Newcastle put in another very good display against Fenerbehce tonight, and Alan Pardew used 18 players and nearly every single man played well, and knew just exactly what he had to do in the Newcastle side.
For so early in pre-season, it turned out to be another excellent team performance from our lads.
This is how we saw the game – as it happened.
Romain Amalfitano seemed to pick up a slight injury during the warm up, and he was replaced in the starting eleven by Gabby Obertan.
Newcastle kicked off in their good looking new strip (it’s looks better with every game) and Fenerbahce were in all yellow, and Alan Pardew was wearing reall snazzy top on the line – mental note – get one of those.
What was obvious early on is that Alan Pardew and the lads have not been wasting their time, and against what looked like Fenerbahce’s best line-up, Newcastle were very well organized, and as against Monaco on Monday night, were able to shut down Fenerbahce in front of their own penalty area, when it mattered.
Demba Ba was again showing up well and there seems an enthusiasm to the Senegal striker’s play in pre-season – which is good news for Newcastle.
There was a familiar face up front for Fenerbahce, as former Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt – a former Newcastle target – was in Fenerbahce colors.
In the early part of the game Fenerbehce had most of the play, but could not create any good chances, and then on 26 minutes Demba Ba was put clean through, but he was flagged for offside.
One strange thing we noticed was that Newcastle did not have any names of the backs of their shirts.
Gabby Obertan was showing up quite well on the right wing, and the Frenchman put in a decent shot from 25 yards out but it went straight to the goalkeeper.
Then on 34 minutes Tiote fouled one of the Fenerbeche players, and from the free-kick outside the penalty area on the left hand side, goalkeeper Rob Elliot made a good collection of the cross, when under some pressure.
A few minutes later Danny Simpson, who was looking again like a good workmanlike right back for the Magpies, put in a good block from a shot, and the resulting corner was cleared.
Then on 38 minutes Demba Ba put Haris Vuckic through, and from the inside left position his shot was well blocked for a corner.
And then on 40 Minutes Dan Gosling, who was looking good in midfield, got his head to a cross and the ball went just over the bar – a good effort from the former Everton midfielder, who was showing up well.
As the half time whistle approached Newcastle were starting to look more dangerous, and to be truthful we were quite impressed with the way Newcastle were playing as a team, so early in pre-season, and with a number of youngsters in the team.
It reflects well on the youngsters that they fitted right into the side, and maybe we are stronger than we think with youngsters like Tavernier and Vuckic – to their credit.
Half time came and it was an evenly matched contest.
Newcastle introduced Sammy Ameobi and Papiss Cisse at the start of the second half, and Newcastle continued to play some good football, while containing the Fenerbahce attacks.
On 53 minutes Christian Baroni hit a shot just over the bar, and this Brazilian looked dangerous for Fenebehce and certainly is an excellent technical player.
Then just two minutes later Sammy Ameobi had a half chance set up by Demba Ba, but his shot was blocked and then when Sammy was brought down 10 yards outside the penalty box, Ryan Taylor’s free kick went over the bar, after Cheick Tiote had tried to persuade Ryan to let him take the free kick. 😀
One 63 minutes a nice through ball by Gutierrez, who had some on for Marveaux after 59 minutes, put Gabby Obertan right through, but he was flagged for offside.
On 67 minutes Demba Ba challenged the goalkeeper for a high cross into the box, and the goalie dropped the ball. but then dived on it to clear the danger.
Then Obertan ran into the box, and it looked like a penalty but the referee waved play on – but it looked touch and go to us. On 71 minutes Davide Santon replaced Danny Simpson at right back – and Simpson had another solid game for the Magpies.
On 73 minutes Mehdi Abeid came on for an impressive looking Dan Gosling, and would you believe it – Newcastle went ahead through Mehdi Abeid after 76 minutes, who scored his first goal for the club.
Mehdi had just come on for Dan Gosling, and the young and impressive Gael Bigirimana put in a cross into the box, and the Frenchman brought down the ball and held off a defender well, before he dispatched the ball into the back of the net from just six yards out, to put Newcastle ahead.
On 78 minutes some good play by Sammy Ameobi, who had looked impressive in the second half, hit a good effort low on the ground and the goalkeeper did well to parry the ball clear.
It seemed like the Magpies were going for the second goal and Papiss Cisse found Shola Ameobi at the far post, and Shola hit the ball on the half volley, but it was just too high.
The game came alive as Fenerbehce went for the equalizer, but Newcastle were carving out some decent chances, and after 83 minutes Papiss Cisse, who looked good for his first action of the pre-season, got a loose ball in the box, and put in a great effort that was only just tipped over the bar by the goalkeeper – it could have been 2-0.
But then when it looked like Newcastle would get their second 1-0 win in a row, and a really great victory, on 90 minutes Christian Baroni, the Fenerbahce Brazilian defensive midfielder, hit a low shot from the edge of the penalty area that easily beat goalkeeper Rob Elliott. It was almost the last kick of the game.
It was a cruel end to the game, but that’s football for you – but Alan Pardew has to be very pleased with a second good performance in a row, and it was obvious the lads have not been wasting their time in Germany and Austria, as every single Newcastle player seemed to know exactly what he had to do.
That’s nothing more than very good coaching, and we may even have a better squad than we think. 😀
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; Danny Simpson (Davide Santon 68), James Tavernier, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Cheick Tiote (Gael Bigirimana 59), Dan Gosling (Mehdi Abeid 73); Gabriel Obertan (Shola Ameobi 75), Haris Vuckic (Sammy Ameobi 46), Sylvain Marveaux (Jonas Gutierrez 59); Demba Ba (Papiss Cisse 68)
Subs not used: Steve Harper, Mike Williamson
Fenerbahce (4-2-3-1): Mert Gunok; Orhan Sam, Bekir Irtegun, Serdar Kesimal, Hasan Ali Kaldirim; Mehmet Topal (Henri Bienvenu 85), Cristian Baroni; Dirk Kuyt (Semih Senturk 68), Alex De Souza (c) (Selcuk Sahin 68), Miroslav Stoch; Moussa Sow (Mehmet Topuz 46)
Subs not used: Serkan Kirintili, Gokhan Gonul, Salih Ucan, Recep Niyaz, Caner Erkin, Ozer Hurmaci, Sezer Ozturk, Volkan Demirel
Referee: Paul Petho