Date: Sunday 18th March 2018, Noon (local)
Venue: Pinatar Arena, San Pedro
Del Pinatar, Spain
1 - 1
End of first 45:
Antwerp 0 NUFC 1
End of second 45:
Antwerp 0 NUFC 1
91 mins Alexander
Corryn shot 1-1
(127 mins Dwight Gayle missed a penalty - saved)
Full time: Antwerp 1 NUFC 1
Rafa Benitez said:
think it was fine, the idea was to get minutes under their belts and create
"It was positive for us, they didn’t create too much and we got no injuries.
Some of them needed to play 90 minutes. Some played 45 but a lot of them got 90 minutes so it’s good and we’ll see
if it can help before the end of the season.
"In terms of the training sessions they were fine; in terms of the relationship between the players spending time together
that was also positive.
"When you play these kind of games you can’t expect everybody to be running
at full pace. They were competing and doing well. There were some bad tackles at the end
which I didn’t like too much because it’s always a risk."
When asked if Karl Darlow will be fit for the rest of the season:
"We think so. He has a little discomfort in his shoulder. We have to be careful with him - that’s it.
On the debutant duo:
"They were fine. Nathan (Harker) was unlucky because the first shot was a goal.
It was quite difficult because it was in the bottom corner. After that it
was fine he was in good positions so it will be a good experience for him.
"I think Victor (Fernandez) did well too. We were attacking a lot in the second half and
the last part of the game. He was involved all the time.”
coach László Bölöni said.....nothing that we could understand.
United were reunited with their 1994/95 UEFA Cup opponents,
a team they beat 5-0 in Belgium and then 5-2 on Tyneside in the second
There were first senior outings for goalkeeper Nathan
Harker and winger Victor Fernandez.
Young Vic makes his bow
Our opponents were at less than full strength; international commitments
for Belgium U21s, Burkina Faso and Cameroon keeping four away, another
three injured and one staying at home due to a family illness. Also absent was their
assistant coach Wim De Decker, off doing his Pro Licence.
an enforced 21 day gap in their Premier League season, Newcastle rounded off
their four day training camp with a kickabout against Belgian First
Division opposition in Spain on Sunday.
In order to maximise pitch time for the United squad, agreement was reached
to play three 45 minute periods to make the game of 135 minute duration. That allowed Rafa Benitez to give 22 of his players at least 45 minutes
action on the grass surface of the Pinatar Arena on the Costa Blanca.
Present in Spain but not featuring in proceedings due to fitness issues were
Karl Darlow and Islam Slimani, while Rob Elliot and Jesus Gamez remained
In addition to 19 more regular first teamers, there was a rare 90 minutes
for Massadio Haidara, while two reserves were blooded at this level: winger Victor Fernandez and goalkeeper Nathan Harker.
United dominated the first period and went
ahead five minutes before the break when Chancel Mbemba's long ball put Matt
Ritchie through on goal and he lobbed 'keeper Sinan Bolat.
The Magpies then returned with eight of the same side plus a new central back
duo of Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark and Isaac Hayden in a central
Without their dominant influence of Jonjo Shelvey though, United seldom
looked like adding to their advantage after Ritchie's strike from distance
was blocked after 49 minutes.
A further change of personnel for the third and final period saw just three
Newcastle players stay on, with eight new arrivals including the rookie
Harker's introduction saw him picking the ball out of his net
after just 20 seconds, beaten by a low shot from Alexander Corryn -
although there was some weak defending going on in front of him.
Mo Diame came close to restoring Newcastle's lead with a surging run and
shot that was tipped over by 'keeper Kevin Debaty, Dwight Gayle and Clark
also spurning opportunities to make it 2-1.
What looked a perfect opportunity to round off the trip arrived on 127
minutes though, when Ayoze Perez was wrestled over in the area by
ex-Southampton and Wolves defender Jelle Van Damme.
With Ritchie (and Joselu) off the field, Gayle took the resultant penalty,
but Debaty guessed correctly and flung himself to his right to beat the
A game that became increasingly niggly threatened
to end on a sour note, with Lascelles reacting badly to a challenge by Reda
Jaadi. As players from both sides sought to quell an outbreak of Jaadi aggro
though, the referee blew for full time a fraction early and matters quickly
United flew back to Tyneside following the game and will now prepare for the
visit of Huddersfield Town to SJP on Saturday week, minus the six senior
players away on international duty.
Unlike some recent overseas trips by other PL sides, nothing untoward seems
to have happened here and none of the training sessions were affected by the
weather - something that certainly wouldn't have been the case had the squad
remained on Tyneside.