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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 November 2006, 21:37 GMT
Palermo 0-1 Newcastle
By Saj Chowdhury

Albert Luque
Luque was on hand to head in
Albert Luque scored the only goal of the game to give Newcastle a memorable win over Palermo and send his side to the top of Group H in the Uefa Cup.

Luque nodded in James Milner's whipped cross from the left to give the Magpies the advantage against the Rosanero's second-string just before the interval.

Milner could have doubled the tally but saw one shot go wide and another saved.

Debutant keeper Tim Krul, 18, made great reaction saves from Palermo's Giuseppe Biava and David Di Michele.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on Newcastle's win

Both teams put on an entertaining show in front of a sparse crowd of 16,000 at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

Despite rotating their squad, it looked like Serie A's second-placed team would outclass the Premiership strugglers after demonstrating in the opening few minutes why they are flying high in Italy.

Their one-touch passing left Newcastle's players like rabbits in headlights.

They came close to scoring first when Franco Brienza played in Gianni Munari, whose subsequent shot hit the foot of Steven Taylor to go behind for a corner.

The impressive Brienza tried his luck again but saw his shot deflect off the boot of Krul before defender Craig Moore cleared from the goalmouth.

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder said he had done his homework on Palermo and - despite being without first-team regulars, skipper Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Stephen Carr and Obafemi Martins because of injury - the replacements did more than an able job.

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder and keeper Tim Krul
Krul (right) and Roeder acknowledge the fans

Two players who stood out were midfielders Milner and Nicky Butt, who anchored the midfield very well.

Milner teased and tormented the Palermo backline with mazy runs that were reminiscent of ex-Magpies winger Chris Waddle in his heyday.

The former Leeds player had one effort deflected wide from the edge of the area and then had another parried by keeper Fontana following a fine swivel in the area.

But his magic moment came just before half-time when he delivered a magical cross for Luque, who headed in from inside the six-yard area.

It was a rare start and rare goal for the Spaniard, who has spent most of his time at St James' Park in the reserves since arriving two summers ago.

It was far from surprising when Palermo came out like Italian stallions after the break and they did everything apart from score, with Krul coming to the rescue on more than one occasion.

The Dutch teenager made an amazing double save, parrying Biava's firm header before forcing behind Di Michele's follow-up.

And moments later, Krul blocked a goalbound Andrea Caracciolo effort.

Palermo applied plenty of pressure in the latter stages of the match but could not breach the sturdy Newcastle defence.


  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder praised teenage keeper Krul on his display:

    "I always thought he was capable of a mature performance.

    "I knew he wouldn't have any nerves. He's strong and confident."


    Palermo: Fontana, Dellafiore, Cassani, Barzagli (Biava 46), Pisano, Tedesco (Simplicio 66), Guana (Di Michele 66), Parravicini, Munari, Brienza, Caracciolo.
    Subs Not Used: Sirigu, Zaccardo, Bovo, Bresciano.

    Newcastle: Krul, Ramage, Moore, Bramble, Taylor, Solano (Carroll 90), Emre, N'Zogbia (Sibierski 68), Milner, Butt, Luque (Pattison 77).
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Huntington, Bernard, Troisi.

    Booked: Milner, Emre.

    Goals: Luque 37.

    Att: 16,904

    Ref: Jaroslav Jara (Czech Republic).



    SEE ALSO
    Comment: Krul's dream debut
    02 Nov 06 |  Football
    Uefa Cup photos
    02 Nov 06 |  Football


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