Football / Round-Up: Magpies find rich pickings

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The Independent Online
DESPITE the absence of Peter Beardsley, Newcastle United overwhelmed Coventry City last night to claim pole position in the Premiership, writes Rupert Metcalf.

The Magpies' 4-0 home win over the colourless Sky Blues means that they and Spurs are the only sides with maximum points from two games. Newcastle were three up at half- time: Robert Lee converted a Ruel Fox pass for the first, then Steve Watson, replacing the fractured cheekbone victim, Beardsley, thumped home the next. A poor clearance from David Rennie allowed Lee to collect his second. Andy Cole scored the only goal of a quiet second half.

Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager, enthused about his team's performance: 'Superb football, great possession and movement - nothing complicated. They remind me of Liverpool, with everyone playing their part and no one having to do too much.'

Manchester United know their opponents in Group One of the European Champions' League. As well as Barcelona, they will face IFK Gothenburg and Galatasaray, their conquerors last term, who beat Luxembourg's Avenir Beggen 4-0 last night in Izmir to complete a 9-1 aggregate success in the preliminary round of the European Cup. Despite being ordered by Uefa to play at least 300 kilometres from their own ground, 75,000 turned up to watch Hakan Sukur hit a hat- trick and Saffet Sancakli add the fourth in an easy win for the Turkish champions.

In Gothenburg, IFK beat Sparta Prague 2-0 in their second-leg match, with goals from Jesper Blomqvist and the former Everton midfielder, Stefan Rehn, to take the tie 2-1 on aggregate. The Swedes will be United's first Champions' League opponents, at Old Trafford on 14 September.