Newcastle United 2 Celta Vigo 1: Newcastle progress is Taylor-made

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The Independent Football

Maybe the gleaming, shaven head of Newcastle's Antoine Sibierski was a clue. Newcastle could be the Right Said Fred of the Premiership. The band have negligible success in Britain these days but do great business in Europe. For Newcastle, too, Europe is the place to make hay.

Newcastle needed a point to secure qualification for the knockout stage of the Uefa Cup and took three - the more rarefied air of a European night,once again suiting Glenn Roeder's side.

Yet Roeder found it difficult to account for Newcastle's form in Europe compared to the Premiership. "It's a mystery. We're playing exactly the same," he said. "Fenerbahce, Palermo, Celta Vigo would all do well in the Premiership. Is the Uefa Cup easier? Absolutely not. Tonight was a fantastic victory for us. Now we need to do it in the Premiership."

Newcastle's hopes did take a jolt after eight minutes. In Celta's first real attack, Fabian Canobbio slipped past Emre and from the edge of the area, the Uruguayan midfielder coolly flighted the ball past goalkeeper, Shay Given.

For the next 20 minutes Newcastle tried to fight their way back but there was little sign of an equaliser as Albert Luque struggled up front. Nicky Butt got the home side moving with a powerful run and pass to James Milner, whose cross was back-heeled away by Yao Yago at full stretch.

Newcastle were starting to find their feet and from the first high-quality cross came their 36th-minute equaliser. Milner broke down the right and neatly centred for Sibierski to head home at the far post for his his third goal in this season's competition. With anxieties eased, Titus Bramble came close to a second goal just before the break with a header from a free-kick.

Newcastle began the second half with two more promising runs from Milner and in substituting Emre for the striker Obafemi Martins with 20 minutes left, Roeder indicated he was not going to see out a draw. The spirit of adventure paid off. They maintained the upper hand and won a corner after 84 minutes. Luque sent in a crisp delivery which came across unimpeded for Steven Taylor to head home.

If Newcastle can now further follow the Right Said Fred imperative and get a little sexier in their Premiership shirts, their season could start hotting up.

Newcastle: (4-4-2): Given; Solano, Taylor, Bramble Ramage; Milner, Butt (Parker, 65), Emre (Martins, 70), N'Zogbia; Luque, Sibierski. Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Huntington, Edgar, Carroll, Troisi.

Celta Vigo: (4-5-1): Esteban; Angel, Yago Yao, Contreras, Placente; J Aspas, Iriney, Canobbio (Jorge, 86), Oubina, Nene (Lopez, 74); Baiano (Jesus Perera, 61). Substitutes not used: Pinto, Jonathan Vila, Juncal, Martino.

Referee: : D Van Egmond (Netherlands.

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