By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At the Stade Chaban Delmas
Bordeaux 2 (Diabate 29, 72)
Newcastle United 0
Newcastle United slipped to their first Europa League defeat of the season on Thursday night, as they went down 2-0 away at Bordeaux.
Cheick Diabate bagged a brace for the hosts - finding the back of the net either side of half-time - to ensure Bordeaux top the Group D table after the conclusion of its fixtures.
The Magpies had goalkeeper Rob Elliot to thank for keeping them in the game early on, when he produced three outstanding saves to deny Henri Saivet, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and David Bellion.
He couldn't do anything to stop Diabate's close-range header midway through the half though, and was beaten again by the same player after the break as Diabate finished a rapid counter-attack.
The inclusion of goalkeeper Elliot was one of nine changes to United's starting line-up, and the former Charlton man was called into action as early as the second minute.
A corner from the right found its way to the unmarked Saivet at the far post, who took a touch and fired goalwards, only to see Elliot divert his effort behind.
The opening exchanges were pretty even in terms of possession, but Bordeaux were creating the better chances and opened up the Magpies again on 11 minutes when Ben Khalfallah picked up the ball 25 yards out in acres of space.
He struck a ferocious shot which Elliot did well to got plenty behind and parry clear.
The keeper made it a hat-trick of brilliant stops in the 18th minute when he dived full-length to his left to get a fingertip on Bellion's low, angled drive. And Elliot was up quickly to smother the rebound as Diabate fluffed his lines with the loose ball.
Elliot was powerless, however, to prevent the hosts from deservedly breaking the deadlock just before the half-hour mark.
Ben Khalfallah delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left right onto the head of Diabate, who had got in between James Perch and Mike Williamson, and the forward nodded down and into the bottom corner.
Vurnon Anita was introduced at half-time to try and shore up the Magpies' midfield and it had an immediate impact.
Mehdi Abeid then curled wide, having won possession in the middle of the park and raced past a couple of challenges on his way to the edge of the area.
But Bordeaux responded. Goalscorer Diabate should have done much better when he blazed wildly off target from eight yards, while captain Gregory Sertic was inches away from netting their second when his 25-yard strike was inches the wrong side of the upright.
On 72 minutes, Diabate doubled his - and the hosts' - advantage, putting the tie out of Newcastle's reach and securing top spot in Group D for themselves.
A long ball over the top from Andre Poko was chased by Diabate, who beat the offside trap, kept his composure and slotted a neat finish through the legs of Elliot.
Bordeaux weren't content with two, however, and Elliot got down smartly to clutch a low Ben Khalfallah strike from distance minutes later.
Ranger had worked tirelessly all night and carved out a good chance for himself with eight minutes remaining, using his strength to turn his marker but firing both high and wide when it deserved a better finish.
And that was that for United, who had already secured their progression to the knockout stage but will be disappointed to not finished their Group D campaign on a high note.
Bordeaux (4-4-2): Kevin Olimpa; Matthieu Chalme, Marc Planus, Florian Marange, Maxime Poundje; Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Andre Poko, Gregory Sertic (c), Henri Saivet; David Bellion, Cheick Diabate (Hadi Sacko 88)
Subs not used: Abdoulaye Keita, Ludovic Sane, Landry N'Guemo, Nicolas Maurice-Belay
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Rob Elliot; James Tavernier, James Perch, Mike Williamson (Fabricio Coloccini 73), Shane Ferguson; Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana; Nile Ranger, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi (Vurnon Anita 46); Shola Ameobi (c) (Papiss Cisse 80)
Referee: Menashe Masiah (Israel)
Bookings: Bordeaux - none; Newcastle - Williamson (43), Tavernier (68)