Following their comfortable 2-0 success against FC Dinamo Tbilisi, Newcastle came crashing down to earth as they lost 4-1 at home on Sunday against Fulham FC. Craig Bellamy headed a late goal which would have brought zero consolation to manager Graeme Souness, who gave goalkeeper Steve Harper his first start of the season with regular No1, Shay Given, absent on paternity leave. Newcastle, who are ninth in the Premiership, are next in action on Wednesday against Chelsea FC in the English League Cup.
Sochaux will host Newcastle on 25 November and after sitting out Matchday 2, they looked suitably refreshed when they visited SM Caen and came away with their first away victory in Ligue 1. Ilan opened the scoring on 17 minutes but limped off soon after with a leg injury. His replacement, Jaouad Zairi, made it 2-0 midway through the second half, with what was Sochaux's 3,000th goal in the French top flight. Sochaux, fourth in the standings, were missing strikers Santos and Marcelo Trapasso, and defenders Sylvain Monsoreau and Lionel Potillon because of injury.
The other Group D game on Matchday 3 will pit Dinamo Tbilisi against Sporting Clube de Portugal. The Georgian team, who are third in the Premier League, bounced back from defeat at Newcastle by winning 2-0 at FC Zestafoni, teenage striker Jaba Dvali scoring both goals. Dvali partnered Boris Gancharov in attack as coach George Geguchadze opted to rest first-choice attackers Mikheil Kakaladze and Levan Melkadze. Levan Silagadze, meanwhile, deputised for Lasha Salukvadze in central defence, appearing alongside David Chichveishvili who had missed the Newcastle trip through suspension.
Sporting, 4-1 winners against Panionios NFC on Thursday night, fell 3-0 at champions FC Porto in Monday night's much-awaited 'clássico' in Portugal and are seventh in the SuperLiga after conceding three second-half goals. Defender Hugo travelled with the squad to the Estádio do Dragão having shaken off a knock sooner than expected but did not play.
Panionios sit 12th in the Hellenic National League after a frustrating goalless draw at home to Apollon Kalamarias FC on Sunday. Evagelos Mantzios struck the post with an early back-heeled effort and missed other opportunities, and the woodwork also denied Juan Martín Parodi's free-kick. Saša Zimonjic started the match but was substituted after 25 minutes when it became evident he was not fully fit after his 20-day absence. Andreas Lagonikakis and Alexandros Tziolis, who picked up injuries in Lisbon, are expected to return in a fortnight.
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