NEWCASTLE UNITED'S pre-season preparations continued with an emphatic 3-1 defeat to Spanish side Malaga in the opening game of the Schalke 04 Cup in Germany.
The Magpies conceded three first-half goals as they were distinctly second best before the interval, and while Gabriel Obertan pulled back a consolation goal, Alan Pardew's side deservedly suffered their first pre-season defeat.
Newcastle handed summer signing Remy Cabella a maiden start in a wide-left role, but fell a goal behind in the 25th minute when Sergi Darger drilled home via the post.
Malaga doubled their lead seven minutes later, with Samu Castillejo converting Jesus Gamez's cross at the back post.
And the Spaniards were at it again before the interval as Newcastle's defensive deficiencies left some gaping holes at the heart of their back four. Castellijo cut in from the left and drilled an angled drive past Rob Elliot.
Newcastle pulled a goal back midway through the second half after Obertan crashed home from distance following a well-worked short corner routine, but while the Magpies were much improved after the interval, the memories of their first-half capitulation with give Pardew food for thought as he ponders what improvements are still required in the final month of the transfer window.
NEWCASTLE: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini (Williamson 74), S Taylor, Haidara (Dummett 67); Sissoko (Aarons 46), Abeid, Colback (Anita 67), Cabella (Obertan 46); Perez (Riviere 46), Armstrong (Gouffran 46).