|I||Sparta Praha||19:00||H. Kiryat Shmona|
Newcastle United FC moved three points clear in UEFA Europa League Group D with a narrow victory against Club Brugge KV.
After a quiet first half, Gabriel Obertan struck in style three minutes into the second period to stretch Newcastle's unbeaten run on Tyneside to 24 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League matches.
Buoyant by the 3-0 defeat of FC Girondins de Bordeaux on matchday two, the St James' Park crowd were almost immediately silenced by the Belgian visitors. Newcastle presented possession to Club Brugge, and only a strong left hand from Steve Harper denied Maxime Lestienne.
The technique and movement of Sammy Ameobi and Shane Ferguson helped Newcastle control a subdued first 45 minutes, and their opponents needed a superb point-blank save by Bojan Jorgačević to prevent Papiss Cissé from heading in a fine Ferguson cross. Cissé passed up two more chances before the break, heading over a Ferguson corner and drawing a terrific reaction save from Jorgačević with a snapshot.
The hosts did take the lead just three minutes after the restart, though, Ameobi showing wonderful skill to flick the ball beyond his marker with his heel and cross the halfway line before feeding Obertan, who advanced and rifled into the left corner from just inside the box.
A lapse in concentration meant Newcastle were almost immediately pegged back. Slipped into the area by Carlos Bacca, Lior Refaelov cut sharply inside James Perch before seeing his effort palmed past the base of the right post by Harper.
Club Brugge's threat increased as Newcastle dropped deeper, Vadis Odjidja and substitute Ivan Tričkovski providing Alan Pardew's side with some worrying moments. The introduction of Fabricio Coloccini helped the home defence stay cool as the temperature was being turned up, and ensured Newcastle could eventually celebrate consecutive wins in Group D.
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