35 mins Morten Gamst Pedersen sent over a flag
kick from the Strawberry corner, with Grant Hanley beating Coloccini to the
ball and heading it back across goal. Tim Krul leapt to his right and
prevented it sneaking inside the near post but palmed it on to the chest of
Half time: United 0 Rovers 0
The former Dundee United striker had the simplest of tasks to poke the ball
into the unguarded net from point blank range, having scored a similar goal
against Stoke last Monday.0-1
mins The bare facts: Hatem Ben Arfa took possession of the
ball on the right hand side of the pitch, level with the edge of the centre
circle nearest the Gallowgate End goal. Nine and a half seconds and fourteen
touches of the ball later, he blasted a left foot shot from four yards into
the roof of the net. Simply a goal in a million. 1-1
94 mins With four minutes of added time played, Jonas Gutierrez motored
forward down the left channel into the Rovers box,
exchanged passes with Leon Best and found the bottom corner with a delicate
left-footed chip over Bunn.
mask made a return (for which he was booked) and Ryan Taylor found time to
chuck it towards a fan. Rovers barely had time to
kick off again before the whistle blew 2-1
Full time: United 2 Rovers 1
Alan Pardew commented:
"In our stadium 30,000 doesn't feel a lot
so there was no electricity. Bless the hearts of our fans though. They are
paying out for game after game and some of them simply could not afford to be
"I've tried to explain to our French-speaking players what being in the hat
for the fourth round means. Perhaps it's my French but it seems to have gone
over their heads.
On the winner:
"I didnít even see the second goal Ė everyone was jumping up and down
Ė I just saw it plop in the net. He deserved that goal, because I think he had
a little dip, if Iím honest, three or four weeks ago. Heís been outstanding.
Heís got back to his best in the last two or three games. Heís a big bonus
"Davide and Jonas were brilliant in the second half - I donít think thereís
many teams that can cope with them coming down that side, and their energy. They
did it against Man United, and they did it again. I was really, really pleased.
On Ben Arfa's goal:
"It's the greatest goal, in my opinion, I have ever seen with my
eyes because just the technical part of it - to beat six players, to skip
past people, left-foot, right-foot, cut-back, accelerate, everything that
was involved in it, it was an unbelievable goal. I am absolutely chuffed for
"I didn't have to clear the air with him (Ben Arfa). His
comments this week, I read them and I thought they were spot on. He
understands that this is a big agenda for him - he needs to do well here. At
some other clubs, it hasn't gone so well and he is doing everything in his
power to make it happen here, and that's good for us.
"He's had situations in France where his talent hasn't come to the fore
as much as it should have, perhaps, and then he has had a terrible injury
"He knows this is a great opportunity at this football club. He
probably feels that he could play for France, and I know the French
Federation look at him very closely. Is he going to emerge because he has
got the talent that he showed today? We are all hoping he does, of
Steve Kean said:
"I think the way we played in
the first half, we certainly deserved to be up and on reflection maybe we
deserved to be up by more than one goal. Steven Nzonzi and Petrovic really got
tight to Newcastle's midfield two and stopped them from dictating play We are
disappointed we never saw the game out and at least forced a replay.
"It took two very good goals on their
behalf but when you get that late in a game you feel you have done enough to
earn a replay. We wanted to get through. Everyone can see that by the way we
played in the first half - and we were really disappointed we didn't score more
goals in the first half.
"We have players coming back from
injury now though and there is going to be real competition for places come the
vist of Fulham next weekend."
Mehdi Abeid played his second
senior game for the club and made both his FA Cup debut and bow at SJP.
His first was the 4-3 victory at Forest in the Carling Cup, also
settled by a late winner from an Argentinean....
In addition to Abeid, Gabriel Obertan, Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye,
Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling all made their FA Cup debuts
for the club.
Newcastle goal number nine for Jonas Gutierrez - but his
first in any cup competition.
Hatem Ben Arfa scored his third Newcastle goal and the first on
home soil. He also became the fourth Frenchman to find the net in this
competition for the club:
1998/99 Louis Saha v Blackburn (a)
1999/00 Didier Domi v Tranmere (a)
2002/03 Laurent Robert v Arsenal (h)
2003/04 Laurent Robert v Liverpool (a)
2011/12 Hatem Ben Arfa v Blackburn (h)
Third Round Record - last 20 years:
2011/12 Blackburn Rovers (h) won 2-1
2010/11 Stevenage (a) lost 1-3
2009/10 Plymouth Argyle (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
2008/09 Hull City (a) drew 0-0 (lost replay)
2007/08 Stoke City (a) drew 0-0 (won replay)
2006/07 Birmingham City (a) drew 2-2 (lost replay)
2005/06 Mansfield Town (h) won 1-0
2004/05 Yeading (a) won 2-0
2003/04 Southampton (a) won 3-0
2002/03 Wolves (a) lost 2-3
2001/02 Crystal Palace (h) won 2-0
2000/01 Aston Villa (h) drew 1-1 (lost replay)
1999/00 Spurs (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1998/99 Crystal Palace (h) won 2-1
1997/98 Everton (a) won 1-0
1996/97 Charlton (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1995/96 Chelsea (a) drew 1-1 (lost replay on pens)
1994/95 Blackburn (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1993/94 Coventry City (h) won 2-0
1992/93 Port Vale (h) won 4-0
Rovers @ SJP - Premier League era:
2011/12 Won 2-1 Ben Arfa,
2011/12 Won 3-1 Ba 3
2010/11 Lost 1-2 Carroll
2008/09 Lost 1-2 Owen (pen)
2007/08 Lost 0-1
2006/07 Lost 0-2
2005/06 Lost 0-1
2004/05 Won 3-0 og, Shearer, O'Brien (2-0)
2003/04 Lost 0-1 (0-0)
2002/03 Won 5-1 Solano, Robert, og, Jenas, Bellamy
2001/02 Won 2-1 Bernard, Speed
1998/99 Drew 0-0 (FAC)
1998/99 Drew 1-1 Shearer (lost 4-2 on pens) (LC)
1998/99 Drew 1-1 Hamann
1997/98 Drew 1-1 Gillespie
1996/97 Won 2-1 Shearer, Ferdinand
1995/96 Won 1-0 Lee
1994/95 Drew 1-1 Lee (FAC)
1994/95 Drew 1-1 og(Flowers)
1993/94 Drew 1-1 Cole
record against Rovers:
Only those with excellent memory or a recent acquaintance with that season via
the peerless "Ultimate Record" book will recall that three days
after the memorable 5-0 win over Manchester United here in 1996, we returned to
face Oldham Athletic in what was then the Coca Cola Cup.
And although another capacity 36,000+ crowd were in attendance, the expression
"after the Lord Mayors show" was never more fitting, as an instantly
forgettable fixture was settled by a Peter Beardsley penalty and the Magpies
took their place in the draw for the next round.
With messrs Tiote and Ba having departed on the back of keynote performances in
midweek, Gallic trio Mehdi Abeid, Gabriel Obertan and Hatem Ben Arfa plus Leon
Best were added
to the mix as Ryan Taylor and Shola reverted to bench duty.
For much of today's cup tie a similar sense of unfulfilled expectation was
evident, with United's brisk start but failure to score against a timid-looking
Rovers side distinctly underwhelming and doing nothing to charge an atmosphere
more reminiscent of a pre-season kickabout than an FA Cup tie.
Not that Blackburn were to be taken lightly though: perennial nuisance Pedersen
was in their lineup and recent eye-catching results at Anfield and Old Trafford
demanded a semblance of consideration if not respect - and that's without
mentioning our galling Carling Cup loss at Ewood last October.
However it's fair to say that Steve Kean's first priority isn't this
competition - a fact exemplified by the failure of Yakubu to appear off the
bench throughout the afternoon. Despite his absence though, Rovers held United
at bay before we fell to a classic
sucker punch that saw the home side exit for their half time cuppa to some mild
booing - short memories, some folks.
Alan Pardew commented on a lack of electricity in the stadium and didn't bother
to try and urge those present into making a noise, but at times it was
difficult to discern any noticeable pulse, with Lancashire malcontents choosing
not to travel to the North East - meaning our fanciful notions of a "Pune
Mafia OUT" banner appearing were misplaced.
The chances continued to pile up, with Mike Williamson apparently anxious to
atone for the OG that began our FA Cup demise at Stevenage a year ago. The
defender came close on three occasions to notching his first goal in our
colours - the a curling first half shot that like similar efforts from Yohan
Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez ended up in the partially populated Leazes End.
The second and third meanwhile were headers; one striking the crossbar and the
other momentarily looking to catch Bunn flat-footed before he recovered. By
then though United had pulled level in the most spectacular of circumstances,
with yet another potential Toon goal of the
The difference had been the introduction of Shola Ameobi - although he'd been
guilty of a glaring miss after Cabaye played him in for a clear shot on goal,
only to see the ball travel high and wide of the goal. His appearance had
allowed United to revert to a 4-4-2 formation and that crucially put another
body alongside Leon Best for Rovers to keep tabs on.
Ben Arfa's previous role having seen us end up with a five man midfield that at
times was made even more congested by the foraging of both full backs. But
having gone on the record to claim that the Frenchman would only ever occupy a
central striking role at this club for him, the pragmatic Pardew dragged him
out towards the right flank to compensate for withdrawing Obertan.
For a while the signs weren't promising, with our attacking efforts going on
around him. But Hatem had a trick up his sleeve and unveiled a sensational leveller
strongly reminiscent of Mark
McGhee's memorable effort against Bradford City at the other of the ground back
in October 1989.
But with an unwanted second midweek trip to Ewood Park within three weeks (and
a third of the season) seemingly looming large, Jonas popped up to take on a
crucial flick from the otherwise below-par Best and put us into the Fourth
Just time to to mention that our last two FA Cup wins over Rovers have ended at
Wembley Stadium, which is in tube Zone 4. There, that should be enough to put
the mockers on us....