By Alex O'Henley at St James' Park
Newcastle United FC booked their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup with a 4-0 win against Olympiacos CFP to give them a 7-1 aggregate victory. It was the Magpies' 100th European match and goals from Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer and two from Alan Shearer – his ninth and tenth goals of the competition – ensured they qualified for Friday's draw in style.
Both sides were forced to make changes from the first leg because of injuries and suspensions. Patrick Kluivert missed out for Newcastle with a knee injury, so Dyer partnered Shearer in attack, while Andy O'Brien came in at the back for Titus Bramble who had a hernia operation earlier this week. Grigorios Georgatos and Athanasios Kostoulas sat out the match for the visitors after being sent off in Piraeus, while Brazilian playmaker Rivaldo did not travel because of an ankle injury.
Olympiacos knew they needed a quick goal to bring them back into contention and they passed up an early opportunity on four minutes. O'Brien misjudged a high ball, allowing Nery Alberto Castillo a free run on goal, but the Uruguayan striker hesitated long enough for goalkeeper Shay Given to clear the danger.
Nicky Butt almost broke the deadlock for the home side after a quarter of an hour when he fastened on to Shearer's lay-off 20 metres out before firing in a right-foot shot which crashed off the crossbar with Antonios Nikopolidis beaten. The opening goal arrived three minutes later after the Olympiacos defence had failed to clear a Laurent Robert free-kick. Bowyer lofted the ball back into the danger area and, with his back to goal, Dyer showed great awareness to back-heel the ball past Nikopolidis and into the net.
The Greek side now needed four goals to go through but they almost fell further behind on the half-hour mark when Shearer fired over with only the keeper to beat, and nine minutes later the Newcastle captain's glancing header from Robert's cross slipped just past the post. Shearer was not to be denied, though, and right on half-time he swept in a loose ball after the visiting defence had been exposed again by Dyer's surging run into the box.
The home side continued to press early in the second half and were rewarded with a third goal on 54 minutes. Bowyer's header looked to have beaten Nikopolidos but the keeper did well to scramble back and claw the ball off the line. However, it only went as far as Jermaine Jenas and his cutback was converted by Bowyer, who squeezed the ball under the Olympiacos goalkeeper. Shearer added the fourth on 69 minutes, rounding Nikopolidos before finishing high into the roof of the net.