Jonas Gutierrez’s last gasp winner against Blackburn helped Newcastle book their place in 4th round of the FA cup and prevented a Wednesday night trip to Ewood Park.
The 2-1 win was a credit to the lads as like usual they never gave up, and their fighting to the death has once again paid dividends.
The game started quick for Newcastle with Mike Williamson striking over the bar within the opening ten minutes. Hatem Ben Arfa really started grab the game by the scruff of the neck and he interchanged passes with Yohan Cabaye before his French compatriot blazed over from 10 yards.
Blackburn then seemed to wake up and started to get a bit more of the ball and stopped the constant onslaught on their goal, and David Goodwillie looked to be through on goal when he was grabbed by Mike Williamson which earnt the defender a yellow card. Tim Krul made a save from Ruben Rochina who looked like Blackburns best player in the early spells.
Jonas Gutierrez then bent an effort that went about 6 inches wide of the post following a counter attack from Newcastle. Minutes later Blackburn took the lead, poor defending by Williamson resulted in Blackburn getting a corner. From the resulting corner Grant Hanley’s header was saved by Krul and it was tapped in by David Goodwillie around the 35 minute mark to give Blackburn the lead.
The half time ended and the players – who beat Man Utd 3-0 on Wednesday night – were greeted with boo’s, some fans need to give their heads a shake. Yes, the first half wasn’t great, far from it, but boo’s, have a word.
Just as the second half began Hatem Ben Arfa picked up the ball and interchanged passes with Jonas Gutierrez and played in Leon Best who was bearing down on goal, but was not strong enough and let Martin Olsson clear, when he should have buried it.
Shola Ameobi had two chances in the second half to draw us level, but it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. Shola Ameobi. He made the most of a Grant Hanley mistake but from a similar position to Yohan Cabaye he completely missed the target. Shola had another effort, a closed ranged header blocked by Steven N’Zonzi.
With 20 minutes to go Hatem Ben Arfa set the game alight and according to Sky, beat 7 players before finishing past Blackburn’s Mark Bunn. That was Ben Arfa playing from the wing, somewhere he supposedly can’t play, he needs to be given a chance there in my opinion.
Newcastle with 15 minutes to go were pressing and nearly got the winner, when Mike Williamson rose above everybody and hit the angle between the crossbar and post with a header. Williamson was denied by a brilliant save by Mark Bunn only a matter of minutes later.
Shola Ameobi swung a left footed effort towards goal in the 89th minute and it went inches wide as many fans thought he’d won the game.
Just as the fans thought it was all over, and that we’d be making our way down to Ewood Park for a replay Jonas Gutierrez exchanged passes with Leon Best and clipped the winning goal over the top of Bunn. Gutierrez topped off a good performance by himself with getting his Spiderman mask out and celebrating booking Newcastle’s place in the 4th round.
The only downside to the game was the lack of cohesion early on, Obertan being sarcastically cheered/moaned at and Danny Simpsons supposed illness.
Obertan got his usual stick for doing not a lot wrong, with fans groaning as the ball goes to him and expecting him to mess up, Why does anyone think that’s going to help? Obertan’s hardly setting Tyneside alight at the minute, but the fans are making it hard for him.
Shola Ameobi’s substitution around 57 minutes changed the game, Hatem Ben Arfa went to right wing and he tortured the Blackburn defence, ending up with a goal to his name. Shola seemed more comfortable up top and we were more dangerous from crosses and linked up better.
What was funny was the fans were jubilant at full time, the game fans who booed the lads of at half time which I personally thought was pathetic. After 3-0 win against Man Utd we get booed in a game we had the better of.
We dominated Blackburn for the majority of the game but the breakthrough just wouldn’t come, the players seemed to get nervous once we conceded the goal and it looked like they just wanted to get through to half time, the second half was much improved.
Today’s highlights were Hatem Ben Arfa’s performance, he sounded dangerous every time he got on the ball, sometimes he did a little too much but his dribbling brought lots of plaudits from journalists attending, and his goal got compared to something by Lionel Messi.
The young Mehdi Abeid seemed competent in midfield deputising for Tiote, but I am puzzled that he’s been picked over Dan Gosling. Medhi linked up play well and tackled back and worked hard, but I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with Gosling. He seems to have the talent, is it his attitude?
Jonas Gutierrez has seemed to return to form after a period of poor performances, he looked back to his hardworking self against Man Utd and today he sounded like he played well. It helps that he has Davide Santon behind him who overlaps him and helps him with his final product.
Overall I’m very happy with the result, the performance was hardly stellar, but after such a great game against Man Utd the expectations were high and I expected a fall, the late goal prevented a replay and it sent Newcastle fans home happy, and excited about a cup run.
On a less positive note, Twitter has seen fans start a hashtag #SupportObertan, it’s embarrassing that people need to be told to support their own players.
You can see the goals tonight at 10:45 on ITV on their highlights show, there will be poor pundits and even worse coverage, but I’m sure we all want to see Ben Arfa’s goal.
Tomorrow you can watch the draw at 5:40pm on ITV, Newcastle are ball number 23 – The number of talisman Shola Ameobi, that must be an omen.