MATCH REPORTS

Blackburn 4 Newcastle 3 (After Extra Time)

Blackburn celebrate their extra-time winner against Newcastle

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At Ewood Park

Blackburn Rovers 4 (Rochina 4, Yakubu 64, Pedersen 98, Givet 119)

Newcastle United 3 (Guthrie 90+2, Cabaye 90+5, Lovenkrands 105)

Around 5,000 Newcastle fans made the trip to Ewood Park for United's Carling Cup fourth round tie - but they saw their team beaten despite a stunning late comeback to force extra time.

United went through against Scunthorpe and Nottingham Forest after extra time but on this occasion they were knocked out after Gael Givet scored from close range with penalties looming.

Blackburn had looked set to progress thanks to Ruben Rochina's early goal and Yakubu's second-half penalty, with the Magpies were seemingly dead and buried before a stunning stoppage-time comeback.

Yohan Cabaye's 25-yard free-kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time followed Danny Guthrie's long-distance drive in the 92nd minute - both in front of the Newcastle fans in the Darwen End - meaning 30 more minutes of football.

Morten Gamst Pedersen struck in extra-time with a deflected free-kick only for Peter Lovenkrands to level from the spot as United refused to lie down.

But Givet bundled home after Chris Samba headed Pedersen's free-kick across goal, and United's unbeaten run finally came to an end.

Alan Pardew made five changes from Saturday's league victory over Wigan as Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveuax, James Perch and Danny Guthrie came in while Davide Santon was handed his full United debut at left-back.

Santon was called into defensive action in the second minute as he blocked a shot from Ruben Rochina - who scored twice against United's Reserves in Lancashire last season - following David Goodwillie's lay-off.

And the Spaniard struck on four minutes to give the home side the lead in front of the massed ranks of United fans. Martin Olsson made a good run down the left and crossed low for Rochina, whose first-time strike left Tim Krul with no chance.

The visitors almost levelled three minutes later when Demba Ba beat the offside trap and raced into the box, but his powerful strike crashed back off the post with Mark Bunn a beaten man.

Goodwillie's low shot was then saved by Krul, who parried and grabbed the ball at the second attempt with Yakubu lurking, and on 14 minutes, Morten Gamst Pedersen's left-wing corner was headed wide by the well-placed Chris Samba.

Newcastle threatened again as Yohan Cabaye played a wonderful ball over the top which Ba just failed to control when a better touch would have seen him in on goal.

But on 23 minutes, Rochina came close to grabbing his and Rovers' second, bursting into the box and forcing Krul to block with his legs. And just after the half-hour mark, a swerving free-kick from Pedersen had to be beaten away by United's Dutch keeper.

At the other end, Guthrie dribbled into the box and saw his low shot flash across goal with Ba sliding in - but unable to get a touch which would have diverted the ball over the line.

In the 41st minute, Fabricio Coloccini was booked for a rash and uncharacteristic foul on Yakubu - and was only spared a red by the covering Danny Simpson. Then, as Hoilett played in Yakubu eight yards out after Rochina had robbed Santon, the Nigerian striker was denied by another Krul stop as Rovers finished the half on the front foot.

They started the second half in the ascendancy too, as Goodwillie cut inside and shot straight at Krul, but United began to impose themselves at last and had appeals for a penalty turned down as Ba went down in the box under a challenge from the giant Samba.

Then from Marveaux's deep cross from a Cabaye short corner, Ba headed across goal and Ben Arfa tried to force home with his head - but his effort looped onto the top of the netting, rather than the back of it.

In the 52nd minute, Jonas Gutierrez made inroads down the left and delivered a dangerous cross which Ba missed but Marveaux met with a diving header which went narrowly wide.

The away fans in the Darwen End then cried in vain for a penalty for a second time as they felt Marveaux's cross struck Rovers defender Gael Givet on the hand, but referee Robert Madley was unconvinced.

Just past the hour mark, Santon pulled the ball back for Marveaux whose shot was blocked before, seconds later, the match turned on a tale of two penalty appeals.

One was not given by Madley as Ba was sent tumbling by Samba, but the other was as Krul was adjudged to have fouled Rochina as the home side broke swiftly and Yakubu, normally so reliable from the spot, stepped up to send the Dutch keeper the wrong way.

Sammy Ameobi replaced Simpson, with Santon switching to right-wing-back and Gutierrez urged to get up and down the left-hand side as Alan Pardew threw caution to the wind.

And Ameobi - the hero of the second round win at Scunthorpe - came close when he controlled Guthrie's delightful crossfield ball but curled wide of the far post.

Gabriel Obertan was introduced for Marveaux and Peter Lovenkrands came on for Ben Arfa but, other than a header from Coloccini which went wide after Guthrie's 79th minute cross, United could not find a way through until stoppage time.

Guthrie lashed home a fizzing low drive from 25 yards for his first of the campaign and then Cabaye found the top corner with virtually the last kick to force extra time.

Pedersen's whipped free-kick flew just wide of Krul's goal in the fifth minute of extra time before the Norwegian found the target three minutes later from another set-piece. His shot appeared to take a deflection off the wall before nestling in the bottom corner. 

At the other end, Ba somehow brought Gutierrez's chipped passed out of the sky but was denied by last-ditch Rovers defending, then United were finally awarded a spot-kick when Lovenkrands was brought down by substitute Grant Hanley.

The referee didn't give it but his assistant flagged and Lovenkrands' spot-kick was low and true despite Bunn diving the right way.

But with just two minutes left of extra time, Givet won the day for Steve Kean's side who now take their place in the last eight.

Blackburn Rovers (4-4-2): Mark Bunn; Jason Lowe, Chris Samba (c), Gael Givet, Martin Olsson; Ruben Rochina (Simon Vukcevic 77), Radosav Petrovic, Morten Gamst Pederson, Junior Hoilett (Grant Hanley 88); Yakubu (Mauro Formica 66), David Goodwillie

Subs not used: Paul Robinson, Jason Roberts, Myles Anderson, Robbie Cotton

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Sammy Ameobi 69), Davide Santon, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini (c); Sylvain Marveaux (Gabriel Obertan 76), Danny Guthrie, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa (Peter Lovenkrands 79); Demba Ba

Subs not used: Rob Elliott, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling, Nile Ranger

Referee: Robert Madley

Attendance: 10,682

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