It was one of the best Carling Cup ties ever, that had the crowd and watching TV audience gripped for the full 96 minutes the game lasted last night.
Shola Ameobi – mobbed by team mates after putting Newcastle 3-1 up
And it started badly for Newcastle after just 6 minutes, with Campbell and Krul bumping into each other on a cross, that led to Patrick van Aanholt hitting the ball home – with his right foot.
But Newcastle came straight back into the game with their usual never-say-die attitude – and by half time were the better side and were also 2-1 up with goals from the impressive Nile Ranger and another terrific free kick from Ryan Taylor.
The surprising score-line at half time would have caused Newcastle fans to wonder if the lads could hang on – but then Ameobi scored to put Newcastle 3-1 up after 49 minutes.
And then fortune favored Newcastle when Chelsea were reduced to 10 men when Yossi Benayoun was injured and no more subs were left, and the gods may have been against Chelsea.
But the London side did very well to get back to 3-3 with 6 minutes to go, after they converted a penalty, and of course that’s why they are Champions.
But the penalty given by referee Phil Dowd, verges on the complete ridiculous, and Alex should go into the acting profession once he hangs up his boots – because he should have a great future in films after the acting performance he gave for the penalty – he should have in fact received a yellow card for simulation.
And when all expected the game to go to extra time, it was Shola Ameobi who popped up to head home perfectly from a terrific Jonas Gutierrez corner, and the lads had won – but only after 6 minutes of added time.
The heroes for Newcastle were all over the field and 19 year-olds Ferguson, Ranger and Vuckic played the whole game – and they will be better players for the experience.
Tim Krul made many important stops after his joint mess-up with Sol Campbell so early in the game, but after that Sol always looked cool and calm at the back – and in his first start for Newcastle he orchestrated a famous victory that will be discussed for many a season on Tyneside.
Ryan Taylor again scored a great goal and Shola Ameobi was often unplayable last night – he had one of those nights where he looked so very very good. Other players worked their socks off for the cause, with Collocini and Williamson playing their part and captain Alan Smith fighting for the ball continually.
This was basically the second team in action, and they will have signalled to the first-teamers on the bench that their positions as starters are hardly cast in stone, and let no player who started on Saturday at Everton ever think their place is safe with this much improved squad Newcastle have built under Chris Hughton.
The team must put in another good performance for the home fans on Sunday afternoon against Stoke City, especially after the terrible Blackpool result last time out at home – and hopefully that will be in front of a full house at St. James’ Park.
The lads have really earned that support, with their two successive wins – the first time in 9 years the team won at Evertotn – and the first time in 24 years the lads won at Stamford Bridge.
But hey – no slip-ups on Sunday – please.
Comments always welcome.