Club Brugge 2 Newcastle 2

Shola Ameobi

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At the Jan Breydel Stadium



Club Brugge 2 (Trickovski 14, Jorgensen 19)

Newcastle United 2 (Anita 41, Shola Ameobi 43)



Newcastle United staged a superb fightback to record a 2-2 draw away at Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday night.


The Magpies were staring down the barrel of their first Group D defeat when Ivan Trickovski and Jesper Jorgensen fired the hosts into a two-goal lead with just 19 minutes on the clock.


But Alan Pardew's side hit back in impressive fashion with two goals in as many minutes as half-time approached.


First, Vurnon Anita netted an unstoppable 30-yard volley before Shola Ameobi prodded home at the near post, sending the travelling fans at the Jan Breydel Stadium wild.


Both sides had chances to win it in the second half but Newcastle were forced to settle for a share of the spoils and a point closer to qualification to the knock-out stage.


Gabriel Obertan fired the Magpies' first warning shot with less than three minutes on the clock, cutting in off the left flank but dragging his strike wide.


Brugge's response was immediate, with Carlos Bacca having the same outcome after picking up a misplaced Gael Bigirimana pass and running at the visitors' defence.


In the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, Obertan's pace caused the Belgians all sorts of problems and it was a case of more of the same in the 12th minute, when the flying winger latched on to Shola Ameobi's strong hold up play and forced a fine save out of goalkeeper Bojan Jorgacevic.


United had looked dangerous in the opening exchanges but it was Brugge who broke the deadlock just a couple of minutes later.


Trickovski superbly controlled Ryan Donk's long ball over the top, held off the challenge of Fabricio Coloccini and struck a left-footed shot past Tim Krul.


And having got one, the home side promptly went and doubled their advantage to leave United shell-shocked with less than 20 minutes played.


As James Tavernier headed away a cross from the left, the young defender nodded it straight into the path of Jorgensen around 25 yards out.


The midfielder still had plenty to do but managed to steer a low effort just out of Krul's reach and into the corner of the net.


Newcastle were stunned but should have halved the deficit when Obertan again raced down the left and delivered a ball across the area towards the unmarked Marveaux.


The recalled French midfielder just needed to stroke home from ten yards yet amazingly managed to completely miss his shot and gave Brugge a major let-off.


On the half-hour mark, Jorgacevic had to be alert to tip Shola Ameobi's looping header over the bar, after the fron man had been picked out at the far post by younger brother Sammy, while the experienced striker also flashed an effort right through the heart of the six-yard box which was crying out for a decisive touch.


And the Magpies finally got the goal their pressure deserved with half-time approaching. Marveaux's left-wing cross wasn't properly cleared by the Brugge defence and Anita struck a stunning 30-yard volley which flew into the corner.


They weren't content to go into the break just one behind though and instantly bagged an equaliser through Shola Ameobi.


Anita spread the ball from right to left where James Tavernier helped it into the path of Sammy Ameobi. The youngster fed his older brother with an inch-perfect through ball and Shola kept his composure to slot in at the near post.


After the interval, United continued where they had left off and could have edged in front within the opening five minutes of the half.


Shola Ameobi had two good headed chances - nodding Coloccini's cross straight at Jorgacevic before beating the keeper with another headed effort but seeing it end up narrowly off target.


On the hour mark Marveaux almost atoned for his earlier miss by creating a chance out of nothing, cutting in from the right and bending a left-footed shot inches over.


Despite all Newcastle's pressure, the hosts continued to look dangerous when they pressed forward and Krul was called into action to make an outstanding point-blank save from Bacca, who had turned his marker inside the six-yard box.


The same player then wasted a free header, sending it harmlessly over the top having been picked out by Maxime Lestienne's delivery.


Yohan Cabaye was introduced from the substitutes' bench in the 72nd minute and almost made an immediate impact, curling a direct free-kick onto the crossbar with Jorgacevic beaten.


At the other end, Krul once again highlighted his quality with an impressive tip-over from Mohamed Tchite's powerful header, before flying full-stretch to his left to turn Vadis Odjidja's long-range strike behind for another corner.


And the hosts could have won it when Jorgensen connected with Lestienne's free-kick in the 89th minute, but just failed to hit the target with his half-volley.


But United survived and will be delighted with a point from a tricky away fixture.


Club Brugge (4-2-3-1): Bojan Jorgacevic; Tom Hogli, Carl Hoefkens (c), Michael Almeback, Jordi; Ryan Donk, Vadis Odjidja (Nathaniel Lagrou 81) ; Maxime Lestienne, Jesper Jorgensen, Ivan Trickovski (Mohamed Tchite 46); Carlos Bacca


Subs not used: Vladan Kujovic, Bart Buysee, Bjorn Engels, Birger Verstraete, Bjorn Vleminckx



Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Vurnon Anita, Mike Williamson (Steven Taylor 58), Fabricio Coloccini (c), James Tavernier; Gael Bigirimana (Yohan Cabaye 72), Cheick Tiote; Sammy Ameobi (Romain Amalfitano 83), Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan; Shola Ameobi


Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Davide Santon, Papiss Cisse



Referee: Luca Banti (Italy)


Bookings: Club Brugge - Almeback (47), Hoefkens (73); Newcastle - Tiote (37), Cabaye (87)

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