6
Kieron Dyer 5
Tommy Gibb 5
Patrick Kluivert 5
Laurent Robert 5
Jimmy Scott 5
Gary Speed 5
However he's been unable so far to register a first hat trick in Newcastle
colours, despite getting a pair on four occasions - Levadia (h),
Blackburn (a), Watford (h) and AZ (h).
He's also scored in his last three European outings, joining Pop
Robson, Wyn Davies and Craig Bellamy in that feat.
Sir Les managed to notch in four consecutive games, while Shearer achieved
runs of three, four and five - the latter in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup
Though impressive, our 29 minute four-goal blast wasn't as rapid as the second
half scoring blitz of Real Mallorca at SJP in March 2004.
On that occasion, Argentinean 'keeper Leo Franco was forced to pick the ball
out of the net four times in just 17 minutes.
This was the first time that we've netted four goals in a competitive game at
SJP since a 4-0 UEFA Cup success against Olympiakos in March 2005.
After half a dozen
forgettable European games here this season, it proved to be a lucky seven for
those fans who were motivated enough to turn out and indulge in that
increasingly outdated activity of actively supporting one's own side.Biffa
After the tedium of the Waregem second leg, Wigan snoozeathon and the non-event
with the Smoggies, loyalty was repaid as we cut loose and filled our goalscoring
boots for once - achieving this with some controlled, flowing football that is
rarely glimpsed in domestic games.
Numerous echoes of former times at St.James' Park were evident, from the
re-appearance of Van Gaal in the visitor's dugout to a rare onfield sighting of
our Turkish misfit.
One thing that wasn't spotted though was a Mexican wave of the type that
famously distracted our players when they raced into a 3-0 lead against Bilbao
here in October 1994.
Despite that welcome avoidance of crowd buffoonery, we still contrived to allow
our opponents to regain a foothold in the tie.
The award of the penalty and brave but futile attempts to keep it out couldn't
be helped, but our attitude in the second half seemed a little triumphalist, as
we quite literally took our eyes off the ball and failed to kill the tie
Having scored four in the first half, history dictates that a second half repeat
doesn't often come to pass. But while AZ undoubtedly organised themselves better
after an interval pep talk, there remained opportunities for us to really get
out of sight of the Dutch.
While we would have certainly settled pre-match for taking a two goal lead to
Holland, spending the final moments pressed back as AZ looked to become the
first side to net three times in a UEFA Cup tie here wasn't quite what was
envisaged when cheering the lads off at half time.
though we showed some positivity from the off and committed men into forward
positions whilst making a concerted attempt to play the ball through midfield
and get to the byline, rather than the rather more familiar option of an aimless aerial
And although the visitors did come back into it in terms of possession (actually
coming out on top in that most meaningless of stats), they contributed to their
own downfall some dallying on the ball and a reluctance to play anything
resembling a physical game - a perfect example of the former being Bramble's
legal cleaning out of Koevermans
on the hour, although he should never had have the chance to
get near the ball before it was driven past Given.
Speaking of Shay, the most work he'd had to do before conceding the first goal
was removing a cluster of black and white balloons from his area. He'd have
surely twisted them expertly into a zebra and presented it to some orphans, but
wouldn't want to appear a show off...
As expected Carr walked back into the side tonight while soft targets Milner and
N'Zogbia were "rested" - policies that say much about our current
If there was one big downer tonight, it was that a vastly more enjoyable game
than most of the usual shambolic slug fests we endure in the Premier League
failed to draw a 30,000+ crowd.
Whilst it's sorely tempting to lay into people for dereliction of their
toon-supporting duty and look at previous cup crowds here in wonderment (over
41,000 for the visit of Bradford in the League Cup Third Round here seven years
ago) then there comes a time when reality intervenes.
In a week when Niall Quinn has resorted to working the clubs in an effort to
shame the missing mackem multitudes into going again and the smoggies
congratulate themselves for selling 29,000 tickets to their own fans, we're not
At what point does the lack of a crowd become a factor in a live televised
Aside from our utter ineptness when losing here in the FA Cup to Birmingham, the
most startling image evident in the TV pictures of that night were the blocks of empty seats
behind the goals - right from the off, not when people had drifted away
More than one watcher has since written that they never knew what colour our
seats were previously - which may just be a throwaway line, but betrays the fact
that the football recession has at last reached these parts.
Eyebrows were raised at the claim that night of a half-full ground of 26,000 and
on other recent occasions there have been suspicions that our crowd figures
included players, pigeons, policemen and passengers on the 62 bus going up
So on the basis this is a no-lose situation and 20,000 people will turn up
regardless of time or price, why not at least try to be imaginative in selling
these unwanted seats?
Contrary to some other fans I certainly have no desire to be punished for my
loyalty by seeing blocks of seats given away to some nefarious youth
organisations with a dangerously large number of adult helpers (see numerous
internationals of various types here over the years).
But halving the £10 bairns rate would surely be a positive gesture - putting an
extra few shekels in the pot for the other expenses involved in taking young 'uns
to the match eg food, drink, transport, programme etc.
And if the Chronicle is to believed, then the walk-up scheme to try and attract
fans in off the street is a complete and utter waste of time - the paper
claiming that over 28,000 seats had been sold by Tuesday night.
Is a scheme to charge £20 on the gate but £15 if bought before match day
really beyond our wit?
That would certainly be a damn sight more helpful than the latest crackpot
scheme to buy money off vouchers for club outlets via the programme.
At some point the apparent apathy of many will transfer itself to season ticket
sale though. The annoying thing about all of this though is that it's avoidable
- and gate revenues are just a fraction of the latest TV bonanza. In other words
making positive pricing gestures wouldn't break the bank, but might just improve
the perception of cynical punters.
Like everything else at this place though, there has to be a will to achieve and
improve matters - and that has to over-ride the inbred smugness of decades of
taking punters for granted.
For a prime example of that, look no further than tonight's kickoff of 7.30pm -
something agreed before tickets were printed, only for them to duly appear with
7.45pm printed on them.
We will hopefully progress further in this competition, but AZ's admirable home
record in cup competitions and our enduring ability to screw things up mean that
this one isn't over yet.
While we may struggle to keep a clean sheet over there though, certainly the
ease with which Martins and Co. penetrated their defence here in the opening
half hour should see us also register.
Were we to come a cropper though, we'd merely be adding another line to the roll
of dishonour that is our history - the date of the second leg marking the
anniversary of among other things, losing 5-4 to Ipswich, hoying petrol bombs at
Hammers and Freddy & Douggie's unwanted front page appearance in the News of
the World. High time for some good news.
Looking into the future though, we need to take some of the positive attitude
shown from the off here into the game at the Valley on Sunday week - rather than
the unadventurous approach seen at the JJB and against the Smoggies - repeats of
either won't fill the ground at any price.........
(Answer: the 1997 minute's silence was for Louis Van Gaal's grandmother.)