Football: It was a case of what might have been for Papiss Cisse and Newcastle on a frustrating night of Europa League football.
Two goals that should have stood, but didn't, and a hat-trick of chances he should have taken but didn't, meant the hosts failed to get the win they deserved.
Yet the situation could have been worse had it not been for a couple of smart saves by Tim Krul in the Newcastle net.
"My team couldn't have played much better and I think we should have won the game," said Newcastle's frustrated manager Alan Pardew. "Both goals were goals. If you look at the replays you can see that."
After a cautious opening period, the first of the goals-that-weren't came in the 24th minute when Cisse tapped in a squared pass from Moussa Sissoko. Yet the linesman had already flagged Sissoko offside, late and without good reason.
It looked a poor decision in real time and just got worse the more it was replayed on television, as the Newcastle man was a good five yards on side.
"It's tough to take because in games like this those margins count," said Pardew.
Yet the let-off spurred on the visitors with Krul forced into saves from both Jonathan Cristaldo and Marlos. "We were defensively sound tonight," said Pardew, "and we'll take that into the second leg."
The first of Cisse's missed chances came from a corner. The visitors cleared the danger from the set piece only for Yohan Cabaye to release Cisse, who shot straight at Olexandr Goryainov.
Jonas Guttierez swapped to the left at half time as Newcastle switched to a more attacking formation and it nearly paid dividends when Davide Santon, freed of his defensive duties, found Cisse in the box. Yet again the striker found Goryainov blocking his path to goal.
With the Newcastle pressure building Cisse again had the ball in the net following a cross from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa but again it was ruled offside. This was closer call, but still the Newcastle striker looked level.
Pardew swapped Cheick Tiote for Shola Ameobi as the home side went all out for the win in the last 10 minutes. With the last attack of match Santon found Cisse at the far post, but again Goryainov was equal to the striker's header. It was the last meaningful action of the game.
"They need to come and beat us," said Pardew of the next game. "A score draw in the second leg would take us through and that's a bonus." But he knows the tie is delicately poised ahead of what will be a tough return leg next week.
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