A long punt forward appeared to be being dealt with by defender Paisley but
Ameobi managed to get his head to the ball first and gained possession.
tried to beat Paisley on the outside but when the tackle came, the ball
loose and back across the box for Lee Bowyer to run onto it and net
with a low
drive into the far corner. 1-0
Half time: Sochaux 0 Newcastle 1
Bernard made progress down the left and when he crossed from the byline,
Paisley sliced an attempted clearance past his own keeper and across the six
yard box. Ameobi was waiting at the far post to tuck the ball in from close
range although the angle was narrow. 2-0
As Sochaux pressed forward the ball broke to Dyer and suddenly he had two or
three options ahead of him. He chose correctly and slotted the ball through
for Hughes to race clear of the defence, before drawing the 'keeper and squaring
for the onside Craig Bellamy to side-foot
home from 12 yards. 3-0
United were awarded a free-kick on the right a few yards outside of the
penalty area. Perfect Laurent Robert territory and accordingly the Frenchman stepped
up and curled an inch-perfect shot over the wall into the top right corner
of Richert's goal for his fourth toon Euro strike. 4-0
Full time: Sochaux 0 Newcastle 4
Graeme Souness said:
"It was a good
performance, but we could have been more clinical in front of goal. Towards the end of the
match, when we were leading by three or four goals, we missed some very good
"Even at 4-0 we could
have scored another two and as a manager you are always looking for more. We
had some good finishers in that team and they are the type of players who I
would expect to put away those chances.
"We could be talking
about an even more comprehensive win but overall I suppose I have to be
delighted with the result and the performance."
"In the first half we
rode our luck at times and Shay kept us in it. He was outstanding all
"I have to single out
Titus for special praise. If we could get him
focused like that every game then he'd be playing for England. But he
obviously finds that difficult and that's why he isn't a senior
international just yet."
Sochaux boss Guy
"When we play in a European cup competition we
must display a performance worthy of a European cup competition. I am
very disappointed, we should have scored first.
"Even when they led 2-0 we could have fought back
into the game. But when we play a game like that we must do it all together.
"It's not shameful to lose to Newcastle; what is
shameful is the way we did it.
"At least the team is now back down to earth. They
must learn their lesson. Before thinking about qualification we'd better
bounce back against Lens this weekend.
"Sochaux can lose or win against anyone."
Our first win on French soil at
the sixth attempt:
Bastia lost 1-2
Metz drew 1-1
Monaco lost 0-3
Troyes drew 0-0
Marseille lost 0-2
We equalled our
best-ever run of form in Europe
with our fifth successive victory, emulating the Fairs Cup
campaigns of 1968/69 and 69/70: Rangers (h) Ujpest (h) & (a),
Dundee United (a) & (h)
away win in "lucky" white shorts!
Shay Given made his 44th European appearance for the club to
extend the appearance record further. It was also his 300th appearance
for United (299 starts +1 as sub.)
Euro goal number 10 for both Craig Bellamy and
Shola Ameobi joining Wyn
Davies in second place - behind Alan Shearer who has 22.
The road to Lisbon that has so far seen us trekking to Tel
Aviv and Athens this time presented us with what turned out to be a
slightly-unexpected stroll in Sochaux, as we qualified for the next stage of
the UEFA Cup.
Predictions pre-match had it that we could struggle in the Auguste Bonal,
with reports of our opponents having won at Monaco the previous weekend and
being in decent fettle with confidence high from a lengthening unbeaten run,
both domestically and in Europe.
In the event though their opening salvo proved manageable for our makeshift
defence and when Sochaux did threaten our goal, they found Shay Given in no
mood to give up his second successive clean sheet easily.
At the other end we scored four times and could have had another two or
three, but didn't have it all our own way. If anything this was a partial
reversal of fortune in the manner of our Fulham home defeat, but with
Newcastle this time emulating the Cottager's role of potency and punishment
on the counter-attack.
Going in one ahead at the break having scored slightly against the run of
play, there seemed a likelihood of further goals in the second half at
either end, with some improvement from Sochaux expected to extend us (and Shay)
However with the half-time instructions of coach Guy Lacombe coach still
ringing in their ears, the home side resumed and promptly conceded a crucial
second goal from which they never really recovered.
The final lifeline of a penalty kick just after the hour was spurned by Sochaux
and thereafter the game became a procession as the opposition played out time
and we looked to increase our goals scored tally.
Full time saw Toon fans and players celebrating (Robert again indulging in
his gimpy disco dancing), while home fans sidled away to contemplate their
first European defeat on home soil in over thirty years. The Sochaux players
meanwhile had no time for les mopings, facing Lens at home on Sunday
before next week's excursion to Sporting Lisbon.
Anyone not part of the travelling contingent who stayed it home to watch it on the telly
can be content that this trip was in many ways a composite of previous away
Both ground and town were reminiscent of Troyes, while the away section had
elements of Basel - with the police attitude almost universal - plenty
posing in riot gear and deliberate attempts to inconvenience travelling fans
- two doors and two sets of steps open to gain access to the ground, half a
door and one set of steps to exit.
Once back in town though, apart from a shortage of licensed premises still
open things were quiet and calm as they had been pre-match, with similar
stories from those who returned to
nearby Belfort or made it back to Basel and
encountered partying Hearts fans.
With the club's trip cancelled and Toon Travel taking similar numbers to
this game as went to Israel and Greece,
it's clear that for some the Euro-travel bubble has burst, while for others
the almost endless permutations of budget-priced international travel
makes independent travel a no-brainer.
Those who opted
to keep their powder dry after making a judgement on the quality of the
opposition or scenic value of the destination missed a good trip this time
out, as we tasted victory on French soil for the first time and returned
home, having filled bar owner's cash registers and (hopefully) made a
positive impression on the locals.
the thousands who turned out for the likes of Barcelona, Milan or
Marseille will return in 2005 if we continue to progress remains to be seen, but while this low-key game was more of a
second-division tie, it was no less enjoyable for those present.