After 6 long years Newcastle United are back playing European football in the Europa League. Their first game kicked off last night in Athens, Greece against the Greek Super League Side Atromitos. Here are some Europa League Highlights from last night’s cup tie.
Things were hot in Greece as the temperature soared well above 30 degrees even though kick off was at 8pm local time. This was the first indication that this game may lack some pace for the English side. The team was mainly made up of fringe player from the Newcastle side including the likes of Dan Gosling, James Tavernier and new signing Gael Bigirimana getting his first competitive start. Also starting was Ryan Taylor, Mike Williamson, Papiss Cisse adding some experience to the somewhat youthful team. Every Newcastle fan was hoping for some Europa League highlights to be proud of.
Things were looking good to begin with as Newcastle managed to keep the majority of possession and stayed comfortably in control. But on the 24th minute the lack of experience started to show as Tavernier was well and truly beaten by German winger Denis Epstein who slotted the ball past veteran goal keeper Steve Harper to make it 1 – 0. After going one down, Newcastle upped the tempo and seemed to gain some control over the match but just couldn’t get that equalising goal.
During injury time of the first half, Ryan Taylor hit home a trademark free kick to pull the score back to 1 – 1. Curling away from the Atromitos goal keeper it sailed in at the near post in typical Taylor fashion, cementing the fact that he is a master on the dead ball.
The second half saw chances for both sides but nothing was to come from either teams efforts. Newcastle made some changes substituting Gosling for Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux came off for Toon favourite Jonas Gutierrez and Cisse made way for Adam Campbell to become the youngest player to don an NUFC shirt in a European fixture. The changes made little difference and the game fizzled out to a 1 – 1 draw. My star man had to be Ryan Taylor due to his superb efforts controlling the game and his sweet free kick.
Newcastle play their home leg next Thursday on the 30th of August at the Sports Direct Arena so be sure not to miss out. Be sure to keep an eye out for more Europa League Highlights in the coming weeks.
Newcastle Line Up: Steve Harper; James Tavernier, Mike Williamson, James Perch, Ryan Taylor; Gael Bigirimana, Vurnon Anita; Gabriel Obertan, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux; Papiss Cisse
Subs: Tim Krul, Davide Santon, Steven Taylor, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Romain Amalfitano, Adam Campbell
For more Newcastle Europa League Highlights, remember to check here on consettmagazine.com