Alkmaar’s AZ beaten by Newcastle

AZ still have a chance to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup but it is a slender one. The Alkmaar club lost 4-2 away to Britain’s Newcastle yesterday. But AZ coach Louis van Gaal has not given up hope of a victory in the home leg next week. ‘We have often managed to turn games around,’ he said after the game. And indeed, AZ are known for their amazing comebacks.

But they will have to play better than last night. In the first half they were completely overrun by the powerful Newcastle side who dominated the midfield and appeared to be able to score at will.
The slim chance that AZ still have of going through to the next round came from a dubious penalty awarded in the second half. Even then AZ only managed to score from the rebound after the keeper saved midfielder Dembélè’s weak shot from the penalty spot.

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