Tuesday, April 24, 2012

European Cup 1997 1998 Newcastle United Barcelona

Group Stage,
Group C
17 September 1997
St. James' Park,

Attendance: 36,600
Referee: Pierluigi Collina
  Deprived of star striker Alan Shearer through injury, Newcastle United manager Kenny Dalglish had to rely in the competition on veterans Ian Rush and John Barnes, and £7.5 million signing Coombian Faustino Asprilla. Qualifying as English league runners-up, and playing for the first time in the tournament, they met Croatia Zagreb at home in the first leg of the second qualifying round. 

 Although they were outplayed by the skilful Croatians, and particularly by the midfield pairing of Robert Prosinecki and Daniel Saric, Newcastle took the lead in the 22nd minute through John Beresford. Shortly after half-time, Croatia's leading striker Igor Cvitanovic equalised from the edge of the six-yard box. The Newcastle defence, the elegantly effective Aiessandro Pistone, Philippe Albert and Stuart Pearce were stretched by the inventive Zagreb forwards, but 15 minutes from the end Beresford took advantage of an obvious but unpunished foul by Asprilla on keeper Drazen Ladic to slot the ball home. In Zagreb, a determined defensive performance from Newcastle kept Zagreb at bay. Just on the interval, a Goran Juric foul on Jon Dahl Tomasson in the box gave away a penalty and Asprilla converted. Simic pulled one back with a header in the 59th minute and, in the third minute of injury time, a defensive error by Pistone left Cvitanovic clear and he powered a low shot past young keeper Shay Given. In the last minute of extra time, Asprilla found Temuri Ketsbaia in space, and the Georgian scored from ten yards. Newcastle were through to the league stage.

 Their first league game was against mighty Barcelona at St James's Park. In a fine performance from Newcastle, and notably from the pacy and inventive winger Keith Gillespie, they were deservedly two up by half time. Asprilla scored from the spot in the 21st minute when he collided with keeper Ruud Hesp in the area, and he converted a Gillespie cross ten minutes later. Just after the interval, Asprilla collected his hat-trick, connecting again with a Gillespie cross. Two late Barcelona goals, from Luis Enrique and Figo, could not dampen the Geordie jubilation. In the second game against Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine, Newcastle were lucky to escape with a 2-2 draw. Torn apart by the speed and passing of the Kiev forwards, Newcastle conceded a goal in the 4th minute to Rebrov and another twenty minutes later to a low shot from Shevchenko. However, towards the end of the game a tame shot from Beresford deceived keeper Alexandr Shevkovski, and with two minutes to go, another Beresford strike deflected into the net off Olexandr Holovko.

 An excellent defensive display against PSV Eindhoven in Holland was breached by a Wim Jonk half-volley in the 38th minute to give PSV a 1 -0 win. At St James's Park, Newcastle's quarter-final hopes virtually disappeared, with PSV in command throughout. With defender Jaap Stam in imperious form, and Luc Nilis and Gilles De Bilde cutting through almost at will, it was no surprise when Nilis scored in the 33rd minute and De Bilde added another with one minute to go. At the Nou Camp in game five, with only 26,000 braving the pouring rain, a long pass in the 18th minute from Guardiola to Giovanni beat the offside trap and the Brazilian lobbed reserve keeper Shaka Hislop for the only goal of the game. Now out of the tournament, Newcastle entertained Dynamo Kiev in the last game. Kiev had already qualified and went through the motions without any apparent interest in the game. A i 5-yard shot from Barnes in the tenth minute and a 25-yard free-kick from Pearce ten minutes later settled the game at 2-0, although Shaka Hislop made two superb saves from Kalitvintsev and Rebrov just before the interval.



  1. I was looking for this game for a long time. Thanks!!!!