By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson

Newcastle United are into the last 16 of the Europa League after a slender 1-0 win over Metalist Kharkiv in Ukraine. A Shola Ameobi penalty was enough to send the Magpies through to the next round, where they will meet Anzhi Makachkala of Russia for a place in the quarter finals.

The task that faced Alan Pardew ahead of the tie was to get through as comfortable as possible whilst keeping as many of his main stars as fit as he could ahead of the Premier League crunch clash against Southampton on Sunday.

And thanks to Ameobi’s penalty after 64 minutes, Pardew can now look ahead to the “six-pointer” after securing their safe passage to the last 16.

Massadio Haidara started his first game for Newcastle alongside fellow new boy Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and both impressed. Haidara in particular showed great energy and skills in both attack and defence and allowed Davide Santon to be rested.

Moussa Sissoko was as impressive as ever and won the penalty which Newcastle scored from after pouncing on a poor back pass from Papa Gueye. But Papiss Cisse was again wasteful and squandered two clear chances which would have made Tim Krul’s night considerably easier.

Instead though, the Newcastle goalkeeper had to pull off a string of fantastic saves and rely on his defence to provide stubborn resistance to keep the home side at bay as they looked for two goals to overrule Newcastle’s key away strike.

Cisse had the first real sight of goal when he found space inside the box, but his tame shot was easily saved by Metalist’s first-leg hero Olexandr Goryainov. The Senegal striker then had another chance just before half-time but after linking well with Ameobi, he saw his strike parried away by the Kharkiv goalkeeper.

With the breakthrough clearly not coming from their star striker, it was left to a defensive mistake that opened the game up.

Gueye played a horrendous back pass that Sissoko collected and as he streaked through on goal, Goryainov pulled him down and the referee pointed to the spot.

If it hadn’t been for this decision, ironically the game might have been heading for penalties, but Ameobi stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards and give his side a vital goal.

With the home side facing elimination, they started to throw caution to the wind and attack Newcastle, only to find themselves up against a steely defence. Krul denied substitute Willian as the Brazilian tried to chip the Dutch keeper, before James Perch put his body on the line with a vital block.

Cristaldo was also denied twice by Krul as the home side pressured, only for the keeper to come out on top. One worry for Newcastle though is a knock that Krul received from the player a couple of minutes after his saves. Krul left the ground wearing a protective boot and on crutches and the Magpies will be hoping it was just a precaution.

Anzhi were beaten in Germany by Hannover but qualified on aggregate to set up a last 16 clash with Newcastle, who will fancy their chances after two solid defensive performances.