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Patrick at double, hat-trick for Alan.

Byline: By Alan Oliver

They have scored goals in some of the greatest stadiums in the world.

Yet you could hardly put the Ramat Gan Stadium in Tel Aviv in this category.

But this did not seem to matter to goalscorers of the calibre of Patrick Kluivert and Alan Shearer.

Kluivert's brace and Shearer's 350th league and cup goal of his illustrious career meant that Newcastle United had this game and the second round tie won by the interval.

Shearer ended up with the better statistics because Kluivert left the proceedings with an hour on the clock, leaving the United skipper to grab only the second hat-trick of his career in Europe.

United's goal-scoring pair has a perfect answer to Sakhnin's clogging tactics ( making them dance back to the middle to kick off again by putting the ball into their net.

And by the time goal number four came courtesy of a Shearer penalty, Sakhnin lost interest in everything but keeping the score down until Shearer completed his hat-trick in the final minute.

But Graeme Souness was happy enough at the way things had gone, and with an eye on Sunday's game at Birmingham he denied Kluivert the chance to score a hat-trick with just over an hour gone.

But with four goals in the bag there's no doubt that Kluivert was the man who saw off the Israeli League side over the two legs.

Indeed, there cannot be any doubt that Kluivert is going to be a big player in United's European campaign this season.

But he isn't the only one on the evidence of the two legs against Sakhnin as United looked to have quite a balanced side these days.

And, once again last night, Kluivert, Shearer and Craig Bellamy showed that they can play together in the same starting line-up, while Lee Bowyer and Jermaine Jenas were in commanding form as they pulled the strings in midfield.

To be fair ( and I keep saying this every week ( United have still to meet a decent side this season.

And as I said after the game against West Brom on Saturday, you can only beat what's in front of you.

Souness asked United to do a professional job in Tel Aviv and that's exactly what his side did.

Certainly to score five goals away from home is no mean feat and United will be in good heart when they head off to Birmingham City for Sunday's game at St Andrews.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2004
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