Pre Season 2010: Newcastle United 2-2 PSV Eindhoven; Norwich City 2-4 Everton; Portsmouth 1-0 Fulham; Derby County 1-2 Birmingham City

Newcastle United 2-2 PSV Eindhoven

Newcastle United fought back from two down to draw this pre-season friendly.

Prior to the start at St. James' Park, both sides paid their respects to Sir Bobby Robson, who had managed both clubs and who passed away exactly one year ago today.

A poor first half from Newcastle saw a spirited fightback in the second to level the game at 2-2.

PSV Eindhoven took the lead early through a stunning free kick from Ole Toivonen.

Newcastle struggled to get any foothold early in the match and were later punished once again by Toivonen, whose through ball found Marcus Berg who was left one on one with Steve Harper. But just as he was about to pull the trigger Fabricio Coloccini scooped the ball away.

Newcastle continued to look outclassed in the first half by a PSV side whose season starts next week. That might go some way to explaining the difference in class and fitness during the first period.

PSV took a two-goal lead just before half-time with a superb 25-yard strike from Dzsudzsak, whose superb effort flew into the bottom left hand corner of Steve Harper’s goal.

The second half saw a number of changes from both sides and Newcastle benefited greatly from this as they pulled a goal back early through Ryan Taylor after PSV failed to clear a ball played into the box which saw Taylor capitalise and fire into the roof of the net.

Taylor indeed proved to be Newcastle’s shining light in the second half and it wasn’t long before they drew level. A free kick from just inside the PSV half was met by Leon Best who headed past a despairing Isaksson in goal.

NUFC: Steve Harper,James Perch, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini,Mike Williamson, Danny Guthrie, Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Ryan Taylor,Peter Lovenkrands, Shola Ameobi.

Subs: Andy Carroll, Xisco, Leon Best, Kazenga LuaLua, Tim Krul, Haris Vuckic, Nile Ranger, Ryan Donaldson, James Tavernier.

Norwich City 2-4 Everton

Meanwhile at Carrow Road goals were certainly not in short supply as a six-goal thriller saw Everton win 4-2, with Tim Cahill grabbing a hat-trick.

New Norwich signing John Ruddy had joined from Everton and gifted his former side the opening goal. Cahill struck the ball from inside the area straight at Ruddy who saw the ball spill through his hands and trickle over the line.

Everton went close to doubling their lead not long after through a Mikel Arteta free kick which flew just over the bar.

Everton soon got their second goal though through Cahill once again. Some neat passing between him and Arteta on the edge of the area saw Cahill finish with a show that saw Ruddy produce a great save but the rebound fell straight back to the Australian who buried it at the second invitation.

The second half saw a revitalised Norwich who pulled one back just two minutes in. Some good work from Adam Drury resulted in a cross from the left that Andrew Croft headed in from six yards out for his first goal for the club.

Drury was involved again as Norwich grabbed an equaliser. Drury’s throw released Andrew Surman who dummied Yobo inside the box and buried his right-footed show into the bottom left-hand corner.

However, Norwich’s optimism was soon quelled with Everton regaining the lead moments later. Some good passing from Everton around the Norwich box once again saw Bilyaletdinov side-foot a shot into the top corner to hand back the advantage to the Toffees.

Norwich still showed a lot more promise than in the first half, but the gulf in class between the two sides was again clear for all to see as a Phil Neville cross from the left fell to Cahill who chested the ball inside the box, cheekily chipped Paul Ruddy and finished into the open net to complete his hat-trick.

Howard, Coleman (Yobo 46), Hibbert, Distin, Baines (Saha 62), Pienaar (Rodwell 73), Cahill (Wallace 80), Neville, Arteta, Gueye(Bilyaletdinov 46), Beckford (Vaughn 73)

Portsmouth 1-0 Fulham

On the south coast, Fratton Park was host to Fulham for Linvoy Primus’ testimonial, and what better way for the veteran defender to bow out than with a 1- 0 win and a clean sheet.

The opening ten minutes were dominated by Fulham, specifically Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora, whose link-up play cut Pompey to pieces early on. The best chance fell to Bobby Zamora, whose header from a Zoltan Gera cross was cleared off the line by new Portsmouth signing Ibrhamia Sonko.

Primus made a ten-minute cameo during the first half but was then replaced by Kanu.

Against the run of play Portsmouth then took the lead. A corner from Matt Richie was met by Mark Wilson, who rose highest in the box and headed past Mark Schwarzer.

At half-time Linvoy Primus came out to thanks the fans who greeted him with thunderous applause in recognition of more than 500 appearances for the south coast club.

The second half saw Fulham again dominate possession much like the first, however Pompey again had the better of the chances, most falling to Tommy Smith who was unable to capitalise.

Mark Hughes will certainly have much to think about after this game, which he watched from the directors box.

Pompey: Ashdown; Mullins, Sonko, Wilson (c) (Gregory 60), Ritchie; Brown, Primus (Kanu 12 (Pack 74)), Hughes (Ciftci 68); Smith, Utaka (Boateng 62), Nugent (Martin 81)

Fulham: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Stoor 60), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky (Kelly 60); Duff (Dempsey 60), Murphy (c) (Greening 77), Baird (Dikgacoi 60), Davies; Gera (E.Johnson 46); Zamora (Riise 74)

Derby County 1-2 Birmingham City

At Pride Park Derby hosted Premier League side Birmingham in a friendly that saw a goalkeeping howler help the Blues to victory.

Derby took control of the game early on, passing well and keeping possession in the opening ten minutes. However Birmingham soon settled and began to enforce their top-flight class, Craig Gardner looking the better of the strikers that the Brummies employed in the first half.

Birmingham should have taken the lead through new signing Nikola Zigic. Gardner saw his low drive saved by Stephen Bywater who could only parry it out to Zigic who opted to curl the ball into the left hand side of the goal but saw it narrowly cleared by Rob Bailey.

Alex McLeish’s team soon got heir goal through on the half-hour mark. Sebastian Larsson’s corner from the right was met by David Murphy six yards out who headed the ball through a crowded box of players giving Bywater no chance.

The second goal was a gift as a back pass to Bywater carried plenty of pace which Larsson chased down. Bywater then attempted to clear but could only kick it against Larsson and see the ball fly into the net.

Gareth Roberts
pulled one back late on for Derby with a left footed strike from 25 yards which flew into the top corner.

However, Birmingham hung on to their lead and saw the game out comfortably.

Derby County: Bywater, Brayford, Roberts (Moxey 61), Leacock, Anderson, Savage, Bailey, Green (Doyle 84), Cywka (Pringle 72), Commons, Porter (Hulse 65)

Birmingham City: Foster, Murphy, Johnson, Larsson (McFadden 68), Gardner, O'Connor (Phillips 75), Ferguson, Dann, Fahey, Zigic (Jerome 68), Parnaby.

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