Last Updated: 07/03/13 6:55pm
It was by no means a game that will live long in the memory, but this was a tremendous defensive display from Newcastle that kept an impressive clean sheet against a menacing attacking force. Hopefully the second leg will be an improvement at St James' Park, but for now the Magpies can savour this result as they look to ensure their Premier League survival.
Half chance for Taylor, as the ball falls to the Newcastle substitute in space before he wildly fires over the bar. That's probably the last chance of the game and what a result this will be for the Magpies.
Traore battles with Simpson on the byline, but the decision is a free-kick to Newcastle with the Anzhi man perplexed at the decision of the referee.
Yeschenko pulls up with cramp it appears, and is tended to by medics as play temporarily comes to a halt.
Another wonderful chance for Anzhi, as Traore tidily feeds in Eto'o, who twists and turns to create a yard to shoot but can only drive a tame shot into the arms of Elliot.
Traore and Eto'o exchange passes, but Yanga-Mbiwa and Haidara combine to snuff out the danger as Anzhi's forwards remain frustrated.
Zhirkov shows a turn of pace to advance past Simpson, but sterdy marking from the right-back sees the winger fall on the edge of the box, but a Newcastle goal-kick is the outcome.
Ameobi tangles with Ewerton, and a free-kick is given against the Newcastle striker, who have increased their attacking urgency in the last few minutes.
Another chance for Newcastle, as Marveaux ploughs forward to meet Obertan's knock-down, drawing a corner from his deflected shot.
Eto'o's venomous effort packs a punch, but fortunately for Elliot he watches it narrowly sail away from his top left corner.
As Traore lines up to shoot, Cabaye sticks a boot out and catches his opponent, with Anzhi awarded a free-kick a dangerous 25 yards from goal.
Shatov is played in by Jucilei, but once again Newcastle's sterling defence are all over the winger, with Obertain the man who'd tracked back to throw his body in the way.
Anita ambitiously takes aim from 35 yards, but credit to him, his effort is justified as he ends up inches away from finding the top corner.
A short Anzhi corner threatens to catch Newcastle off guard, but Zhirkov's interaction with Shatov is delayed, and in the end Newcastle's defence swarms in.
Sissoko carries the ball forward, playing back to Cabaye, who launches it forward up to Marvauex where Ewerton steps in to take control.
Diarra's ball into Eto'o is wonderful, but Elliot is all over it, sprinting out with urgency to beat the striker to the ball and clear it to safety.
Lovely play from Shatov sees him beat Haidara to Yanga-Mbiwa's ball, playing in Yeschenko in behind him but a heavy touch allows Perch in to make the tackle.
Cabaye carelessly concedes possession, which Anzhi reclaim through Ewerton as the hosts again look to push up the pitch.
Jucilei, who has impressed in the final third, takes aim from range but skies his shot well over the bar. Things are starting to pick up now as both teams make more attacking strides.
Great chance for Newcastle! Anita and Obertan are involved, before the deflected pass from the former presents the forward with a one-on-one, where he shoots straight at Gabulov.
From the corner, Shatov controls the ball in the air with his chest before unleashing a volley that narrowly bounces wide. The hosts are getting nearer...
Finally, a shot on goal causes Elliot to spring into action, with Eto'o's drive at the near post parried behind strongly by the Magpies keeper.
Eto'o is becoming more and more involved now, but as he plays into Shatov, Yanga-Mbiwa is again on hand to stick his nose in and clear the ball away.
Obertan hacks away the ball from the byline, after Eto'o's speculative delivery into the penalty box cannons off the outstretched leg of Haidara.
Rafee Ahmed writes: ""A very poor half from both teams expected much better from them, Eto'o has been poor since Willian went off the pitch. Hoping for some cracking goals from both sides in the second half..have a feeling Anzi will win this 3-1"
Anzhi's possession in the centre of the park is neat, but credit to Newcastle, who have Eto'o marked at all times, so when Jucilei's ball comes in, Perch is on hand to make the tackle.
A lovely change of pace from Yanga-Mbiwa drives Newcastle forward, but none of his team-mates open up to retrieve the ball and he eventually runs out of space.
Traore collides with Perch, conceding a free-kick, before Haidara aims to feed in Marveaux down the left with Yeschenko stepping in to claim back the ball.
Eto'o's corner finds only the diving head of Perch, as Anzhi resume their pressure through Traore, who can't beat Haidara and the hosts win a corner.
After some slick movement in and around Newcastle's penalty box, Traore lets rip with Yanga-Mbiwa charging the shot down.
Eto'o sits deeper to make himsefl available, and as Anzhi look to formulate a shot on goal he feed in Diarra, before the midfielder is forced away from goal.
The hosts spread play from left to right, with Jucilei eventually dispossessed by Haidara before the left-back boots the ball away.
A fairly underwhelming half comes to an end with the hosts more likely to make something happen after the break. Send your second half views to email@example.com or @JWoodfield365
Ben Arfa's effort is admirably headed clear by Traore, and from there the composed Anzhi ranks keep the ball fluidly to keep possession.
A chance here for Newcastle, as Ahmedov clips Haidara's ankles and presents the Magpies with the chance to deliver from 25 yards.
Jucilei looks for Ahmedov out wide, but applies too much pace on the ball and the winger stands no chance as it rolls out of play.
Terrific pressure from Newcastle sess Zhirkov surrounded upon retrieving the ball, and after losing out to Perch, the left-back lashes out and concedes a free-kick.
Another Anzhi corner results in a Newcatle goal-kick, but the hosts are the ones looking to make things happen right now, and by some way look the more likely to.
Anzhi continue to dominate possession, and Eto'o creates the first clear cut chance of the game with a stunning drive that sees Elliot parry over the bar.
More sweet control from Jucilei, but as he knocks the ball forward for Zhirkov, the battle is won by Newcastle who earns his side a throw-in.
Jucilei's loose pass is collected by Cabaye, but his ball into Marveaux sees Ewerton read to make the challenge, as Newcastle continue to struggle to make an impact in the final third.
Haidara cynically tugs back Yeschenko as the winger skips past him, conceding a corner 30 yards from goal. The ball comes in from the full-back, but once more Newcastle clear their lines.
Jucilei's deligtful skill takes him away from Simpson, but as Yeschenko collects the ball on the right, his delivery is cleared by Perch.
Joao Carlos sets away Eto'o, but as Traore makes an overlapping run, he is caught a yard offside as Yanga-Mbiwa steps up.
Shatov again looks for Eto'o in behind the Newcastle centre-backs, but the striker's run takes him off course and another home attack is abruptly ended.
Newcastle's short corner results in a swfit Anzhi counter, with Eto'o claiming handball against Haidara, with his protests dismissed by the referee.
Traore hauls down Cabaye as the midfielder ploughed forward, and from that free-kick, Newcastle earn a corner through Marveaux.
Yanga-Mbiwa searches for Obertan in behind Yeschenko, but the full-back marshalls his run all the way and slides in well to make the interception.
Diarra heftily goes in with Sissoko, but aligned with Cabaye, Newcastle reclam possession in midfield.
Simpson is bundled over near the byline by Zhirkov and a period of solid home pressure results in a Newcastle free-kick.
A wonderful battle between Jucilei and Sissoko sees the Anzhi midfield triumph, looking to lead his team forward before Yeschenko is caught offside.
Cabaye launches a good ball forward in search of Marveuax, with the forward eventually finding the ball, before his chip into Ben Arfa sees the offside flag raised.
Another Anzhi corner sees Perch and Sissoko make successive headers to clear away, with the Magpies penned in their own half for the time being.
Willian's delivery is met by the head of Sissoko, with the hosts starting to apply more pressure now in the final third.
A failed Newcastle move down the right results in Anzhi possession, but Haidara does well against Willian moments later to concede a corner.
Willian latches on to Yeschenko's delivery down the line, but the pace of ball eludes him and eventually rolls out for a Magpies goal-kick.
Anzhi create the first real threat of the game as Shatov breaks forward on the break, but fails to cut back the ball to Eto'o and Yanga-Mbiwa hacks away.
Obertan's strides forward nearly result in Sissoko lining up to shoot, but Ewerton reads the pass and steps in accordingly.
Shatov looks to feed in Eto'o in behind Yanga-Mbiwa, but his delivery is too pacey for the striker and Elliot collects.
Diarra rushes in on Marveuax, after some nifty footwork from the winger sees Newcastle awarded a free-kick near the touchline.
Yeschenko's pacey through ball into Willian is oddly controlled by the forward, with Shatov struggling to make up the ground to latch on to the ball as Perch makes the interception.
Shatov and Zhirkov are both hussled away from making progress down the left, with the latter forced to play back to Gabulov as a result.
The ball takes a couple of deflections, but in the end Elliot storms out to make a confident claim and thwart the Anzhi attack.
Free-kick to Anzhi as Yanga-Mbiwa clips Eto'o, with a good chance for Willian to deliver now from 25 yards.
Good work from Marveuax down the right, who tackles Ahmedov to reclaim the ball for Magpies, which is played back to defence by Ben Arfa.
Yanga-Mbiwa gets on the end of Yeschenko's ball forward, conceding a throw-in as Anzhi pick up possession in midfield.
Willian fails to control the ball, which ends up with Yanga-Mbiwa as Newcastle keep play with their defence.
Anita and Sissoko team up to take control frm Diarra, with Newcastle earning a throw-in deep in Anzhi territory as a result.
Martyn Murray writes: "I'm looking forward to this match and think the 13/8 on Anzhi to win to nil is good value. These plastic pitches need getting used to."
Newcastle are signficant outsiders with Sky Bet to establish a first-leg lead at 5/1 with Anzhi the 4/7 favourites and the draw 3/1. Alan Pardew's men are 11/8 in the to qualify market, while Anzhi have been well backed at 13/8 to win to nil, having done so in six of their seven home games in the competition this season.
Newcastle: Elliot, Simpson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Perch, Haidara, Cabaye, Anita, Ben Arfa, Marveaux, Obertan, Sissoko. Subs: Alnwick, Santon, Bigirimana, Tiote, Steven Taylor, Ameobi, Campbell.
Anzhi Makhachkala: Gabulov, Yeschenko, Joao Carlos, Ewerton, Zhirkov, Jucilei, Diarra, Ahmedov, Willian, Shatov, Eto'o. Subs: Pomazan, Gadzhibekov, Tagirbekov, Logashov, Carcela-Gonzalez, Traore, Smolov.
Birthday boy Hatem Ben Arfa is thrown straight into the heat of Europa League battle in a wintry Moscow as Newcastle attempt to take a step towards the quarter-finals. The Frenchman, who has been out of action with a torn hamstring since December 10, is one of seven changes to the side which lost 1-0 at Swansea on Saturday, with Danny Simpson, James Perch, Massadio Haidara, Vurnon Anita, Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan also getting the nod. Anzhi coach Guus Hiddink names a strong side with former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o and Brazilian Willian in his starting line-up.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to live coverage of Anzhi v Newcastle in the Europe League. The teams are in and will uploaded momentarily, if you'd like to get in touch today you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @JWoodfield365