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Newcastle 0.v.2 Rovers

Newcastle United
0 - 2
Blackburn Rovers

St. James' Park

5th May 2007. k/o 15:00



It is nothing short of incredible, but why can`t we perform like this all season? Why is it that Rovers don`t show they`re true quality until right at the end when almost everything is over?

Frustrating I hear you say and it is too true. However, we are winning and if we pull off an amazing feat of European qualification again then this will be looked on as an even better season than the last.

This side are lacking the little bit of luck needed to be a top team. Moments from an F A Cup final and inches from the quarters of the UEFA Cup. We HAVE to be playing in Europe again next season and I feel we deserve due to our efforts over this campaign with the injuries we have suffered.

Anyway, to the game. Well Mark Hughes made a single, expected change, bringing Tugay in for the injured David Dunn.

It was Rovers in the changed away strip that got things underway but in a frantic opening it was Newcastle who threatened early on and could have taken an early lead.

An excellent ball across from the elusive James Milner found Kieron Dyer but his guided header was repelled by Brad Friedel. This stirred Rovers and after David Bentley and Benni McCarthy had made a hash of a promising opening, Rovers were in front.

A whipped ball across the penalty by Stephen Warnock caught a dozy home defence out. Whereas half pushed up to play offside one didn`t, ultimately keeping McCarthy onside to volley home his 22nd goal from six-yards.

This was the spur Rovers needed to lift themselves and the majority of the first half was played out in front of Newcastle`s goal, well the majority of clear openings.

Rovers were twice denied by offside flags, first Jason Roberts after excellent play from McCarthy, who should have perhaps shot instead of passing and then David Bentley was denied after chipping the 'keeper. Bentley looked clearly onside which added to Rovers` frustration.

Morten Gamst Pedersen continued his horrendous form in front of goal when his volley was turned away by Steve Harper, deputising for the injured Shay Given.

Newcastle should have equalised just before half time but Scott Parker, when well placed skewed his shot straight at Friedel.

Rovers were firmly in control and the home faithful knew it.

The second half began with Newcastle desperately trying to pull level, well Michael Owen and James Milner, trying anyway.

Milner forced a save from Friedel with a free-kick, and Owen`s moment in an otherwise forgettable afternoon was soon to come.

It was a chance he created through his own skill and hard work. Hw spun off the shoulder of Chris Samba, who had otherwise smothered the pint sized striker, and nudged the ball beyond the advancing Friedel. All that was left was to apply the finish from a tight angle and his shot was inch perfect, complemented only by the timing and initiative of Samba, who expertly headed off the line.

This was the closest Newcastle came and after Gamst once again missed an excellent chance Rovers had the killer second, provided by one of the Premiership`s in-form strikers, Jason Roberts.

He headed home Bentley`s chipped cross after the England wannabe had jinked, twisted and spliced through the Newcastle defence.

It was another excellent and assured display and if Rovers can replicate this regularly next season then a successful campaign will ensue.

As it is European football is still very much alive, all we need to do is beat Spurs and Reading and hope for some decent results.

Star Player

It's all about Chrissy Samba this week.

Neutralised one of the world's greatest strikers, and what a clearance off the line.

Player Ratings

Friedel 7

Made some smart stops, but must be enjoying life behind this defence.

Warnock 8

Set up the first and was commited to the last with some great last ditch blocks

Emerton 7

The effort and enthusiasm is there.

Nelsen 8

A commanding God

Samba 9

Nelsen's paduan learner will soon have all the Jedi tricks of his master.

Bentley 8

Creative and menacing, surely that call up isn't far away?

Gamst 7

Missed some great chances but an important cog in the Rovers counter-attacking game.

Tugay 7

Pulled the strings.

Mokoena 7

Really starting to clean up all mess.

McCarthy 7

Took another goal well. Some questionable decisions but played through the pain barrier for the team.

Roberts 7

Another goal. Was I wrong to doubt him?

Derbyshire 6

Plenty of effort again.

Nonda 6

A few smart touches but his time at Rovers is drawing to a close with a whimper.

Gallagher 5

Little time to show anything.

Date:Sunday May 6 2007
Time: 12:09PM


we crusied through this match didn't we, Newcastle missed some early chances but we rarely had to excel ourselves did we against a pretty poor side. You always felt we would score on the counter and SHOULD have through MGP when he dragged horribly wide and HOW the linesman felt JR was offside in the second half when he raced through (before he scored his second) is beyond me, don't get me started on Bents disallowed goal, again SHOCKING officiating. I can't wait for Spurs on Thursday!
Hughes Da Man
06/05/2007 12:20:00
It would appear officating of this nature has haunted us all season. Let's just hope it evens itself out next season. Still yet to see a return for the horrendous display by the officials from the West Ham match, plus we are now oed for the goals chalked off yesterday. However, when all is said and done, this tieam does look bloody impressive and with big names still to return and possibly added we could be in for a big campaign, so long as messes Benni, Gamst, Bents, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock and Derbs all stay
06/05/2007 12:23:00
My bro was lookin on the vital chelsea site, McCarthy apparently has a 5.5 million pound release clause. Please tell me this is not true
06/05/2007 12:31:00
Rubbish sasman! Don't get sucked into Chelsea's hopeful thinking!
06/05/2007 12:32:00
I honestly hope so, plus they mentioned an interesting facct. Lets hope he does not play for South Africa as we will lose him for the African Cup. WE definitly need to purchase cover now incase he and also for Mokoena who will definitly get called up as captain. Is Sambas country competing, hope not
06/05/2007 12:37:00
We will run ALL teams (below the top four, maybe even SOME in the top four) close next season, especially if some extra players arrive. I was worried players would leave a few weeks back but now I'm CONVINCED most, maybe even ALL will stay, why wouldn't they?!?! We are going places.
Hughes Da Man
06/05/2007 14:44:00
I think you're getting a little carried away, bar an impressive last two or three weeks, you've had an average season and because of a smaller fan base (thus finance) i expect the likes of everton and tottenham pull away from your lot and bolton in the next few years
06/05/2007 19:13:00
We'll see won't we, but I think you'll be in for a surprise or two in the coming years mate, then you may well end up eating your words. Who do you follow anyway Phartman?!?!
Hughes Da Man
06/05/2007 19:22:00
A little bit of wishful thinking in my statement (being a spurs fan). I'm a bit an admirerer of Blackburns acompolishments on a limited budget but a just think the only way to get anywhere near the big 4 these days is with financial muscle and a lot of luck which is why for me spurs, villa everton etc slightly hold the edge but as you say i might choke on those next year!
06/05/2007 19:38:00
Well thanks Phartman. At the same time I may also eat mine, so fair's fair. The top four WILL take some catching but if clubs such as Rovers keep picking up the players who are good enough for these clubs but don't want to sit on the bench you never know. We'll be challenging 5th for a while to come I'm sure, and will also be challenging on the Cup fronts both at home and in Europe. I'm certain of a BRIGHT Rovers future.
Hughes Da Man
06/05/2007 19:48:00
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