Newcastle went down to defeat again at Ewood Park this afternoon against Blackburn Rovers, but not before a gutsy fighting display in the second half, where they had no luck, and plainly went all out for the win.
Oba Martins – scored Newcastle’s goal after 47 minutes with a header
After a good steady first half performance Newcastle were quite well positioned at the start of the second half, and then after 47 minutes Martins opened the scoring for Newcastle with a nice header form a Geremi free kick. It was obvious they had been given directions by manager Sam Allardyce to attack and go for the win.
As soon as they scored the Newcastle players were pouring forward. But then only 7 minutes after going ahead, Carr was unlucky to give away a free kick away on the edge of the box, as it was hardly a foul. But from the free kick young Bentley expertly put the ball over the wall into Given’s top left hand corner as Given could only look on â€“ and Blackburn were level.
The first half has been very steady play by both sides, with Blackburn having the two best chances. Newcastle were quite solid in the first half and were picking up the loose balls and certainly looked much better organized than last week.
Blackburnâ€™s best chance came after 15 minutes when Santa Cruz found himself straight through in the center, but then put a weak shot past Givenâ€™s right hand post. The Paraguay International should have done better, and it was a let-off for Newcastle.
Faye seemed to have a knee problem after 24 minutes and had to be replaced with Stephen Carr coming on at right back for his first appearance since late August. Habib Beye was switched to center-back with Rozehnal.
Just before the break Shay Given came out of his box and passed the ball out this his left, but Newcastle lost possession and Bentley seemed to have a free shot on goal. However he put the ball wide of Newcastleâ€™s right hand post, when it looked easier to score, as Given scrambled back. It was the second let-off for Newcastle and some poor defending by the Magpies.
Then with the scores still level at 1-1, after 56 minutes, it looked certain Barton would score but he couldn’t force the ball home from 5 yards, and Blackburn made an amazing escape when Newcastle really should have gone 2-1 up.
In the second half both teams were going for the win and it was end to end action and the question was which team would crack first. After 66 minutes Martins had a free header from 6 yards out but in trying to put the ball over Friedel’s head he managed to also put the ball over the bar. Oba should have scored.
After 67 minutes Newcastle were caught short at the back and Bentley put the ball in off a post to put Blackburn ahead 2-1.
Newcastle poured forward again and again, and after 73 minutes were again caught short at the back yet again as Emerton hit a post. From the ensuing melee Geremi made a great stop and then Given blocked another shot as Newcastle somehow kept the score at 2-1. It was an amazing let-off for Newcastle, but luck was on the side of the brave.
After 79 minutes Emerton clearly handled in the box as Milner challenged and Milner appealed for the penalty. But the referee didn’t give it although replays clearly showed Emerton handled the ball intentionally.Â It should have been a penalty.
But it was almost inevitable that Blackburn would get a third goal as Newcastle looked for the equalizer, and just before the end Blackburn went through and scored their third goal though Tugay, as Newcastle were desperately looking to get a second goal..
3-1 was hardly a fair reflection on the play but Newcastle had chances to score which they didn’t take, and the team who won were the team that took their chances. To say Newcastle had not luck in this game is an understatement, and Sam Allardyce looked a beaten and exhausted man at the end.
But Sam can be pvery roud of his troops today. They gave everything for the Newcastle cause, and lack of effort cannot be cited for the defeat today. The players played their hearts out for the team, but it just wasn’t going to be their day.
We hope the Newcastle fans will turn out in force on Wednesday night to cheer the lads on against Arsenal. Because of this fighting display – the players deserve the support.
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Friedel (c), Emerton, Ooijer, Samba, Warnock, Bentley, Tugay, Mokoena, Dunn, McCarthy, Santa Cruz.
Subs: Brown (GK), Savage, Pedersen, Reid, Roberts.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Given, Rozenhal, Barton, Martins, N’Zogbia, Milner, Smith, Geremi (c), Beye, Butt, Faye.
Subs: Harper (GK), Carr, Enrique, Emre, Viduka.
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