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Season 2012-13
Anji Makhachkala (a) Europa League Round of 16, First Leg

In association 


Thursday 7th March 2013, 5pm GMT Live on ITV4

 Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow

Conditions: dry, clear and cold 
(-9 by full time)

Admission: £26 for NUFC fans, £4 Russians 

Another un-priced official issue designed for press and VIP distribution.



Newcastle United

0 - 0




Half time: Anji 0 Newcastle 0

Full time: Anji 0 Newcastle 0

We Said

Alan Pardew

"I 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 u
s - 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 it.

"With our crowd behind us we are in a good position. Our crowd can make players do strange things.

"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 that.”

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". 

They Said


Anzi coach Zeljko Petrovich:

"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."

The 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 tie.

(As a guide, teams from 53 different nations entered this season's Europa League so we're not yet halfway to completing a full set). 

Europa League - last 16 first leg scores:

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 and 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...


Page last updated 06 July, 2013