12 mins Radoslav
Petrovic lost the ball in his own half and Leon Best moved it infield from the
left to Jonas Gutierrez, who in turn fed Ryan Taylor. Urged by Alan
Pardew before the game to try his luck whenever possible in front of goal,
Taylor did just that from outside the box at the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End.
And although his right foot shot was on target, it looked set to cause
Robinson's no issue as he moved towards his right hand post to post.
However, an untimely deflection from the boot of Scott Dann on the edge
of the box as he turned to face his own goal sent the ball nicely inside the
left hand post and put us one up 1-0
Half time: Rovers 0 Newcastle 1
90+3 mins A classic
counter-attack saw Gabriel Obertan pick up possession almost in the right
back position and ping the ball infield to fellow substitute Peter Lovenkrands.
The Dane played an elongated one/two with the Frenchman, who hared forward
towards goal and then dispatched a low right-footed effort beyond the advancing
Robinson's right glove. 2-0
Full time: Rovers 0 Newcastle 2
Alan Pardew said:
"To get a clean sheet is a fantastic achievement, To get two goals
on top of that has put us fifth in the division and above teams like Arsenal
"You need the breaks – a deflected goal and a little bit of luck with
the chances that Blackburn had. You need that at times. We got it tonight
and perhaps we deserved it. We put our bodies on the line.
"With the loss of (Yohan) Cabaye this morning and so many key
players out, I think we knew coming here it was going to be very difficult.
"We talked about it before the start of the game, to be resilient and
strong. Blackburn put everything in your box. We had to be strong and we
were, but we had some fortune in the game, something I didn't think we got
at Brighton, and sometimes that can make a difference.
"I am disappointed, especially with everybody saying they don't think
there's any intent in there and the FA still decide to (ban him).
"Papiss and Demba come back tomorrow and we have done brilliant while
they have been away. When the guys went everyone thought it would be
difficult for us. We have had two big, big victories without them against
QPR and this one tonight. Those results have been about resolve, resilience
"We can now attack the second half
of the season, we find ourselves fifth. It is incredible really. We are safe
as well. That's a big barrier that we have overcome. We shouldn't get away
from that, to get that under our belt first is great, now with the games we
have left we have to see what we can do.
"We had 80 balls into the box and
we knew Tim, and all of the players, would have to be strong. I felt we were
fortunate, which we weren't at Brighton last Saturday.
"I am really pleased for Gabriel
too. He was a massive part of that 13 game unbeaten run we had at the start
of the season and he has had to wait for his chance again. He took his goal
"His body language and his whole demeanour on the pitch suggested
confidence. It was no surprise to me when he saved the penalty."
"I felt we didn’t
really start the game well, but after the deflected goal we controlled the last
30 minutes of first half. So in that respect we were happy, but we just felt we
snatched at chances and didn’t show enough composure in front of goal.
"It’s a shot that may be on target
and Scott’s thrown his leg at it. The penalty is tough, David’s disappointed
but he showed enough character to take it. The keeper had a lot of good saves,
so I wouldn’t blame my players at all.
"We’ve controlled the game - the boys
are gutted, they are thinking ‘how did we not get a point’, but we didn’t
and we’ve got to pick the bones out of it and go and get something out of the
had enough chances and clear cut chances to win three games never mind one. I
felt we did not start the game well but after the deflected goal we controlled
the first half. I would not be surprised if we had more than double the amount
of shots than Newcastle had.
“The performance level we were happy but I
felt we snatched at a few chances and did not show enough composure in front of
“I would not blame my players at all. I
thought we had a real good go at it and if we can get that type of performance
against a team like Newcastle then we will win enough games in the rest of the
“We are normally composed and we normally
score. We usually have the Yak up front and he does not get over excited easily.
He is normally calm and clinical.”
“I think Anthony (Modeste) did
really well on his debut and was probably unlucky not to get a goal on his
debut. He had enough chances maybe to get a hat trick. Each time the ball fell
to him and it never happened, he was trying a bit too hard but I think he showed
enough to suggest he is going to add something to our squad.
“Anthony never knew until the last minute
he was playing, with Goodwillie having flu, so maybe he got a bit excited but it
wasn’t only him. We missed other chances as well."
completed their first double of the season and also beat Rovers
at SJP in an FA Cup tie, failing to complete a 100% sweep by losing a
League Cup tie at Ewood.
Gabriel Obertan scored his
first goal for Newcastle during what was his 22nd appearance. That
effort was first ever strike in the Premier League, with the
Frenchman's only goal during his 28 outings for Manchester United -
during a Champions League victory in Turkey.
Obertan became the 101st Newcastle player to score for us in
the Premier League.
Danny Simpson made the 100th senior start of his
Newcastle career and also reached his century of appearances in all
competitions (in other words, he's never come on as a substitute).
United recorded a fifth Premier
League away win of the season (mackems, Wolves, Stoke, Bolton
& Blackburn). That matches the total of the whole of the 2010/11
season (Everton, West Ham, Arsenal, Wigan, Birmingham City)
The fourth Premier League goal
this season scored by an opposition player means that own
goals now join Leon Best as joint second top scorer behind Demba
Tim Krul faced his eighth
spot kick of the season in the Premier League and saved his second
one (having previously defied Chelsea's Frank Lampard at SJP).
Rovers v United - Premier League
2011/12: Won 2-0 og(Dann), Obertan
2011/12: Lost 3-4 Guthrie, Cabaye, Lovenkrands (LC)
2010/11: Drew 0-0
2008/09: Lost 0-3
2007/08: Lost 1-3 Martins
2006/07: Won 3-1 Martins 2, S.Taylor
2005/06: Won 3-0 Shearer, Owen, N'Zogbia
2004/05: Drew 2-2 Dyer, Robert
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Bellamy
2002/03: Lost 2-5 Shearer 2
2001/02: Drew 2-2 Shearer 2
1999/00: Won 2-1 Shearer 2 (FAC)
1998/99: Won 1-0 Saha (FAC)
1998/99: Drew 0-0
1997/98: Lost 0-1
1996/97: Lost 0-1
1995/96: Lost 1-2 Batty
1994/95: Lost 0-1
1994/95: Won 2-1 Hottiger, Clark (FAC)
1993/94: Lost 0-1
United were forced to do without Yohan Cabaye after the United
midfielder failed in his appeal against an FA charge of violent
conduct earlier in the day. That landed him with a three match ban,
following an incident in Saturday's cup tie at Brighton.
record against Rovers:
Wherever Lady Luck had disappeared to during
Saturday's defeat at Brighton, she returned to guide us to victory at a chilly
Ewood Park as Newcastle moved up to fifth in the Premier League, despite one of
their less illustrious performances of the season.
This time it was United who enjoyed the
benefit of a deflected goal to give them an early lead that they would
somehow protect until the end of normal time, compounding the home side's misery
by grabbing a breakaway second in time added on.
Rovers had netted six times in our previous three league and cup meetings this
season and looked set to continue in that vein despite the absence of Yakubu in
their forward line. However Steve Kean's side were hindered by a combination of
their own inaccuracy and United's defensive prowess.
Principal in that was the returning Fabricio
Coloccini, who posted the sort of confident and sure-footed display that has
become his hallmark - and by appearing on the field immediately boosted the
confidence and performance levels of Mike Williamson (trying to make sense of
the Fulham debacle, perhaps Coloccini was carrying an injury and unsuccessfully
tried to play through?)
Tim Krul meanwhile earned his pay several times over, saving a David Dunn penalty just
before half-time after Danny Simpson was penalised for a clumsy challenge
on Anthony Modeste. Simpson had earlier cleared off the line
when Gael Givet volleyed Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner goalwards and then
poked the rebound wide. Givet also crucially got in the way of Pedersen
when Krul's penalty save looked likely to be turned in - at that point it
was starting to look like our night.
James Perch replaced the out-of-touch Hatem Ben Arfa
at half time to make our overrun midfield a bit more solid and it worked
to a point but it was still Rovers who looked most likely to score, as
Newcastle barely got within shouting distance of the away fans behind Robinson's
Modeste was presented with his second open goal of the evening when Krul made a rash charge off his line but
this time his attempted lob was weak, as opposed to the first half chance
that he fired over. Substitute Mauro Formica then should have equalised but put his effort
into the side-netting when a deflected shot fell to his feet ten yards
Dann headed weakly from close range and
Perch blocked a Givet shot after Krul hadn't cleared a corner as United
hung onto the lead and then Modeste struck a firm volley straight at Krul.
Into the closing stages and the militant set of home fans in the Darwen End
lower began to increase the volume of their "get out of our club" type
chants and a couple of banners then appeared (Toon followers had been warned
before the game that attempts by Rovers malcontents to get anti Venkys/Kean
banners displayed in the away end would see them refused entry).
At that point Gabriel Obertan then entered the fray to kick-start his Newcastle
career with a maiden strike and seal the victory that partly avenged successive
failures at Fulham and Brighton to send us back to Tyneside with more than the
optimism that a returning Demba Ba and his new pal Papiss could solely provide.
In a season where we're learning to expect the unexpected, United's forward
momentum resumed here despite the continuing absence of Cheick Tiote and perhaps
even partly because of the enforced absence of Yohan Cabaye. The latter has
shown signs of becoming a little frayed at the edges in recent weeks and while
not ideal, the enforced absence due to suspension may provide an opportunity to
absorb and reflect on his time in toon so far - and come back suitably
To receive our top scorer back into the side having taken six points out of nine
and improved on our league position by two places is genuinely eyebrow-raising.
And in terms of the mood compared to a year and a day previously when the
post-Carroll era began with the meekest of defeats at Fulham, it's almost
diametrically opposed - with little boosts coming from unexpected quarters when
we're in need, such as Best's nimble footwork against QPR, Obertan's goal here
and back to back displays that rank along James Perch's best in a black and
Having spent countless afternoons and evenings in places like this flattering to
deceive and snatching defeats from the jaws of victory with progressive but
flawed performances, we're more than happy to take any "winning ugly"
jibes - and the three points.
While the rest of the country remains obsessed with the tribulations of clubs in
Manchester and London, the story on Tyneside continues to unfold in engrossing
fashion. Quite where this season will end remains to be seen, but holding on to
our prize assets and adding to them in the form of Cisse is a damn sight better
than plucking Shefki Kuqi from the scrap heap - even if our failure to acquire
defensive cover could yet be a costly miscalculation. Watch this space.