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Mixed Night In Europa League For Premier League Sides

It was a win, lose, and draw for Newcastle United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in their respective Europa League games tonight.

Newcastle thrashed Bordeaux 3-0 at St. James Park tonight as strikers Shola Ameobi and Papiss Demba Cisse were back among the goals as Newcastle went top of their qualifying group and moved a step closer to the new year knockout stages.

Alan Pardew was naturally pleased with his sides performance saying afterwards:

‘I told them I wanted more verve, energy and ambition against a strong side and I got that,’ Pardew said.

‘The goals hurt them and gave us a platform to play well.

‘There is so much to be pleased about.’

Spurs should have won away to a very poor Panathinaikos side. Tottenham completely dominated this match and led through Michael Dawson’s flicked header 10 minutes from half-time. But Spurs wasted chance after chance, the visitors carved out umpteen openings before losing their concentration as letting the Greek side back into the game with 10 minutes to go.

No wonder Andre Villas-Boas was not happy with his sides finishing saying after the match:

‘We could have put the game to bed.’

‘We were looking for the second goal and the whole team are disappointed because we had some good chances. Lloris did not have a lot of saves to make but we weren’t able to maintain our control.

‘We had done so well in the first half and not so well in the second. It wasn’t complacency. Panathin-aikos had nothing to lose and we couldn’t keep the ball as well.’

Finally Udinese came from behind to stun Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield, a A defeat that now makes progressing from the group stages a lot more difficult for Liverpool.

For maybe the first time since taking over as Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers was critical of his teams play after the game:

‘Very frustrating,’ grumbled Rodgers. ‘We were much the better side but lost our concentration. I thought we had moved on from that. Some of our play was very good and we deserved to lead but we were so loose it was frightening. We were very poor.

‘We were lazy. That’s the easiest way to describe it. We were loose and sloppy. In that opening period of the second half, we didn’t do the dirty bit. You have to earn the right to play. We did that in the first half. But we didn’t do it in the second. We have got to defend better.’

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