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Diabaté double ensures Bordeaux top Newcastle

Thursday 6 December 2012 21.01 CET
Bordeaux celebrate scoring

Cheick Diabaté scored both goals as FC Girondins de Bordeaux secured UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw seeding as Group D winners with a 2-0 defeat of runners-up Newcastle United FC.

Both teams were already through, but Newcastle could have pipped Bordeaux to top spot for the 20 December draw with victory in south-west France. However, Diabaté added to a 29th-minute headed opener with a coolly taken second late on to ensure that Bordeaux ended with a four-point cushion.

Given snow had delayed them for five hours at Newcastle airport, it was perhaps no surprise that the visitors took their time to get going. Bordeaux, by contrast, made a flying start with only a brilliant one-handed reflex stop from Rob Elliot halting Henri Saivet's close-range effort. The Newcastle goalkeeper probably welcomed the fierce Fahid ben Khalfallah drive which followed soon after as it again warmed his palms on a chilly evening.

Elliot then prevented David Bellion capping a delightfully worked move with the opening goal, though he would surely have been beaten had Diabaté connected cleanly with his follow-up. The Malian international did not take long to make amends, however. When Ben Khalfallah sent a cross arcing towards the back post, Diabaté met the ball sweetly, aiming a deft header into the bottom corner.

Disjointed in the first half, Newcastle's unfamiliar lineup found some cohesion after the break. Shola Ameobi prodded wide after reaching Nile Ranger's flick-on, before then connecting with Gael Bigirimana's searching ball from the right to bring an excellent stop from Kevin Olimpa.

Though also sporting a less-than-habitual starting XI, Bordeaux continued to be the more attractive side on show, and Grégory Sertic's beautifully struck drive, which grazed an upright, merely added to the hosts' lustre. The gloss came, though, from Diabaté, who strode clear of Williamson before measuring a shot underneath Elliot.

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