If the Uefa Cup is not to be taken seriously nobody told Glenn Roeder who fielded a strong Newcastle United line-up here last night as his side secured the point they needed to win Group H, although they had already qualified for the next round.
There were scares aplenty for Newcastle in a packed and noisy Commerzbank Arena with the central defender Steven Taylor and goalkeeper Shay Given in fine form. Given and some more woeful German finishing combined to see Newcastle keep their fifth clean sheet away in Europe this season.
Given insisted later: "There's no reason why we can't go all the way. We've got as good a chance as anyone, but we need to get some of our big players back."
Roeder brought in Nicky Butt, Antoine Sibierski and the striker Albert Luque from the side that beat Portsmouth at the weekend but most of the action was at the other end. Ioannis Amanatidis beat Titus Bramble in the air but the defender did well to block Naohiro Takahara's shot, and then Taylor did the same to deny Christoph Spycher from the rebound. Given then saved well with his legs from Albert Streit's 25th-minute header.
Newcastle came closest through Emre who sent a left-foot shot just wide on the stroke of half-time after a foul on Luque. The second half continued with Newcastle largely on the defensive and they should have gone behind when the tricky Japanese winger Noahiro Takahara crossed from the right and Given found himself confronted by both Amanatidis and Streit. Just how the Greek failed to head home was something of a mystery and Streit was unable to make contact as the ball flicked off the striker.
Roeder replaced Luque with Obafemi Martins and it almost paid off when the Nigerian crossed for Sibierski whose header was hacked off the line. Takahara then had a fine chance to give Eintracht hope of moving out of the group but he lobbed over the bar with just Given to beat.
Eintracht Frankfurt (4-4-2): Pröll; Vasovski, Kyrgiakos, Spycher, Rehmer (Ochs, 64); Streit, Huggel, Weissenberger, Takahara; Amanatidis (Fink, 78), Kohler. Substitutes not used: Nikolov, Cimen, Reinhard, Russ, Huber.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Given; Ramage, Bramble, Taylor, Solano; Emre, Milner, Butt, N'Zogbia; Sibierski, Luque (Martins, 59). Substitutes not used: Forster, Huntington, Pattison, Carroll, Edgar, Troisi.
Referee: P Proenca (Portugal).
* The tie between AS Nancy and Feyenoord, which AS won 3-0, was interrupted for half an hour after 80 minutes play because of crowd trouble last night. There had been disturbances in the French town earlier in the day.Reuse content