Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Three and Easy as Toon Cruise

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Three and Easy as Toon Cruise

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

Newcastle United would have been slaughtered had they not returned from Belgium without victory against part-timers Zulte-Waregem ( but in the end they did it with relative ease.

The 3-1 win means the tie is as good as over, and the only slight cause for concern for Glenn Roeder today is that it should have been by an even bigger margin.

There was no European shock in the end against the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers of Zulte, and Newcastle must be starting to think they can do the business in this competition and finally bring an end to their wretched trophy drought.

The lack of silverware becomes a heavier millstone around every Geordie's neck each year that goes by without delivering a trophy and, although the hard work is still to be done, United edged another step closer to the dream of walking out at Hampden Park for the final in Glasgow in May.

United boss Roeder must have been shaking his head in disbelief when his side walked off the field at half-time with scores level and Zulte still in the game, but the dam eventually broke at the start of the second period.

And although the Belgians did get back in it for a small fraction of the game, Antoine Sibierski's swerving run and cool finish put the lid on a comfortable win which should see Newcastle into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup.

Who they will face, of course, remains to be seen with the tie between AZ Alkmaar and Fenerbahce still to be decided following the 3-3 first-leg draw.

The stakes will be raised no matter who emerges as victors in the other tie, but it would take a minor miracle for Zulte to turn this particular tie on its head.

But although Newcastle were expected to beat the Belgians in Ghent last night, there was still plenty for Roeder to be happy about afterwards.

A sparkling performance from Kieron Dyer had the opposition on the back foot for most of the night. …

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