Newcastle Easily Beat Celtic 4-1: Full Time Report

A good performance from Newcastle tonight when we easily beat Celtic 4-1 at St. James’ Park in Sam Allardcye’s first home game as manager.

The game was won in the first half when two opportunist goals from Spaniard Albert Luque and one from Oba Martins had Newcastle 3-0 up at the break – and it was fully deserved.  Best performances from a Newcastle viewpoint were probably from Geremi, Solano and James Milner. Albert Luque also deserves credit for hitting two goals from his striker position alongside Martins in the first half.

We don’t seem to have a lot of trouble scoring goals but we still need more experience at the back and we’re sure we’ll be able to get the 2-3 defenders we need to give us a good solid squad for next season.


Albert Luque – scored 2 goals in first half

Albert Luque won a starting place in attack as he made his first pre-season appearance for Newcastle against Celtic, the Scottish Champions at St.James’ Park tonight. Shay Given now fully recovered from a slight heel injury returned in goal – and he was again given the captain’s armband against his former club.

Peter Ramage partnered Rozehnal in central defense with 19-year-old Paul Huntington in at left-back. There are also home debuts for both David Rozehnal, the Czech International and Geremi, the Cameroon international who is partnering Nicky Butt in the center of midfield.

James Milner also makes his first pre-season appearance and is on the left flank with Nobby Solano playing down the right. Martins is partnering Luque up front. Steven Taylor is on the Newcastle bench following his ankle injury sustained during the European Under-21 tournament, and it’s also good to see David Edgar back on the bench after his participation in the Under-20 World Cup competition representing Canada.

The starting line ups are as follows:

Newcastle United:

Shay Given (captain), Stephen Carr, David Rozehnal, Peter Ramage, Paul Huntington, Nobby Solano, Geremi, Nicky Butt, James Milner, Oba Martins, Albert Luque

Glasgow Celtic:

Artur Boric, Lee Naylor, Maciej Zurawski, Scott Brown, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Massimo Donati, John Kennedy, Stephen McManus (captain), Paul Caddis, Paul Hartley, Aiden McGeady

Referee: Mark Halsey

After a bright start Newcastle – for which Luque shows one or two nice touches early on with good applause from the crowd – open the scoring after just 11 minutes. A Stephen Carr run seems to be stopped by McManus in the penalty area, but the ball runs loose and Solano quickly picks out Oba Martins around the penalty spot, and Oba hits it first time right-footed low to keeper Boric’s left.

After 30 minutes Newcastle go 2-0 up when James Milner picks out Luque unmarked and eight yards from Boruc’s goal. The Spaniard makes no mistake with a left-foot volley that finds the back of the net. This is a good start by Luque and it’s obvious he is ready for this game.

Shay Given makes his first save after 33 minutes pushing over a drive from McGeady and Carr clears the resulting corner. On 35 minutes Geremi puts Luque clear in the inside left channel with a great ball – and the Spaniard volleys goalwards but his effort just dips over the crossbar – with the Newcastle crowd on their feet.   Ramage rescued Newcastle after 40 minutes as the ball runs to Hesselink and the Dutchman should have scored from close range, but a wonderful sliding intervention on the goal-line from Ramage saves the day.

Then after 42 minutes that man again – Albert Luque – scores his second goal. Nobby Solano delivers a beautiful right wing ball to Luque at the far post, and Luque finishes well with a left-footed first-time shot from six-yards. Obviously delighted the Spaniard spins away to the rampant applause of the Newcastle fans.  The first half finishes with Newcastle easily deserving of their 3-0 lead and Albert Luque has certainly made the most of his first team start to ram in two good goals.

On 53 minutes a weak back pass by Naylor plays in young Andy Carroll – who had anticipated the pass well – but keeper Brown recovered well and raced off his line to deny Carroll from just eight yards out.  Taylor and Hesselink both go for a ball in the air on the edge of the penalty area after the hour mark, and the ball drops nicely for the Dutchman whose shot shot spins wide as Taylor recovered well to put off the striker.

Nicky Butt then gave the ball to Milner who with his back to the goal and 30 yards out, spun clear to hit a wonderful effort that has the fans on their feet – before flying just inches wide of Brown’s right-hand upright.  On 65 minutes Oba Martins leaves the game to a standing ovation with 19 year-old Ausie James Troisi replacing him.   On 70 minutes our 19 year-old Canadian David Edgar makes his first appearance of the pre-season with David Rozehnal making way on what was his first game at St. James’ Park.

After 72 minutes Celtic got a goal back when Naylor’s cross finds McGeady unmarked on the edge of the area, and the winger nicely chips the ball to Scott Brown who rises above David Edgar to power his header into the top corner giving keeper Shay Given no chance.  There’s another close shave for Newcastle on 75 minutes when Miller crosses the ball across Given’s goal but it runs free to the relief of Newcastle’s spreadeagled defense.

Nicky Butt then leaves the field – and with all substitutions having been made Newcastle are down to 10 men. But after 80min – Steve Harper is sent up front for United so the team is back to 11 men. Steve gets a good hand from the Newcastle fans when he comes on.

On 84 minutes Celtic’s Miller springs clear but has to check his run as Taylor recovers well and Shay Given manages to deflect the ball up and over the cross-bar with his legs to deny Celtic a second goal.

Steven Taylor has to leave the field after 88 minutes with an ankle injury and we hope it’s not a reoccurrence of the injury he has just recovered from. 6′ 3” Andy Carroll goes to centre-back and substitute goalkeeper Steve Harper is left up front as the only attacking force.

In extra time goalkeeper come striker Steve Harper gives a nice lay-off – and the ball finds its way to N’Zogbia on the halfway line and the 21 year-old drives forward before feeding James Milner on the left. The Newcastle winger cuts in and beats keeper Brown nicely from 20 yards. The whistle then blows almost immediately to end a good display from Newcastle in their first game at St. James’ under new manager Sam Allardcye.

Good performances from a number of the Newcastle players which is pleasing. But we also had Nicky Butt and Steven Taylor leave the field with injuries and we don’t know how severe these are. Certainly we have to hope they are just knocks and they were taken off by Sam as a precaution.

Overall a nice win with some good football – but we have to remember this is only pre-season. However, we look forward to the game against Juventus on Sunday – that should be another good game and a good test for United.

21 comments so far

  • apan

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #1

    i vote for steve harper as our main striker next season, 4th goal credit to him! im worried about taylors and butt though, not another jinx aih

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #2

    apan – exactly – we need to hear how they are – we cannot have any more injuries at this stage. Good result for the lads – and hopefully will give the fans a lift – now we need those 3 defenders. 😀

  • Josh

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #3

    And i Just saw that Dyer was left out COMPLETELY.
    Has something been hidden from us?
    I think he might of already been sold, I reckon tomorrow we will hear where hs is going, HOPEFULLY we will be getting someone in exchange OR have someone come in on same day lets SEEEEE!

  • Josh

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #4

    What do you think on the that Ed?

  • Ed Harrison

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #5

    Josh – that could be the case – but cannot find anything on it. It does look like Kieron may leave – but hey – we need to move on. Some of our youngsters look good – and they will only get better. Cannot help but think Dyer wants to leave Newcastle – and his kids have been down in Ipswich quite a while – maybe it’s a convenient reason to get out of Newcastle – but i don’t want to be crass about this – since he does need to be closer to his kids.

  • Soren

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #6

    This is a very good pre-season game, and great to see luque back on the pitch were he belongs. But I’m a bit concerned about Taylor and Butt. If Taylor is back on the injury list our list of healthy defenders grow thin. Our midfield is also looking a bit thin if Butt is injured and Dyer is leaving for West Ham. Time to bring in some reinforcements, and let the season roll. Despite these injuries with Taylor, Owen, Ameobi, Butt, Barton, Babayaro and Emre I still look forward to this season with optimisme, as some of the youngster are looking sharp – Troisi, Edgar, Huntington, Krul and Carroll.

  • Greg B

    Jul 26, 2007 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #7

    Butt and Taylor both ankle injurys IMO. 2 weeks max. Thats my guess anyway, but like Ed says, we the fans, need to know ASAP how they are.
    Good performance in many areas, Milner looked very good on both flanks, Rozehnal looked pretty good, Given was sound as usual and I didnt have any real complains with Luque. Butt and Geremi both did OK and Carr wasnt too bad either. A good alround performane with a bit of fitness lacking (notice the heart monitors?) a few underhit passes and one or two all round mistakes which should be expected at this stage.
    Lets wait and see what happens when Owen, Viduka, Barton etc are back and hopefully those elusive 2 or 3 new defenders arrive.

  • Rich

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #8

    butts looked like an impact, hopefully nothing more than a week, not sure what Taylor did but im hoping its minor.

    Rozenhal looks solid but we still need some more quality in the back line.

  • SW

    Jul 26, 2007 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #9

    Let’s hope this showing from Luque gets him into a good state of mind to keep working hard and fight for a starting place when it matters. Hopefully the confidence boost from getting a brace will get him firing on all cylinders.

    Or else it was just a fluke and it will be more of the same…

  • Hammy

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #10

    Just back from the game….Martins looked sharp in the first half, Geremi was very solid as was Rozenhal, Huntingdon looked good, Butt was full of running……all round pretty good, Luque has some lovely touches but for a big lad he doesn’t seem to put himself about…it’s obvious he has a bit of class, just needs a bit of fire in his belly or a cuddle or something!!!!! We never really looked in trouble until Martins and Rozenhal left the pitch. Good workout though, excellent travelling support from the hoops, toon fans seemed to keep the singing til after the game????

  • apan

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:24 AM

    Comment #11

    Meanwhile, Allardyce ruled out any move for West Bromwich central defender Curtis Davies – because he already has the prototype in England under-21 international Taylor.

    “Steven Taylor is a very, very good prospect and to put Curtis Davies in there – both are in their early 20s – would be the wrong thing to do,” Big Sam said.

    – I GUESS BSA got a point there

  • nightfall

    Jul 27, 2007 at 12:32 AM

    Comment #12

    great result…very happy for luque…team played much better then last year…
    i know you all like huntington…he’s ok…but too slow…

  • Darren

    Jul 27, 2007 at 1:20 AM

    Comment #13

    Great result made better by watching the game in a bar up north full of Celtic fans.

    Rosenhal looked solid enough…

    Luque got two goals – though….

    Butt went through him when he was bottling out of challenges in the first 20 mins of the game, however hopefully his goals today will fool some other mug club to give us a few million for a player who will never make it over here.

    Nice result, great to beat the jocks – F*&^K THE SWEATIES!

  • Dinko

    Jul 27, 2007 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #14

    Great game! It wasn’t so well in our defence but they will be better after couple of games. Butt impresed me with his runs and slides. Martins played very good and his first tuch is looking much better. We must buy a few defenders soon so they can play some time together before season starts. Maybe sam phoned to Dyer’s new club during the game last night 🙂 , or he is trying to sell our new striker Harper to Chelsea ‘cose they haven’t money for others.

  • Ivan

    Jul 27, 2007 at 6:41 AM

    Comment #15

    yeah it made my day.
    wat a match!!!!!
    I hope luque will be given ample chances to play next season, he is actually a pure-class. he just needs to come out from his dugout and there he is 2 goals in one half. pure quality!!

  • Stami

    Jul 27, 2007 at 8:21 AM

    Comment #16

    Hammy – you where at the game… im jealous! i have not yet had the pleasure of seeing the toon live! one day maybe!

    im happy for good old Luque, showing some promise there, he has taken his opportunity to impress and made it count!
    Rozenhal goes off and they put 1 away!
    sounds like we put in a very good performance, Juve should be a great test for us!

  • Dave

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:14 AM

    Comment #17

    Great game…we were watching in the pub with no sound and couldn’t for the life of us figure out why Harper had come on up front, a very surreal moment!

    Luque looked sharper but needs to get much more involved. Milner ran his socks off and Oba didn’t stop trying either, hopefully he won’t go missing on or off the pitch like he tended to do last season!

    I think Taylor will be relatively OK, he walked off, no limp; same for Butt really.

  • Steely

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #18

    What a relief to see some real performances last night! I made a comment on the Dyer string yesterday that Luque would get a ‘trick, that Milner would get one and that Martins would get off the mark….think I’m gonna put a lottery ticket on this weekend!!
    Given (8/10) – Solid performance again with the exception of one mistake…good to get it out of the way in pre-season though!
    Carr (7/10) – Made some great runs and linked up well with Solano on the wing. Still made errors in his position though.
    Rozenhal (9/10) – Cracking first viewing for me of this guy! I thought he was a rock in defence and was up there for MOTM.
    Ramage (7/10) – A good 45 mins from him, but was outshine by Rozenhal.
    Huntingdon (7/10) – Some people saying he was sluggish in the first half, but I thought he kept their right wing quiet in that first half.
    Solano (8.5/10) – He might be right when he says he feels the fittest he has for ages! Set up 2 of the goals and was superb on the right wing.
    Geremi (9/10) – I actually thought he looked a bit clumsy when the ball was at his feet at the start of the match, but buy did he prove me wrong! Certainly put his stamp on that DM slot!
    Butt (8/10) – Started the match with some excellent challenges, but weakened a little as the match went on. Hope that injury isn’t serious!!
    Milner (9/10) – My MOTM. His runs down the left in the first half were excellent. He linked well with OBA and gave 110% effort for the full game. Sealed of a great game with a goal!
    Martins (8.5/10) – Looked VERY sharp in the first half and and looks like he’s set for a flyer this season! I couldnt believe how fast he was at times. Plucked that goal from a difficult situation and didnt seem to strop when things werent going his way like he tended to do last season.
    Luque (8.5/10) – Well, what do you say about this guy! He truly is an enigma! I thought he actually started poorly, with his control looking appalling, but that goal seemed to give him some confidence! He started making runs and getting in places and when the second goal came it was like a breath of fresh air. BSA says he is playing through pain at the moment, so if he gets over that then I hope we see more of the same!
    Subs – Taylor looked good, but I question why he was risked! Edgar was steady. N’Zogbia looked good at LB but it looked like he was desperate to get further forward! Carroll looked sharp, but clumsy…I hate to say it, but almost Ameobi-like. Harper…new striker?? haha – won a couple of balls in the air, and played a part in the Milner goal.

    Overall, looked like a very impressive pre-season game. We must forget that that they are the (dont laugh) Scottish champs and most of the way through their pre-season. It will be good to get the missing players back to add more options, as having to play Harper in outfield was a bit of a mockery (did anyone think this was planned by the way…do goalies usually have outfield shirts ready with their name and number on??).
    I thought the game was screaming out for a Dyer type player in the second half as we struggled a little for any fluency. I hope the Emre injury will be sorted before the start of the season, or we may struggle to push through the middle of the field. Still, the wings were used well yesterday and will ease the problem.
    Taylor’s injury is ominous, and I hope it isnt long term, while the re-emergence of Luque can only be a bonus…it will be a like a new signing if he keeps playing well.
    Bring on Juve and Boumsong now! COME ON THE TOON!

  • Dave

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Steely – Bang on with those ratings, except for Solano, I’d give him a 9 :-).

    I wondered about the #13 shirt too. Had an image of the reclusive Ashley in the changing room quickly ironing on a name and number. I am like you seem to be, buzzing after that game, can’t wait for Sunday!!!!!

  • Steely

    Jul 27, 2007 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #20

    Haha, Ashley ironing on the numbers in the back…what an image!

  • bob

    Jul 27, 2007 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #21

    luque best celebration ever after his 1st goal, seemed like he had fogotten to celebrate ive never seen a player looked so stunned after scoring a goal but i hope we finally see the best out of him this season cuz when he was in spain he looked class


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