Remy Cabella’s Newcastle United debut ended in disappointment as the Premier League side were beaten 3-1 by Malaga on Saturday.
Attacking midfielder Cabella – signed from Montpellier on a six-year-deal last month – made his bow in the opening game of the Schalke Cup at the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
But he was unable to inspire Alan Pardew’s below-par side, who were comfortably dispatched by a Malaga team who ran riot in a one-sided first half.
A goal from midfielder Sergi Darder and a double from teenage striker Samu Castillejo put the Liga club in complete command, before winger Gabriel Obertan pulled one back in the second half for Newcastle.
Malaga dictated play throughout the opening period, taking advantage of a disjointed Newcastle outfit that featured youngsters such as Massadio Haidara, Mehdi Abeid, Adam Armstrong and Ayoze Perez.
There was also a return for midfielder Moussa Sissoko following his World Cup exploits with France, but it was Malaga that opened the scoring in the 26th minute as Darder found the net with a fierce drive from 25 yards.
That advantage was quick doubled by Castillejo, who met right-back Jesus Gamez’s right-wing cross with a volley that went into the ground and over the head of stranded Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot.
And the game was effectively put beyond doubt two minutes before the interval, Castillejo’s swerving effort from range taking a slight deflection and flying into the top corner.
Newcastle did improve in a second half that was marred by reports of crowd trouble between their fans and supporters of West Ham, who were playing in the following game against Schalke.
Pardew’s side got their reward on the hour mark thanks to Obertan’s rasping strike into the bottom corner, the Frenchman cutting in from the left and hitting home after Yoan Gouffran’s shot from distance forced a corner.
But Newcastle rarely looked like mounting an impressive comeback and will look to bounce back when they face hosts Schalke on Sunday.