Gabriel Obertan

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Gabriel Obertan's name may not be on the scoresheet, but the winger was instrumental in United's 3-0 Europa League victory over Bordeaux on Thursday night.

Deployed on the left-hand side of a front three, the 23-year-old tormented his former side all night and put in arguably his best performance since joining the Magpies in the summer of 2011.

Shola Ameobi's opener was put on a plate for him by an inch-perfect cross from the Frenchman, who had taken a difficult diagonal pass in his stride and then roared past two defenders to create the opportunity.

And when Obertan celebrated the goal as if he'd scored it himself, it was a mix of emotions - that of 'job done' and of illustrating to all inside the stadium just what he is capable of.

"That's my job on the side - to give assists - so that was great and I was really happy," he told nufc.co.uk following the final whistle at the Sports Direct Arena.

"I loved being involved in that move and it didn't matter who was on the end of it, as long as someone was.

"This season I've only had Europa League and Capital One Cup games, so I really wanted to show the coach that I can start Premier League games.

"I hope he understood tonight that I really want to play and that I'm up for it.

"I feel good physically and that is good for me because my game is based around a lot of sprinting.

"I feel great mentally as well, but the fans haven't seen everything of me - there is a lot more to come."

After Ameobi's tap-in, Newcastle doubled their lead shortly before half-time when Bordeaux defender Henrique put through his own net.

Papiss Cisse slotted home a third early in the second half, and Obertan was delighted with the team's display against tough opposition.

"The coach wanted us to play and keep the ball because we knew that Bordeaux like to have the ball themselves," he explained.

"So we did that and I think we played a great game, technically and tactically.

"They are a club from a different country so we had to adapt our football.

"Physically we were on top of them, our positioning was great and it was good that we scored really early. That made the game easier for us.

"From the first minute to the last we played really well and there are a lot of things that we can take from this game.

"The last few games we haven't been at our best, so we really wanted to get some points tonight and everyone is happy that we did that."