It may have lacked the excitement of a Premiership match, but Newcastle earned their draw on the road in their first leg of their Europa League. Follow beyond the jump for observations from an unqualified observer.
~Ryan Taylor gets my vote for Man of the Match. And not just for his rocket laser of a goal. (Yes, rocket laser) His long throw-ins and deliveries of free kicks and corners were impeccable. He had great touches all night and maybe an extra striker up front would have led to some more quality chances.
~I don't think a win was much on Alan Pardew's Greek to-do list. He seemed content with the draw. Newcastle didn't seem to have much urgency in the second half. The Mags played back, only pressing every now and again. There were some opportunities for a match winner, but it wasn't in the cards.
~The only way Atromitos was going to win this match was if NUFC handed it to them, and boy did the lads try at times. Some major gaffes in the second half nearly led to chances on goal that could have made the pleasant trip a much more miserable one. Need a bit more focus from the back line to finish matches off cleaner.
~A lot of the mistakes and missed connections could be attributed to the youth movement Newcastle put on display. I think it was good for the younger players to get into a competitive match. I liked what I saw out of Romain Amalfitano and Adam Campbell in particular.
~Their goal keeper seems to have problems with high balls, so, you know, we should use that when the Greeks come to St. James' Park in a week.