miércoles, 26 de octubre de 2011

Blackburn 4 - 3 Newcastle

Gaël Givet ended Newcastle's resistance with the winner in the 120th minute of a thrilling Carling Cup tie in which Blackburn had looked to be costing home at 2-0 up with only added time left.

Danny Guthrie and Yohan Cabaye forced Blackburn into extra time with long-range goals. Morten Gamst Pedersen restored Blackburn's lead in the 99th minute only for Peter Lovenkrands to make it 3-3 from the penalty spot six minutes later. It took a header from Givet to make it 4-3 and send stubborn Newcastle down to their first defeat of the season.

Having negotiated two and a half months unbeaten, a feat that, in all competitions, had eluded every other Premier and Football League club, Newcastle showed they were not prepared to surrender easily. Blackburn, who are rooted to the foot of the Premier League, had looked to be strolling into the quarter-finals courtesy of goals from Rubén Rochina and Yakubu Ayegbeni.

Unpopular appointments by distant owners last December, Steve Kean and Alan Pardew began with much in common. With Newcastle 16 places above Blackburn, the similarities are fewer now but both managers made five changes. Rotation gave the visitors a glimpse of imported talent with the £5m full-back Davide Santon granted a full debut and Hatem Ben Arfa making a first start since breaking his leg a year ago. Buoyed by their promising start, the optimism on Tyneside was apparent from the support in the Darwen End, outsinging, and threatening to outnumber, their hosts.

Nevertheless, the Lancastrians in the three sparsely populated stands soon had cause for cheer. Sent off at St James' Park when these two teams last convened a month ago, Martin Olsson made a different impression now. His bright break on the left wing was followed by a low cross to the penalty spot. Arriving unchecked, Rochina drilled in his fourth goal of Rovers' Carling Cup run.

Newcastle were inches from an immediate riposte. Demba Ba was Blackburn's September tormentor, opening his United account with a hat-trick, and his capacity to elude their defenders was apparent again. Rovers were reprieved as the striker's shot rebounded back off the upright. He was close 25 minutes later, sliding into the net without applying the touch to divert Danny Guthrie's cross-shot there as well.

Blackburn looked the more potent, with advances in the inside left channel. First David Goodwillie and then Rochina struck angled efforts crisply. Each was thwarted by Tim Krul, who also repelled a forceful free-kick from Pedersen.

Further evidence of tThe goalkeeper's agility was further required when the previously impressive Santon erred. His loose touch allowed Rochina to intercept and break. Seconds later, Yakubu's attempted curler was kept out by Krul.

Ben Arfa offered invention for Newcastle, darting into gaps and dribbling at defenders. Heading is not his forte, as he illustrated when looping an effort on to the roof of the net. The similarly diminutive Sylvain Marveaux then headed wide from Santon's cross before his own chip struck Olsson. Marveaux and his manager appealed for a penalty; referee Robert Madley ignored them. If Newcastle were annoyed then, they were angered shortly afterwards. First Christopher Samba tugged back Ba in one box, Madley ignoring the United entreaties, and then, as Blackburn counterattacked, Krul advanced from his goal to challenge Rochina. This time a spot kick was awarded. Yakubu converted it nonchalantly.

It relieved the pressure on Blackburn and, with the help of the contribution of Pardew's substitute Sammy Ameobi, Newcastle found the goals that pushed the match into extra time.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario