Sport Soccer

Sunday 24 September 2017

Obertan on mark as Ameobis keep Magpies soaring

Newcastle 1 Club Brugge 0
Europa league group D

Damian Spellman

Gabriel Obertan's first goal of the season maintained Newcastle's challenge as the Ameobi brothers joined forces to see off Club Brugge.

Shola (31) and 20-year-old Sammy combined in breathtaking style three minutes into the second half to set up the Frenchman to secure the narrowest of victories.

It was a far from comfortable evening for a much-changed Newcastle side, although they might have been in control of the game long before Obertan struck had Papiss Cisse managed to convert any of the chances which came his way.

Alan Pardew's men were made to fight all the way as visitors gave a good account of themselves, with Steve Harper making a fine second-half save from Lior Rafaelov to preserve his clean sheet.

But they made it to the final whistle without mishap in front of a crowd of 33,124 at St James' Park to take their Group D points tally to a satisfactory seven from three games and leave themselves on the brink of qualification for the last 32.

Brugge arrived set up to hit the Magpies on the break and the pacy Maxime Lestienne proved a major threat down the left.

He forced a third-minute save from Harper and shot across goal and narrowly wide of the far post a minute before the break as he repeatedly stretched right-back Davide Santon and central defender Steven Taylor.

But Newcastle created more than enough openings of their own to have taken a lead and, with a little better fortune, a commanding one.

Pardew replaced Vurnon Anita with Shola Ameobi at half-time and he and his younger brother combined with stunning effect within three minutes as the Magpies roared into the lead.

Shola's neat flick found Sammy, and he produced an outrageous piece of skill to play the ball into space before laying into the path of Obertan, who thumped it inside the far post.

Irish Independent

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