Newcastle United turned in a virtuoso performance to end Bordeaux’s 17-game unbeaten streak, as they cruised to a 3-0 victory at St James’ Park. Goals from Shola Ameobi, Papiss Cisse and an own goal from Henrique ensured the Geordies went top of Group D and left the French side reeling.

The performance was top notch from Alan Pardew’s much-changed side, as seven alterations from the team that drew with Reading reached similar heights to those that they touched last season to qualify for the Europa League. Shane Ferguson, Gabriel Obertan and Rob Elliot aren’t normally the first names on Pardew’s team sheet, but all turned in excellent performances to see off Francis Gillot’s side.

However, it was the usual suspects who inspired the win for the Magpies, with Yohan Cabaye pulling the strings while the front three provided the finishing touches. Gabriel Obertan turned in the type of performance that answered why he earned a transfer to Manchester United from the French side in 2009, while Ameobi found the net too.

Ameobi’s opener came after Yohan Cabaye had gone close for Newcastle and Ludovic Obraniak had wasted a header when well positioned. Obertan and Cabaye created it, with the former supplying the latter with a wonderful cross-field pass. Obertan cut inside a defender before sliding a low cross into the box, where Ameobi was waiting for a simple finish.

The French side – now in danger of losing their unbeaten streak which stretches all the way back to April – replied by fighting back with some stylish play of their own. First, Yoann Gouffran had a shot deflected off Mike Willamson and then Ludovic Sane had an effort beaten away by Rob Elliot.

However, all of Bordeaux’s good play was undone when Henrique somehow netted at the wrong end. Danny Simpson – back in the side after a hamstring injury – crossed and it looked destined for the arms of Carrasso, only for the Brazilian defender to slice it into his own goal and give Newcastle an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Five minutes after half-time, the game was ended as a contest when Shane Ferguson got his third assist in as many games, when he crossed to find Papiss Cisse, who fired in off the post.

The consummate ease of the victory will give Newcastle a renewed sense of hope in going far in the competition, as this was widely regarded as the Geordies’ toughest test of the group stage. To pass it with a 3-0 win and end a 6-month unbeaten streak in the process means the whole of Europe will have been made to take note as the Magpies showed what they were about.
By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson