Newcastle ready to face United
Newcastle 3 Bordeaux 0:AS A dress rehearsal for Sunday’s home date with Manchester United this European interlude could barely have been bettered. Responding to Alan Pardew’s request to “up their levels” Newcastle re-discovered some of last season’s power and poise in time to not only overwhelm an initially awkward Bordeaux but also offer Alex Ferguson reason for anxiety.
They started well and by the 16th minute Pardew’s side were ahead. Gabriel Obertan met Yohan Cabaye’s crossfield pass and his left-wing centre was ideally measured for Shola Ameobi to tap in at the far post.
Bordeaux’s passing and movement remained far too clever for Pardew to relax and he could have done without Cheik Tiote collecting yet another yellow card for a late tackle on Henri Saivet.
With the Ivorian’s abrasive style cramped not only by the need to watch his step but an ankle knock which required lengthy treatment, Ludovic Sane, Bordeaux’s midfield enforcer, exerted a bigger influence on proceedings. No matter; Danny Simpson soon met Ameobi’s ball and supplied a cross so teasing and testing that Henrique turned it into his own net.
A few of Newcastle’s fringe faces did their causes no harm. While Mike Williamson earned his money when blocking Yoan Gouffran’s goalbound header, Rob Elliot impressed in goal. Apart from retaining his cool as Bordeaux forced a series of first-half corners, Elliot - replaced by Steve Harper at the interval - saved adroitly from Sane and Gouffron.
Papiss Cisse had been having a quiet evening to the right of Ameobi but when Shane Ferguson crossed from the left, the striker, albiet marginally offside, swept a left foot shot past Carrasso.
NEWCASTLE UTD: Elliot (Harper 46), Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Ferguson, Anita, Cabaye (Bigirimana 61), Tiote (Gosling 71), Cisse, Shola Ameobi, Obertan. Subs not used: Santon, Ben Arfa, Ba, Sammy Ameobi. Booked: Tiote, Anita, Perch.
BORDEAUX:Carasso, Mariano, Henrique, Planus, Tremoulinas, Saivet, Sane, Plasil (N’Guemo 46), Obraniak (Diabate 46), Jussie, Gouffran (Bellion 67). Subs not used: Olimpa,Chalme,Marange,Traore. Booked: Henrique, N’Guemo.
Referee: Antonio Lahoz (Spain).