Newcastle 1 Real Sociedad 0
Written by Newcastle Utd
Moussa Sissoko struck late on as United ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad
By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 1 (Sissoko 88)
Real Sociedad 0
Moussa Sissoko struck late on as Newcastle United ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad at St. James' Park.
The French midfielder sidefooted home Gabriel Obertan's cut-back with just two minutes remaining on Tyneside, as the Magpies recorded a fifth warm-up win of the summer.
Chances had been few and far between at either end before that, with only Rolando Aarons and Mike Williamson briefly threatening to break the deadlock for United.
However, Alan Pardew's side never gave up and were rewarded as, with the game seemingly heading for a stalemate, Obertan did superbly down the right, and Sissoko strode on to the subsequent delivery, finding the bottom corner with an excellent finish.
A cautious opening period saw both sides comfortable in possession but without any real cutting edge in the final third, and it was United who offered the first warning shot on 26 minutes when Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli had to be alert to smother Daryl Janmaat's low cross before it reached Emmanuel Riviere.
The French forward, signed from Monaco last month, was starting to prove a handful for the Spanish defence and worked a neat interchange with Sissoko before diverting the ball over the bar soon after.
Sociedad had their moments, however, and striker Imanol Agirretxe should have twice done better - first, scooping a tame lob straight at Tim Krul, before firing off target from a decent position.
Substitute Aarons sparked the game into life ten minutes into the second half, with a driving run from the halfway line, beating a series of challenges before his shot from the edge of the area was deflected behind.
And centre-back Williamson then almost netted his first goal in Newcastle colours when he directed a near-post header goalbound on the hour mark.
It was sneaking in under the crossbar at the Gallowgate End until the intervention of Rulli's fingertips, which diverted the ball behind.
With a raft of substitutions from both sides, the friendly looked to be heading for a draw, but Sissoko had other ideas in the 88th minute.
Ayoze Perez and Obertan combined well down the right, with the latter driving into the area and pulling the ball back.
It reached the edge of the area where Sissoko stepped on to it, placing the ball low past the despairing drive of Rulli and sending the near-20,000 crowd home happy.
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; Daryl Janmaat (Adam Armstrong 84), Mike Williamson (Steven Taylor 67), Fabricio Coloccini (c) (Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa 67), Massadio Haidara (Paul Dummett 59); Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita (Mehdi Abeid 67), Jack Colback (Gabriel Obertan 59), Yoan Gouffran (Rolando Aarons 46); Remy Cabella (Facundo Ferreyra 74); Emmanuel Riviere (Ayoze Perez 67)
Sub not used: Jack Alnwick
Real Sociedad (4-3-3): Geronimo Rulli; Carlos Martinez, Mikel Gonzalez, Inigo Martinez (Ion Ansotegi 64), Yuri Berchiche; Sergio Canales (Alain Oiartzun 64), Markel Bergara (Gorka Elustondo 46), Esteban Granero (Dani Estrada 64); Xabi Prieto (c) (Iker Hernandez 64), Imanol Agirretxe (Reuben Pardo 46), Chory Castro (Pablo Hervais 64)
Sub not used: Ander Bardaji, Alberto de la Bella
Referee: Chris Foy (Lancashire)