Steve Harper felt home was crucial to Newcastle United FC’s 3-0 win against FC Girondins de Bordeaux, who are already “fighting for second place” according to Marc Planus.
Newcastle United FC marked their 100th game in UEFA club competition with a 3-0 victory over FC Girondins de Bordeaux in UEFA Europa League Group D, giving a performance that delighted Toon stalwart Steve Harper and battling midfielder Cheick Tioté. The Newcastle duo both cited home advantage as a major factor in their impressive win while their Bordeaux counterparts, Marc Planus and Mathieu Chalmé, believed that Les Marine et Blancs are already fighting for second place.
Steve Harper, Newcastle goalkeeper
I think Bordeaux are a quality side and we’ve done well tonight. It was end-to-end stuff, which is not what you want, but the manager made a little tactical change and it paid off. The first goal was very important tonight, because they started off making things difficult for us, and then the own goal – with a brilliant cross from Danny Simpson – gave us a little bit of breathing room.
Whenever we play here if we get a couple of goals up, we’re going downhill and we fancy our chances. It’s fantastic [having the European nights back at St James' Park], they are really special nights.
Hopefully we can kick on now and make our mark on this group. If you pick up a point away, and keep getting the three points at home, then you’ll do well in the group. That’s what we’ve done.
Cheick Tioté, Newcastle midfielder
The match went well. We played really well as a team today, and when we are together we are difficult to beat. The manager told us that we had to give everything to get a win today and that’s what we did. Everyone is happy now. It was an important step for us in the group – you have to do well in your home games if you want to advance in these competitions. With the help of the fans, we did that. I think we have a big chance now to finish first in the group. We are in a good position.
Marc Planus, Bordeaux defender
We faced a Newcastle team that was really clinical in the first half and better than us in the second half, but we could’ve done better here. I’m convinced that if we had been more clinical, we could have got something more, but it’s difficult when you concede so many goals early.
Tonight, they taught us a lesson but I’m sure we can do better against them in the second game.
We need to get points [against CS Marítimo]. We absolutely need to come back with something from there if we don’t want to have problems in this group. We started well, but apparently Brugge have won, so everyone will start from scratch. Two teams are going to have three points to fight for second place because I think Newcastle will finish first. In any case, we’ll have to fight for second place.
Mathieu Chalme, Bordeaux defender
We were mediocre. We were equal to them in the first half but they went back to the changing room with two goals so it was difficult for us. In the second half, they were better than us. It’s a pity that we couldn’t score in the first half to make it tighter.
We’ll need to win [against Marítimo]. We knew that Newcastle and us were favourites. It wasn’t the most important UEFA match but we came here to get a good result and we didn’t get it. Now we’ll need to beat everyone else who wants to qualify for second place and stay in front.