MOSCOW, March 7 (R-Sport) - Newcastle United were negative and lacked passion in their goalless Europa League draw with Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow, the Russian team’s assistant coach Zeljko Petrovic said Thursday.
Newcastle did not manage a single shot at goal until the second half of the game in Moscow, and Petrovic said the defensive showing was a sharp contrast to their usual style in domestic games.
“If they play in the Premier League, it’s more passion, more offensive than play with ten people behind the ball,” he said.
“I don’t want to criticize Newcastle, but it’s not like in the Premier League and that’s why they didn’t create many chances tonight.”
The tactics were a compliment to Anzhi’s strength, Petrovic said.
“Big respect for Anzhi because if a club or team like Newcastle come here and they play defensively like today, this means that they respect the team and this is also plus point and good image for our team,” he said.
The second leg at St. James’ Park on March 14 is likely to see both teams display more confidence, he added.
“They play more passion and more offensive and I think we can also create more chances in the away game in Newcastle,” Petrovic said.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said earlier that he had trialed a new strikerless formation because forward Papiss Cisse was ill and was happy with the results.
The first leg was played in Moscow because UEFA has banned Anzhi from hosting European games in its home region of Dagestan over security concerns.