There were mixed fortunes for the UEFA Cup Group D contenders this weekend - as Newcastle United FC, Panionios NFC and Sporting Clube de Portugal had reason to celebrate, but FC Dinamo Tbilisi suffered a serious reverse and FC Sochaux-Montbéliard missed out on victory.
Having needed a late goal to win their opening group match at Panionios 1-0, Newcastle pulled off the same trick at home to Manchester City FC, Craig Bellamy's last-gasp strike giving them a 4-3 victory. The game was goalless at half-time, but Laurent Robert's free-kick and Alan Shearer's penalty put Newcastle in front against their former manager Kevin Keegan's side. City fought back to 2-2 through Shaun Wright-Phillips and Robbie Fowler's penalty, then Robbie Elliott restored Newcastle's lead. Although Wright-Phillips equalised for 3-3, the visitors had no time to cancel out Bellamy's well-placed volley. Newcastle are now seventh in the English Premiership.
Sochaux followed up their UEFA Cup win at Dinamo with a 1-1 draw at SC Bastia that leaves them eighth in France's Ligue 1. Strikers Jaouad Zairi and Ilan, plus defenders Lionel Potillon and Sylvain Monsoreau, all missed the game through injury but are scheduled to be fit in time for Newcastle's Matchday 3 visit on 25 November.
Dinamo derby defeat
After losing to Sochaux, Dinamo subsequently suffered their heaviest domestic defeat since an independent Georgian league started in 1990 as they lost 5-0 at city rivals FC Tbilisi on Monday. Dinamo, who had David Gigauri sent off, conceded goals to Georgi Mikadze, Sergi Orbeladze, Goga Pipia, Revaz Getsadze and Anzor Kaladze, and are now just three points above second-placed Tbilisi, whose goalkeeper Akaki Devadze had a penalty saved by Irakli Zoidze in added time. Dinamo will hope for a lift before they travel to Newcastle on 4 November.
Sporting, who begin their group campaign at home to Panionios on Matchday 2, needed two goals in the last five minutes to defeat Lisbon rivals CF Os Belenenses and claim sixth place in the Portuguese SuperLiga. Liedson headed in Hugo Viana's corner to open the scoring and Rudolph Douala swiftly made it 2-0. Central defender Beto suffered a knock during the match but it is unlikely to prove serious.
New coach boosts Panionios
Panionios know that defeat at Sporting could be costly, but received a boost at the weekend as they won their first game under new coach Georgios Vazakas. The 44-year-old replaced Karol Pecze, who was sacked after the loss to Newcastle, and on Sunday his new charges overcame Ionikos FC 1-0 with an Evagelos Mantzios penalty. It was their second win of the season, moving them to tenth in the Hellenic National League. Panionios were without goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobný, who is set to miss the trip to Lisbon after arthroscopic surgery on his right knee for which he faces a further fortnight out, and Saša Zimonjic, who suffered a groin strain against Newcastle but is expected to return next week.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.