FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-0 Newcastle United FC
FC Dynamo Kyiv secured only their second victory over English opposition in eleven matches with a well-worked win against Newcastle United FC at the Olimpiyskyi stadium in UEFA Champions League Group E.
Forward Maksim Shatskikh and midfield player Aleksandr Khatskevich buried great strikes before and after the interval to secure an impressive victory. The Ukrainian hosts, a compact and skilful side, were in their sixth successive Champions League campaign and made their experience tell against Newcastle, who looked bright in the early stages but could find no way to respond to the goals.
High and wide
The pattern was established early with Bobby Robson's side pressing but consistently caught out on the counterattack. Nicolas Dabizas threatened when he latched on to the ball on the edge of the D after Hugo Viana's dangerous free-kick, but the Greek international fired high and wide. Dyer then made a lightning break down the flank but struggled to find either Alan Shearer or Craig Bellamy.
Dynamo, however, soon created openings, with Romanian international Florin Cernat threatening when he moved across the edge of the penalty area, probing for gaps. That attempt came to nothing but on 17 minutes Newcastle were left reeling when striker Maksim Shatskikh let fly a tremendous strike from 20 metres after a quick free-kick from Gueorgui Peev and Given got nowhere near the ball as it thundered into the top corner.
The goal demoralised Newcastle, already short of confidence with just one victory in their opening five English Premiership games. The away team's only noteworthy chance in the remainder of the half came five minutes later when a mix-up in the Dynamo defence almost allowed Welsh international Craig Bellamy to sneak in for the equaliser.
Devoid of ideas
With captain Shearer's head bandaged and bloodied after a nasty clash, the Magpies were devoid of ideas and exposed every time the hosts were given the chance to break free. Dynamo three times went close to doubling the advantage; Brazilian striker Leandro's precise finish ruled out for offside; Cernat slamming a bending left foot shot wide after an excellent build-up and an Andriy Nesmachniy strike almost fizzing in off the damp surface.
When Aleksandr Khatskevich made it 2-0 for Dynamo on 62 minutes, nodding in a diving header after Given could only parry a goalbound shot from Olexandr Melaschenko, there was no way back. Viana went close with two purposeful strikes which thundered centimetres wide but Newcastle lacked the wit to open up the resolute Ukrainian back line. Dynamo could have scored more, with Cernat never missing a chance to power a shot from distance.
Newcastle, who face bitter rivals Sunderland AFC at the weekend in the North-East derby, will have to show greater poise in the final third of the pitch if they are to succeed in the Champions League this season.