Newcastle continued their good pre-season form with a fairly easy win against Juventus 2-0 with both goals in the first half. Luque scored with a penalty after 9 minutes and then Andrew Carroll scored a great first goal for the club after 30 minutes. Andrew easily beat Buffon from 12 yards with a well hit left footed volley after Buffon had blocked a bullet shot from Oba Martins.
However, our injury jinx continued when Luque had to leave the game with a groin injury after 30 minutes and was replaced by 18 year-old Andrew Carroll.
Overall a very good result for Newcastle who played most of the youngsters in the second half as they played the game out with some ease against the star studded Juventus side.
Albert Luque - another goal but then injured
SAM Allardyce made just one change from the team that beat Celtic 4-1 at St. James’ Park on Thursday night. Nicky Butt (knee) was missing with French midfielder Charles N’Zogbia coming in to play central midfield with Geremi..
Albert Luque again started in attack with Oba Martins after his two goals against the Scottish champions. Kieron Dyer was on the substitutes bench, while Steven Taylor (ankle) was not in the squad. Teenage trialist Charlie Barnett was named among the United substitutes.
Shay Given, Stephen Carr, David Rozehnal, Oba Martins, Charles N’Zogbia, Nobby Solano, James Milner, Albert Luque, Geremi, Peter Ramage, Paul Huntington
Subs: Kieron Dyer, Steve Harper, David Edgar, Matty Pattison, James Troisi, Andy Carroll, Tim Krul, Charlie Barnett, Alex Francis, Darren Lough
Gianluigi Buffon, Sergio Almiron, Jonathan Zebina, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Pavel Nedved, Jorge Andrade, David Trezeguet, Zdenek Grygera, Cristan Molinardo, Tiago Mendes, Marco Marchionni
Subs: Emanuele Belardi, Alessandro Birindelli, Giorgio Chiellini, Hasan Salihamidzic, Alessandro Del Piero, Jean Alain Boumsong, Domenico Criscito, Raffaele Palladino, Antonio Nocerino, Manuele Blasi, Nicola Legrottaglie
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
The game got off to a good start with both teams passing the ball around well. Luque kept up his scoring form with a penalty after just 9 minutes. Luque had a hand in the penalty award when he put a nice back-header through to Milner in the left hand channel and Milner was brought down. The penalty was dubious but referee Mark Clattenburg had no hesitation pointing to the spot.
Luque dispatched the penalty with great aplomb to the goalkeeper’s right as Buffon the wrong way. It was Luque’s third goal in two goals and he waved to the crowd after easily scoring. It’s clear that Luque certainly has sublime skills and is nopw showing some confidence.
After 10 minutes Huntington was found wanting as he allowed a ball inside him but given came out well smothered the ball. That showed the inexperience of young Huntington who still has things to learn at full back. Marchionni was posing a threat down the right wing and teed up French striker David Trezeguet on the edge of the area. Trezeguet sent in a right-foot shot just narrowly over the cross-bar.
After 19 minutes Rozehnal got in a nice clearing header to Solano just outside the box who then coolly played a header back to keeper Given. Nice play by Solano who seems to have a new lease on life under Big Sam.
The Newcastle defense at this stage was looking quite composed with Rozehnal looking calm and cool at the center of the defense – he looks like he’s a calming influence in the Newcastle defense.
After 33 minutes there was a scare for Newcastle as a loose ball is seized on by Machionni on the right wing. He sends in a cross and Pavel Nedved connects first-time to send a powerful low shot towards Given’s bottom left hand corner. Shay somehow turns the ball around the post with his left arm – a wonderful save from the Newcastle captain. The short corner is taken and Given ends the move with a save from Marchionni.
On 36 minutes Newcastle went two goals up. A great ball by N’Zogbia to Martins had Oba clear and he hit a bullet shot with his left foot that Buffon could only parry to Andy Carroll â€“ who controlled the ball nicely from about 12 yards out and then hit a beautiful cross shot with his left foot for a wonderful goal. Some first goal for young Carroll and he certainly is looking the part as he gets more games under his belt.
On 40 minutes Carroll and Buffon went for a 50-50 ball and clashed just outside the penalty area. It looks like it was a deliberate foul by Buffon and in any other game Buffon would have been sent off. It was a knock to the head that felled Andy â€“ but like a tough warrior he got up and recovered. Amazingly the referee doesn’t even give a foul against Buffon.
Sam made his way down from sitting next to Chris Mort and remonstrated with the referee â€“ Sam looked furious.
On 41 minutes Peter Ramage almost got a goal as a free kick from Geremi curled into the box from the left wing and Ramage got a good back header in only for Buffon to save by turning the ball round the post.
At half time Newcastle were the better side (even dominating according to the Setanta sports commentators) and were well worth their 2-0 advantage.
In the second half David Edgar, James Troisi, Matty Pattison and Kieron Dyer replaced Martins, Rozehnal, Geremi and Milner. Rather surprisingly Dyer was brought on to play midfield with N’Zogbia â€“ even though he is set to leave Newcastle imminently. This seemed a strange move by manager Allardyce.
The second half was not as bright and free flowing as the first half and Newcastle were protecting their lead even though Sam introduced a number of our youngsters to give them some good experience.
Newcastle were beginning to make lightning breaks from defense â€“ mainly through N’Zogbia who was looking better and better in midfield as the game progressed. In fact it looks like Charles is back to his form of a couple years back.
Nedved for Juventus was beginning to control the game but then Newcastle should have got a third goal when a wonderful passing exchange between N’Zogbia, Dyer and Pattison saw Dyer straight through in the inside left channel but Dyer’s shot from six yards was blocked by Buffon. Dyer should have put the chance away.
On 67 minutes Dyer found himself almost straight through again but this time couldn’t quite get a touch to the ball and Buffon kicked clear. Then after 76 minutes N’Zogbia had a free kick just outside the penalty area and put in a strong swerving shot over the wall – that Buffon was just able to block and divert for a corner.
Newcastle were now playing the game out and were stringing some nice passes together with N’Zogbia prominent and the back four which at this time included youngsters Huntington Edgar and Lough were coping quite well with the Juventus forwards.
Man of the Match Award was announced as goalkeeper and captain Shay Given which we think surprised quite a few of the fans. No doubt Shay had another flawless game with a couple of great saves – but in truth he didn’t have much to do. Our man of the match was Charles N’Zogbia.
The final whistle came after two minutes of extra time to bring to a close a good game for Newcastle who ran out worthy winners.
The only real negative on the game was Luque’s groin injury. Let’s just hope he came off soon enough so there’s not too much damage. A positive of the game was the way the youngsters performed – they didn’t seem over-awed one bit by the Italian giants.
Note: Luque felt a tightening of the groin and decided to come off – so it doesn’t look a serious injury Albert has sustained – according to Sam – after the game.