Newcastle United defeated Bordeaux 3-0 in Europa League Group D play at St James' Park Thursday. The win catapults NUFC into first place in the group with 4 games left to play.
Newcastle were helped to victory by captain Shola Ameobi, who scored his 13th European goal on a sublime cross by Gabriel Obertan (when was the last time we said that?). Shola's cross later in the first half was sent into the back of the net by Bordeaux defender Carlos dos Santos Souza Henrique. Papiss Cisse added to the scoring in the second half courtesy of Shane Ferguson, who tallied his third assist via cross in as many matches.
Aside from the scoring, the major storyline here was the halftime substitution of Steve Harper for Rob Elliot, who reportedly picked up a "knock." (Hooray specificity!) If whatever Elliot's ailment is causes him to miss any time, Newcastle will be down to Harper as starter and 19 year-old Jak Alnwick as backup - not the scenario anybody envisioned at the outset of the season.
Injury notwithstanding, it was a good evening for the Toon, who had not won a match outright in something like 8 or 9 years. This result should reassure supporters that they are in fact capable of earning a result, and has the added bonus of putting them in a very good position going forward in the Europa League.
Newcastle next play Manchester United in Premier League action at home on Sunday.