Diabate puts Toon kids in their place

Bordeaux 2 Newcastle 0

Diabate puts Toon kids in their place

The Mali international headed home Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s 29th-minute cross and then slid a 72nd-minute shot through keeper Rob Elliot’s legs to condemn the Magpies to a first European defeat of the season and avenge their 3-0 defeat at St James’ Park in October.

It was little more than the French side deserved as despite manager Francis Gillot making the same number of changes as Alan Pardew, they enjoyed the better of the exchanges apart from a brief flurry at the start of the second half.

But for Elliot, who made important first-half saves from Henri Saivet, Ben Khalfallah — who passed up a glorious opportunity at the death — and former Sunderland striker David Bellion, they could have won even more handsomely.

Newcastle, whose arrival in France was delayed by almost four hours because of snow on Tyneside, needed a victory to snatch top spot, but they rarely looked like securing it as few of the youngsters handed a chance to shine managed to do so.

Only Mike Williamson and Sylvain Marveaux survived from the Magpies’ 3-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Wigan on Monday evening, and that meant starts for James Tavernier, Shane Ferguson, Gael Bigirimana, Mehdi Abeid, Sammy Ameobi and, for the first time since April 2010, striker Nile Ranger.

Pardew’s team may have been makeshift, but so too was Gillot’s. However, the Frenchmen played with a panache which pinned the visitors back for long periods and had it not been for Elliot, they could have been out of sight before the break.

Newcastle could now find themselves pitched into battle with one of the Champions League drop-outs when the competition resumes in the new year.

BORDEAUX: Olimpa, Chalme, Marange, Planus, Maxime Poundje, Ben Khalfallah, Diabate (Sacko 88), Biyogo Poko, Sertic, Bellion, Saivet.

NEWCASTLE: Elliot, Williamson (Coloccini 74), Perch, Ferguson, Tavernier, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Abeid, Sh Ameobi (Cisse 80), Sa Ameobi (Anita 46), Ranger.

Referee: Menashe Masiah (Israel).

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