Toon too good for Sochaux
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: 25/11/04 8:23pm
Newcastle ensured their progress in the Uefa Cup with a clinical 4-0 win over Sochaux.
The French side have been in great form in the league, but they were on the end of a drubbing thanks mainly to Newcastle's superior finishing.
Lee Bowyer gave the visitors the lead against the run of play, and Shola Ameobi doubled the lead 40 seconds into the second half - after Sochaux had piled on the pressure before the interval.
Craig Bellamy grabbed a third on the break after Sochaux had missed a penalty, and Laurent Robert fired in a wicked free kick to seal the points.
Ilan looked the liveliest player on the park early on, and he was a real handful for the visiting defence with his dangerous runs into the box.
Shay Given saved his side on 15 minutes when he flung himself to his right to claw away a superb free kick from Jeremy Menez.
Newcastle took the lead, largely against the run of play, on 28 minutes, when Bowyer scored his first goal of the season.
Ameobi did well to control a long ball down the right and as he tried to wriggle past Gregory Paisley, the ball rebounded off the Frenchman into the path of the on-rushing Bowyer who dispatched the ball with the finishing ability he displayed at Leeds.
The Magpies could have been 2-0 up minutes later when Bellamy raced on to Given's long punt down field and crossed from the right to James Milner, but the youngster volleyed the ball over from five yards.
Ilan burst into the box immediately after for Sochaux, but Given again saved his side as he stuck out his right leg to kick away the striker's shot.
Mickael Isabey was the latest to be thwarted by an inspired Given and Sochaux piled on the pressure, as the Irish keeper flicked away his attempted chip.
Menez then whipped in a low cross for Isabey that Given had no chance with, but the Sochaux man's touch was not enough to divert the ball inside the far post.
Graeme Souness will have been relieved to get to half time in front, and would have warned his side against a quick onslaught after the interval.
However, the French side never had a chance to get going as Ameobi put Newcastle 2-0 ahead after just 40 seconds of the second half.
Olivier Bernard's cross was diverted past keeper Teddy Richert by Paisley, allowing an unmarked Ameobi to slot the ball home at the far post.
Sochaux looked dead and buried, but were handed a lifeline just after the hour mark when they were awarded a dubious penalty for a tug on Ilan's shirt.
However, Jeremy Mathieu summed up their night when he dragged his penalty woefully wide with Given diving the wrong way.
Newcastle made it three on 75 minutes when substitute Kieron Dyer sent Aaron Hughes clean through on goal, but he unselfishly squared for Bellamy to slot home.
Robert came off the bench to fire in a superb free kick in the final minute to put the gloss on the result with a 4-0 victory.
Sochaux 0-4 Newcastle
| ||Sochaux||Newcastle Utd|
|Shots on target||5||6|
|Shots off target||14||3|
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