E Frankfurt 0 Newcastle Utd 0
Thursday November 30 2006
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 0 NEWCASTLE UTD 0
E. FRANKFURT: Proll, Vasovski, Kyrgiakos, Spycher, Rehmer (Ochs 64), Streit, Huggel, Weissenberger, Takahara, Amanatidis (Fink 78), Kohler.
Subs Not Used: Nikolov, Cimen, Reinhard, Russ, Huber.
NEWCASTLE UTD: Given, Ramage, Bramble, Taylor, Solano, Emre, Milner, Butt, N'Zogbia, Sibierski, Luque (Martins 59).
Subs Not Used: Forster, Huntington, Pattison, Carroll, Edgar, Troisi.
Newcastle only needed the one point to finish top of Group H, and they achieved it with a dogged performance, and a huge stroke of luck! It was a hard-fought match, sure enough, but the Eintracht Frankfurt strikers must openly admit, they 'couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo'.
The Magpies withstood a relentless onslaught and when the Germans managed to get past the defence, they couldn't get past goalkeeper Shay Given who pulled off some superb saves.
Charles N'Zogbia, Belozoglu Emre and Antonie Sibierski had Newcastle's best chances, but nothing like those of the home team.
In the end Frankfurt paid the price for some woeful finishing, and it was plain to see why their hopes of qualification were dashed weeks ago.
The Magpies now head into the last 32 knowing they will avoid one of the teams knocked out of the Champions League.
Shay Given pulled of a superb 25th-minute save from Albert Streit, and Steven Taylor made a series of vital blocks, as the Geordies dug in.
Greek striker Ioannis Amanatidis missed the best two chances of the game, but the Germans came close to pinching it at the death when Noahiro Takahara lobbed agonisingly over the bar with four minutes remaining.
The draw extended Newcastle's unbeaten run to six games in all competitions, and 12 in cup ties this season.
Perhaps the strangest situation was when Taylor was booked for changing his shirt and returning to the field of play without consulting the referee. Was it REALLY worth a booking? For God's sake surely a referee with an ounce of sense would have given the kid the benefit of the doubt.