Toon hold Anzhi to draw

Anzhi Makhachkala and Newcastle United played out a dour goalless draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in Moscow.

Last Updated: 07/03/13 at 20:32 Post Comment

Yohan Cabaye: Tackles Oleg Shatov during the first half at the Luzhniki Stadium

Yohan Cabaye: Tackles Oleg Shatov during the first half at the Luzhniki Stadium

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The game, played on the plastic pitch at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, struggled to ever get going on a freezing night in the Russian capital.

Toon boss Alan Pardew made seven changes from the side that lost at Swansea last weekend, with Hatem Ben Arfa making his first start since December after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Anzhi boss Guus Hiddink named a strong line-up, with former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o, Brazil international Willian and ex-Chelsea duo Yuri Zhirkov and Lassana Diarra in the side.

Newcastle came with a plan to try and contain their hosts, who had won all of their home games in Europe so far this season.

The plan worked, with Anzhi restricted to just one shot in the first 45 minutes, former Cameroon international Eto'o firing in a dipping shot from 30 yards that Magpies keeper Rob Elliot did well to tip over.

Elliot had to be alert again 15 minutes into the second half when he got down low to his right to tip another Eto'o effort wide of the post.

Three minutes later Newcastle had a great chance to grab a priceless away goal when Ben Arfa found himself free in the area, but goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov stood tall to parry away the Frenchman's chipped finish.

That proved to be Newcastle's only effort in a game of precious few chances, but Pardew's side will be confident of progressing through to the quarter-finals when the two sides meet at St James' Park next week.


Anzhi MakhachkalaTeam StatisticsNewcastle United
0Goals0
01st Half Goals0
3Shots on Target1
3Shots off Target1
3Blocked Shots1
6Corners2
13Fouls14
4Offsides3
0Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
83.1Passing Success81.6
23Tackles29
78.3Tackles Success79.3
50.5Possession49.5
62.9Territorial Advantage37.1
526Total Passes511
15Total Crosses9
173Lost Balls169
75Recoveries65
48.91st Half Poss.51.1
52.72nd Half Poss.47.3

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sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

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