Football: More penalty woe for Batty

Partizan Belgrade 1 Newcastle United 0 agg 2-2; Partizan win on away goals
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RUUD GULLIT'S European Cup-Winners' Cup dream was shattered last night in a battle of Belgrade in which their England midfielder David Batty suffered another penalty headache.

Four Newcastle players were booked, including Batty, firecrackers boomed out all evening and flares lit up the night sky as 45,000 frenzied Yugoslavs turned the JNA Stadium into a seething furnace.

In the end Gullit's men could not quite stand the heat as they lost agonisingly on away goals but no one could say they did not go down fighting.

They battled for every ball, but in the end went out to the heartbreak of another penalty from Vuk Rasovic - the man who had slotted home the all-important away goal at St James' Park a fortnight ago.

Then it was Laurent Charvet who had given away the spot-kick needlessly, this time it was Batty, who had also been the culprit when England went out of the World Cup to Argentina, missing a vital penalty on that occasion.

This time, making his first start after returning from suspension, he pulled the shirt of danger man Vladimir Ivic, bringing him down in the Newcastle penalty area in the 52nd minute and the referee had no doubt in awarding a spot-kick.

All of Belgrade, it seemed, embraced Ivic in hugs and kisses and Rasovic slotted the ball expertly passed Newcastle keeper Shay Given.

It was no more than the Yugoslavs deserved on a night that could not have had less to do with Gullit's vision of "sexy football".

This was passionate, but it was also frenzied, frantic, fraught and fragmented - but pulsating at every turn. The Partizan fans are nicknamed "Grobari" - "The Undertakers" - and it was apparent from the very first tackle that team and supporters alike had come to bury Newcastle.

Partizan boast a 100 per cent record in the stadium in all competitions this season. They have won their last eight league games and need just two more to set a Yugoslav record.

Partizan Belgrade: Damjanac; Rasovic, Savic, Krstajic (Stojisavljevic, 45), Stojanoski, Trobok, Ivic, Ilic, Tomic, Bjekovic (Tesovic, 79), Kezman (Pazin, 66). Substitutes not used: Ljubanovic, Duljaj, Gerasimovski, Vukovic.

Newcastle United: Given; Griffin (Albert, 73), Glass, Batty, Shearer, Speed, Ketsbaia, Charvet, Solano, Dabizas, Pearce. Substitutes not used: Perez, Gillespie, Barton, Harper, Georgiadis, Howey.

Referee: M Diaz Vega (Sp).

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