A picture book goal at the end of an intricate series of passes. Robert's
early cross from the left flank was met perfectly by Kluivert who
headed strongly home at the Leazes end for his first goal of 2005. 1-0
Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0
Full time: Newcastle 1 Chelsea 0
“We enjoyed the
luck we had today. Regardless of the circumstances we’ll enjoy being in
the next round. We had a great result today against an excellent team, an
“We scored our goal early and they controlled most of the possession
after that. We became a wee bit nervous after scoring — we’re not used
to holding leads here. It’s the first 1-0 I’ve had here. I missed
their best chance — Kezman’s (chip onto the bar) - as I was on
my way down from the directors’ box.”
"I have never heard the crowd like that for a while. When the players
hear it like that it gives the whole team a lot of confidence.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said:
“I think the result
is not fair for us, but I have to be fair that at Stamford Bridge when we
played Newcastle, they played better than us in the first half and we beat
them 4-0 — this is football.
“Wayne - no doubt. He is out, but I never like to cry on injuries. When I
get onto the plane tonight I will think about the team I will put out at
Barcelona because it is time think about that now. The medical department
will try to do everything to recover Gallas and Duff.
“When Kezman hit the post we deserved to score and Given made a great save
from Jarosik. In the second half we were the better side with ten men. We
had control of the game, playing with three defenders, with no full backs.
With things going against us I have to say I am proud of my team.
“Sometime defeat makes you feel you group is a great group and you have
confidence about your future.
About the triple substitution:
“My life is a risk. I have done it before, and would do it again. I
thought it was the best thing for my team. I think we showed in the second
half if we were the best with 10 men, how well we would do with 11. I put on
the players to change the game.”
“I don’t think it’s the right moment to speak with him. It shows the
professional he is, because maybe a selfish person would let Ameobi score a
goal. The free kick saved a goal.
No longer can Jose Mourinho be
called the Portuguese Man O'Four, as he must now concentrate on
just the Premiership, Champions League and Carling Cup. Poor lad.
We've now lost just one game in 2005 - the 0-1 reverse at
Highbury - with six victories and three draws amassed this year.
Our third victory on home soil against Chelsea in as many
seasons, coming on the back of April 2004's 2-1 success and March
2003's win by the same margin. Of course this season's extra Carling
Cup reverse spoils that recent record rather.....
Newcastle became only the third side to beat Chelsea this season
- along with Manchester City in the Premiership, Porto in the Champs
And we have of course to mention the well-used fact that the last time
Chelsea won the league was in 1955 - the same year that we last
won the FA Cup.
To the annoyance of some Geordie
romanticists, our manager had declared a pre-match ambition to see his
United side start to grind out 1-0 victories.
Well, this one may have ended in the hoped-for scoreline, but only after a
heart-stopping 95 minutes that captivated those in the ground and at home.
Boring it wasn't.
It may have taken a team of ground staff and stewards to shovel snow off the
pitch in order to get the game on, but once the playing surface was exposed,
Newcastle certainly enjoyed the rub of the green.
There had been the sense that a corner was turned in Holland on Thursday and
that we were now treading down a more positive path after turning round a
half time deficit into full time victory. Or maybe it was just wishful
Whatever it was though, the fact that the jeers had ultimately turned to
cheers against Heerenven, coupled with Chelsea's roster of ineligible,
injured and rotated players gave us a confidence that a look at the
respective form records hardly warranted.
It's tempting to say that the early goal
helped, but a cursory glance at our home record this season reveals that
opening the scoring has often been the precursor to tripping ourselves up.
Not today though. There was something in the air - and not just
snowflakes. Maybe it was a bit of good fortune, aided and abetted by
effort, commitment and work rate.
Of course Chelsea helped us enormously by being so damn successful that
their fixture list started to topple over on them, meaning that they
fielded a starting eleven called weak in some quarters.
They then attempted a three card trick which brought audible gasps at the
start of the second half - and saw it promptly trumped by a series of
injuries that saw Bridge off on a stretcher to the RVI, Duff hopping round
on one leg and Gallas similarly afflicted. Oh aye, and their 'keeper sent
off in an incredible final few moments.
Are we bothered? Not a jot.
No, we've provided the backdrop and accompaniment to far too many brave
failures, too much heartache and an endless litany of "if onlys".
A recent history littered with disappointment, misfortune and
From Wembley to Exeter to Everton and back again, the competition that
maintains some sort of hold over us has provided more misery than
merriment since Jackie and the boys last made it Wor
We may get to Cardiff, we may not get out of the car park. Best enjoy it
while we can eh? and stuff anybody who tries to point out that we didn't
beat the creme de la creme.
God alone knows how the players felt at the end of this - it was
exhausting, stomach-churning stuff from the stands.
Almost as wonderful in our eyes as the result though
was the response from the SJP crowd to what was unfolding in front of
After a season of forgettable home support in the main, it was genuinely
heartening to us that people got behind the lads and provided suitable
backing to reflect the effort being put in.
You forget what that roar is
like; you miss the emotion and the energy when it's gone. Days like today
are to be savoured for that alone.
Hairs standing up on the back of the neck moments have been few and far
between, but there seemed to be some genuine collective spirit in the
closing stages - a bit like a revivalist meeting or some old-time preacher
filling his congregation with the holy spirit....or Best Scotch.
And after constructively criticising / slaughtering players this season,
we're delighted to do the opposite this time.
Dyer put in a good shift and did his best to compensate for the absence of
pace in the front pairing, while Kluivert and Robert were both utterly
frustrating at times but left their mark on the game.
Jenas and Milner were both disappointing though, while Ameobi's cameo
appearance almost brought a second clinching goal and included one
remarkable dribble out to the corner flag in the closing stages as true
madness gripped the ground.
Babayaro linked up well at times with Robert down the left but was back to
do his job in defence, while Carr had his most energetic game for the
club. Boumsong started to find his feet and of Bramble we have nowt but
praise - deservedly nominated for FA Player of the Round.
But at the end of all this, we didn't play well.
In almost farcical circumstances towards the end when the opposition were
dropping like flies, we proved incapable of killing them off. And
throughout the game we continually gave the ball away cheaply and failed
to make best use of set pieces.
The difference was that we kept on battling. Yes we rode our luck to a
certain extent, but we got the result - something that could often not be
said about more stylish Newcastle teams of the Premiership
So a three-time win Sunday bonus for Souness: victory for Newcastle, a
lunchtime triumph for his Ibrox pals in their local Glaswegian spat and
consequently a headline-free hoops debut for Bellamy.
A slight rearrangement of events to incorporate a debut winner from the
Welshman and a Chelsea victory could easily have seen the pressure cranked
up on the manager to unbelievable levels.
As it is though, things look a wee bit sunnier for him and his
Chairman, who can now point to the replenishing powers of Dubai's healing
waters - regardless of the fact half of his team didn't go....
Souness and co. may not have won the war by a long chalk, with the League table still
an embarrassment. But if nothing else, the February 2005 vintage of
Newcastle United have won the peace, with an uneasy ceasefire between the
malcontents and the establishment that will hold until the next inevitable
magpie implosion. Or street parties.
Us? we just like cheering them on and seeing them win. Trying to play
football and looking as if it means something to those in the shirts.
Today we did and they did, for once.