Fabricio Coloccini remained a notable absentee as Newcastle United rounded off their pre-season preparations with a 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach at St James’ Park.
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren said earlier this week that a decision on the club captain’s future would only be taken once Coloccini had started “training and playing”.
Yet there was no sign of Coloccini, who has been sidelined by an Achilles problem, as the hosts went down to Thorgan Hazard’s second-half strike on Saturday.
New signing Chancel Mbemba came off the bench to make his Newcastle debut, while there was also a first appearance at St James’ Park for Aleksandar Mitrovic, another recent arrival from Anderlecht.
Mitrovic should have equalised late on, but hit the post after Siem de Jong had knocked down a high ball.
There were chances at either end prior to the interval, but none clearer than the opportunity spurned by Moussa Sissoko at the beginning of the second half.
Sissoko latched on to an angled pass over the top and controlled the ball superbly before lobbing Yann Sommer with the outside of his boot. However, the ball came back off the crossbar and Papiss Cisse was unable to convert the rebound.
The visitors capitalised on the let-off to take the lead after 66 minutes. Steven Taylor was dispossessed in his own penalty area and substitute Hazard drilled home a low finish after the ball had broken to him 20 yards out.
Mitrovic was unable to take his late chance to level the score, striking the right-hand post from 12 yards with only the goalkeeper to beat.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!