Football: Beresford's double delight for Dalglish
Thursday 14 August 1997
Kenny Dalglish required something more than the novel assistance of John Beresford's first goals for two and a half years as he savoured his first European victory as a manager last night.
Beresford, who last found the net in February 1995, in an FA Cup fifth- round tie against Manchester City, struck midway through the first half and again 15 minutes from time to give Newcastle United a one-goal advantage to protect in the away leg of their Champions' League qualifying tie in Zagreb. But his second effort, after Igor Cvitanovic equalised for the Croatian champions, owed much to the referee, Vaclav Krondl.
The Czech official seemed to be the only man in St James' Park who did not see Faustino Asprilla clearly impeding Drazen Ladic, Zagreb's goalkeeper, as the Colombian clumsily challenged for a Stuart Pearce cross. Beresford bundled the ball into the Gallowgate End net and Ladic and his colleagues watched in amazement as the referee signalled for a goal rather than a foul.
Their vigorous protests came to nothing, though, other than the yellow card the goalkeeper earned for his part. Asked whether he thought it was a generous goal, Dalglish replied "That's a very nice phrase."
It was a very nice roll of the dice for Newcastle, who could hardly have complained about making the trip to the Balkans on level terms. As Dalglish observed: " It's going to be a very difficult task over there, even with a goal advantage."
Such was the influence of Robert Prosinecki, the Zagreb playmaker, Newcastle were unable to dictate the play for sustained periods. Even when Prosinecki, who sports a lion tattoo on his right leg, dropped deep to avoid Robert Lee's attentions, the Barcelona old boy continued to be the focal point.
Indeed, it was from such a withdrawn position that he launched the sweeping move which ended with Cvitanovic curling a low shot around Shay Given seven minutes into the second half.
For Dalglish it was an evening of special significance. Not since the night of the Heysel Stadium tragedy, in May 1985, had the Newcastle manager been directly involved in a European Cup match. Not that Dalglish considered the tie to be strictly within the continent's premier club competition. "We're not there yet," he pointed out when asked how it felt to be involved in the Champions' Cup. "This tie just gives us the opportunity to get there."
Indeed, victory over two legs is required for the Premiership's runners- up of last season to open the back door to the Champions' League - and the fact that Zagreb failed to score in only one match last season warned Newcastle that their task would be far from easy and thus it proved last night.
Zagreb, roared on by 536 "Bad Blue Boys", as their followers like to be known, blunted Newcastle's initial thrusts and spread frustration through the home ranks with their slow- motion possession play. The Magpies were obliged to take to their wings and they did so to increasingly good effect.
Steve Watson clocked up considerable overlapping yardage on the right, and twice delivered troublesome crosses before the one which prompted Newcastle's opener in the 21st minute. Asprilla controlled it on the edge of the area and fed the ball through to Lee, who angled a pass for Beresford to side-foot home.
St James' erupted - all save the blue corner, at any rate. But it was the Croats who cheered for most of the second half - until Asprilla clattered into Ladic and Beresford was allowed to claim his fortuitous second.
Newcastle United (5-3-2): Given; Watson, Pistone, Albert (Howey, 67), Pearce, Beresford; Lee, Batty, Ketsbaia; Tomasson (Gillespie, 56), Asprilla. Substitutes not used: Beardsley, Crawford, Pinas, Hughes, Srnicek (gk).
Croatia Zagreb (3-3-2-2): Ladic; Mladinic, Juric, Simic; Saric (Tomas, 85), Jurcic, Krznar; Prosinecki, Maric (Mujcin, 89); Viduka, I Cvitanovic. Substitutes not used: Stefuli, Brlenic, M Cvitanovic, Petrovic, Ibrahimovic (gk),
Referee: V Krondl (Czech Rep).
More reports and results, page 23
Latest in Sport
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo could miss Manchester United's crucial Champions League play-off due to Copa America run
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Nick Kyrgios fans show their support by smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces amid Wimbledon run
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...