Bordeaux were simply outclassed on Thursday night as Premier League team Newcastle United swept three past them to assert their dominance in Group D of the Europa League.
The Ligue 1 side could not have endured a worst start, with Newcastle’s Shola Ameobi firing home early in the first half. Moments later, Bordeaux were 2-0 down as defender Henrique put it into his own net. Then just after the break, dangerous centre forward Papiss Cisse stroked home to give the home side a comfortable 3-0 lead.
It was game over already. Although Bordeaux did showcase some patches of flair and imagination – mainly through Yoan Gouffran – they lacked impetus in the final third. They passed it around with integrity, but often the final ball lacked. Newcastle were able to capitalize and perhaps the end result was a fair reflection on both team’s performances.
The Magpies played at a high intensity, and Bordeaux often struggled to keep up. Gouffran and Ludovic Obraniak were the main threats, the latter having a golden chance early on to score but he couldn’t find the net.
Ludovic Sane also manufactured a long-range effort which Magpies goalkeeper Rob Elliot had to turn away smartly. There certainly applied pressure, but there was nothing to show for it. Les Girondins should not feel disheartened, though. It was always going to be tough travelling away from home, playing against a solid, well organised Newcastle outfit. Opportunities were created, and although the sharpness in front of goal lacked, there was still positives to take.
Bordeaux face a tricky away trip to Portuguese side Maritimo next, in another fixture which will require more ruthlessness in front of goal but also resoluteness at the back. The Europa League is a deceptively tough competition, and although the French club might not be favourites to clinch the trophy they will certainly want to be progressing past the group stages.
The strength in depth is apparent. But results are what count. Overall, a credible performance at St James Park – in what was a tight affair – but more penetration needed.
Report by Nathan Carr – @NathanCarr67