Yohan Cabaye helps Newcastle finally find their Europa League feet with victory over Bordeaux

Newcastle United 3 Bordeaux 0

St James' Park

The first statement of the season; emphatic, comfortable and dominant. Newcastle United have waited since August for their campaign to ignite. Only time will tell if it started with a well-constructed victory over a side who had not lost in their last 17 games in all competitions, but when Alan Pardew punched the air to celebrate his team's third goal, from the foot of the out-of-sorts Papiss Cissé, it felt like a gear change.

It felt like a football club had woken to the challenge of the current campaign, one that presents itself with Manchester United and Sunderland as their next opponents. Those two games will go some way to defining the entire campaign, as they did last season.

There had been a need for a forming of momentum, and Pardew got that last night. Bordeaux had beaten Club Brugge 4-0 in their opening group D game. They were never allowed to express themselves in anything like that fashion, a chance spurned by the Polish forward Ludovic Obraniak as much as they would create. That was in the sixth minute. Their belief drained, a 17-match unbeaten run that stretched back to April, not enough to provide a severe test, as Pardew turned to his big players – Yohan Cabaye, Cissé and Cheick Tiote – to spark a season. He felt that, and much more, had been achieved.

"There is so much to be pleased about," he said. "We didn't have to work as hard as I thought we would. We didn't want a helter-skelter game with Manchester United here in two days' time.

"I was just pleased with the way we approached the game, I was pleased with the way we saw the game out. You can see we've worked on our control of the game.

"I've been critical, more so in the dressing room than in the press, about our performances. I wanted us to play with more verve, energy and ambition, and we did that. Tactically and the work of the team and our energy needed to improve to the standards we set last year. We set ourselves standards last year that we have not reached until tonight in my opinion. This place will be rocking on Sunday on the back of this performance.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

"They are a strong side. The goals hurt them and gave us a platform to play as well as we did."

The real platform was Cabaye, who had admitted during the week that playing his first major summer tournament (the European Championship) had affected his season to date (and therefore Newcastle's).

There was no sign of that last night as he returned to orchestrating his English team. He had already shot narrowly wide twice before he found his passing range with stunning effect, picking out team-mate Gabriel Obertan 50 yards away with a diagonal pass that dissected Bordeaux. Obertan produced fine skill down the Newcastle left, drilled a low cross into the six area and from inside there, Shola Ameobi scored his 13th goal in European competition for the club.

A second would arrive four minutes before the interval when Danny Simpson crossed and Henrique, the Bordeaux defender struck his clearance into his own goal. There was more purpose to Newcastle's third, which came four minutes after the interval, when Shane Ferguson crossed deep from the left and Cissé's first-time shot went in off a post.

"We came up against the better side," said Francis Gillot. "That was clear in terms of finishing. Every time they had a chance they put it in the back of the net."

Newcastle have now not lost at home in European competition for 21 games. That, along with the possibility their season is waking up, threatens to make the Europa League interesting.

Man of match Cabaye.

Match rating 7/10.

Referee A M Lahoz (Sp).

Attendance 30,987.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions