A goal after 32 minutes from Demba Ba won the game for Newcastle tonight, in what turned out to be an excellent work-out for Newcastle in Germany.
Newcastle found the going just a little bit difficult in the first half, but Alan Pardew was not afraid to make the changes in the second half, and the Magpies looked more confident in the second period, as they finally began to string their passes together.
The only goal of the game was an opportunist goal from the Senegal striker, as he won a 50-50 ball with the Monaco goalkeeper on the goal-line, and simply headed the ball in.
But it was poor goalkeeping, and you always expect the goalkeeper to be able to punch the ball clear in those situations, and there was no foul from Ba, which the goalkeeper appealed for, after failing to clear the ball.
It was a typical pre-season game as passes went astray from Newcastle, especially in the first half, against a Monaco team who start their season in two weeks time, and were much more match fit than Newcastle.
This is how we saw the game as it happened.
There was a low sun casting shadows across the pitch as the game kicked off with Newcastle playing in their all new home strip.
The game started slowly and Newcastle were finding it hard to string two passes together as Monaco looked the much more fee flowing side. A very poor back pass from Davide Santon almost cost Newcastle, as a Monaco forward beat Harper to the ball, but he scooped the ball over the bar.
After 25 minutes Monaco had a good chance to score, and the ball seemed to be going into the back of the net, but it fortuitously hit Steve Harper right in the face, and the ball came back out and was cleared.
After the first 30 minutes Monaco had he better chances, but had failed to capitalize on a couple of decent chances they had carved out.
Monaco were ahead in terms of physical fitness and match fitness for this game, since their season starts in less than a couple of weeks time, with Newcastle starting their season three weeks later.
Demba Ba after scoring – as the goalkeeper appeals for a foul – no way!
After 32 minutes the ball was in the penalty area and Mike Williamson headed the ball downwards, and a Monaco defender kicked the ball high into the air, and it was a 50-50 ball between the goalkeeper and Demba Ba, almost on the Monaco goal-line.
And Ba was first to the ball and headed it into the net – but it was poor play from the goalkeeper
Alan Pardew showed his frustration once during the first half when a Newcastle player (it was Abeid) let the ball run out of play, and Alan was seen blowing hard and shaking his head – in apparent frustration – such is pre-season play sometimes.
Just before half time Steve Harper just got down to a low shot and turned the ball around the post for a corner, just in time.
And a minute later some good work on the left by Sammy Ameobi set up his brother Shola, whose shot was well blocked by the goalkeeper down to his right.
It was 1-0 at the break.
Haris Vuckic was introduced at half time in place of Sammy Ameobi, and Brazilian star Perchinho replaced Mike Williamson at the back, and young James Tavernier came on for Mehdi Abeid.
Santon switched to right back and Gutierrez moved into central midfield, and it looked like James Tavernier was at center-back with Vuckic on the left wing.
After 49 minutes a good cross into the Newcastle box was headed onto the cross-bar by a Monaco player and over the bar – the marking had not looked good when crosses came into the Newcastle box tonight.
After 57 minutes Ryan Taylor came on for Davide Santon at left back, and in truth the Italian looked a little bit rusty tonight.
On 62 minutes Dan Gosling, Gabby Obertan and Cheick Tiote came on for Newcastle in place of Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano and Shola Ameobi, and Gael looked steady for Newcastle and had a good outing tonight – he looks a good player.
Newcastle were looking a little more comfortable in the second half, as they tried to get themselves back up to speed in pre-season, and Monaco were certainly giving Newcastle a good test and were closing down the Newcastle players well.
On 72 minutes a good Haris Vuckic corner was headed just wide by Demba Ba, who was looking dangerous, and then six minutes later Sylvain Marveaux came on for Demba Ba.
As Ba left he was seen having a photo taken with some supporters on the sidelines - good for him.
After 84 minutes Newcastle should really have gone 2-0 up when Obertan was clean through in the center forward position, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, his shot was blocked and Gosling’s follow up drive was kicked off the line by a Monaco defender.
It was noticeable after Cheick Tiote came on that Newcastle had looked more secure, and seemed to have more of the ball, and started the pass the ball around well – but of course we are talking about a top top player for the Magpies.
And just after writing that – would you believe it – in the last minute Tiote was caught in possession just outside the penalty area, and it took a good save from Steve Harper to keep the ball out.
But then the final whistle was blown, and it was an excellent work-out for a lot of the Newcastle players tonight.
Next up is Fenerbehce on Saturday night at Sonnenseestadion, SC Ritzing, in Austria, and it’s again a 7:00 pm kick-off, with the game being televised by ESPN.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Steve Harper; Davide Santon (Ryan Taylor 56), Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson (James Perch 46), Jonas Gutierrez; Romain Amalfitano (Gabriel Obertan 63), Mehdi Abeid (Haris Vuckic 46), Gael Bigirimana (Cheick Tiote 63), Sammy Ameobi (James Tavernier 46); Shola Ameobi (c) (Dan Gosling 63), Demba Ba (Sylvain Marveaux 79)
Subs not used: Rob Elliot
Monaco (4-4-2): Daniel Subasic; Eric Marester (Jeremy Labor 86), Andreas Wolf (c) (Adriano Da Silva 63), Andrea Raggi (Gary Kagelmacher 63), Layvin Kurzawa (Dennis Appiah 63); Nabil Dirar (Emir Bajrami 75), Nampalys Mendy, Gary Coulibaly (Delvin N’Dinga 86), Yannick Ferreira Carrasco (Tristan Dingome 75); Ibrahima Toure (Valentin Eysseric, 63), Valere Germain (Nacer Barazite 63)
Subs not used: Martin Sourzac, Marc-Aurele Caillard, Kevin Diaz, Stephane Dumont, Dominique Pandor, Jakob Poulsen, Alexandros Tziolis, Nicaise Salli Edgar