Spidermag returns! Newcastle United 2, Blackburn Rovers 1

Posted on January 7th, 2012 | 25 Comments |

Spidermag returns to save us!
Spidermag returns to save us!
A tale of absent friends made this cup tie somewhat less of an occasion than it could otherwise have been.

We knew that Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote wouldn’t feature in this game, but when Blackburn lined up without Yakubu and Samba – that was a bit of a bonus. Also missing was Paul Clement, the now ex-Blackburn Assistant Manager who clearly decided he’d had enough of the abuse from the Blackburn fans and joined Paris St Germain last week. Finally, there were the 20,000 or so United fans who didn’t turn up, for whatever reason.

Newcastle actually made four changes to the side that started against Manchester United in that glorious win (just wanted to mention it one more time!). Two were enforced of course, with some of our stars off to light up the African Cup of Nations. Abeid, Obertan, Ben Arfa and Best were brought into to the team with Shola Ameobi and Ryan Taylor returning to the bench.

First Half

As usual, the Magpies started the game brightly and were almost ahead within two minutes. Leon Best took advantage of a Grant Hanley slip but his effort was saved by Mark Bunn.

United were well on top with Blackburn packing the midfield, and minutes later Jonas Gutierrez saw a raking drive from distance again parried away by the Bunn, who was certainly being kept busy. It was constant pressure from us and Yohan Cabaye was the next to miss a golden opportunity. Put through by Ben Arfa he managed to put it over the bar from inside the area.

Blackburn’s first attack of the game finally came after 20 minutes – Rochina breaking down the left before his shot was saved by Tim Krul. On 30 minutes, Jonas curled one inches wide after Best had broken down the right. Then, totally against the run of play, Blackburn took the lead on 35 minutes when David Goodwillie scrambled the ball home from close range after Krul made a weak parry. Have to say my prediction that we’re going to win the cup was starting to look a bit, y’know… Newcastle United 0 Blackburn Rovers 1

Second Half

United again dominated the early stages of the second half, but without actually creating clear cut chances. It was sad to hear some United fans cheering when Obertan was substituted after 55 minutes, with Shola taking his place. Minutes later, Simpson went off to be replaced by Ryan Taylor. A very significant move here was Hatem Ben Arfa finally moving out to a wing position again when Shola came on.

After 62 minutes, a definite chance did come when Blackburn gave the ball away to Shola but, with just Bunn to beat, he blazed wildly over the bar. Don’t think Ba would have missed that one!

Simon Vukcevic had a couple of shots for Blackburn but apart from that, United were still exerting the lion’s share of the pressure without actually setting up clear chances. On 68 minutes, Best headed across goal, and Ameobi’s did well with a close range header which Nzonzi managed to block.

Hatem Ben Arfa - Wondergoal!
Hatem Ben Arfa - Wondergoal!
Newcastle’s pressure finally bore fruit 2 minutes later when Ben Arfa brilliantly ghosted past seven Blackburn players, cutting in from the right wing, before rifling a shot into the roof of the net. To say he was satisfied with that piece of magic would be an understatement! Shades of Peter Beardsley. Newcastle United 1 Blackburn Rovers 1

And United weren’t finished yet. Collocini headed one over the bar from a corner, Mike Williamson headed against the bar, Bunn kept Williamson’s close range header out from Cabaye’s volley and then blocked Gutierrez’s shot.

Just when it looked as if Blackburn would hold out for a replay, Best slipped Gutierrez through in the 5th minute of stoppage time, and he chipped the ball over Bunn. There were literally only a few seconds of the game left and this had to be the winner. As if this wasn’t enough, we also saw the return of “Spidermag” as the exultant Gutierrez whipped it oot for the lads again as this was the FA Cup and he wasn’t banned (see photo) like he is in the Premiership Howay Spidermag! Howay the lads!

Final score: Newcastle United 2 Blackburn Rovers 1


It was scarcely more than United deserved. Whilst we didn’t reach the heights of Wednesday night’s glorious win (there I mentioned it again!), it has to be said that, but for Blackburn keeper Mark Bunn and the woodwork, this could have been a much more convincing win.

So, United go into the draw tomorrow for the next round. Blackburn can now concentrate on keeping themselves in the Premier League without the distraction of the FA Cup.

Plusses for United? Well, we proved we can play and score goals without our two African stars. Ben Arfa could well provide the goals that will mean we don’t miss Demba Ba as much as we might have thought, but he has accept the team’s work ethic and improve his play off the ball.

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson (R Taylor 59), Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Obertan (Shola Ameobi 56), Abeid (Gosling 87), Cabaye, Jonas; Ben Arfa; Best.

Subs not used: Elliot, Perch, Gosling, Vuckic, Sammy Ameobi.

Goals: Ben Arfa 70, Jonas 90+4

Blackburn Rovers (4-5-1): Bunn; Henley, Hanley, Petrovic, Givet; Vukcevic, Rochina (Formica 56), N’Zonzi, Gamst-Pedersen, Olsson (Lowe 75); Goodwillie (Slew 82).

Subs not used: Kean, Morris, Yakubu, Blackman, Slew.

Goals: Goodwillie 35.

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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25 Responses

  1. Pardew Coy about BA going to spuds….not going to get my knickers in a twist in this window whatever happens happens.

  2. Not much he can say SJT. He’s learned that it doesn’t matter what he wants, hence why he’s keeping his mouth shut about our targets. He knows the fans understand that. Ashley and Llambias will do what they see fit financially.

  3. Wouldn’t it be something if Ben Arfa became a regular goalscorer over the next few weeks and kept us going…and then Ba came back :o)

  4. sirjasontoon says:
    January 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    “Pardew Coy about BA going to spuds…”

    Didn’t the club, or Owlheed, say that they don’t speak on such matters or something like that? I would have thought they would say that it’s poppycock if it really was poppycock though

  5. There probably is a clause….let’s face it, at the beginning of the season, we were judged to be one of the teams that would struggle, so Ba will have wanted that clause in his contract.


    Ba is happy here, allegedly

    Whatever the buy out value is – if a few clubs are serious, then that’s just the starting point for the bids/auction

    Who’s going to bid millions for a player who will fail a medical? (greet big nail in leg)

    United won’t sell anyway unles it’s megabucks!

  6. im offshore at the moment so couldnt make the game – how did Abeid look in his first start?

  7. Crnt wait to see highlights of game tonight sounds really good game benny goal meant to be amazin.


  8. glentoon says:
    January 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    “benny goal meant to be amazin.”

    Glen, first he went past five gadgies, now it’s seven, soon it will be fifteen! :-)

  9. Some no mark scouse twat put “Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers 07/01/2012 F.A Cup 2-1 Highlights” on youtube, and it was a Rick Astley video.

    Racist bastads!

  10. I hate highlights on ITV. One game and now an advert. We best get to see a long highlight of our game, but I know up next is the Liverpoo then Bolton game. Bah!

  11. HBA did go past 7 or 8 if you count the ‘keeper, just seen it.
    He was neewhere near the wing when he did it mind.

  12. that was one of the worst TV football shows ever – def 2nd rate, I watched endless pap to get 2 minutes of NUFC – 1 bad camera angle, poor lighting and they didn’t even re-run the goals! pathetic.

  13. SuperMac, 2 minutes you must have seen a different prog to me, Toontastic was about right. Not sure if it was even 15 seconds. They were more interested in the shock results. Glad to see Hereford hasn’t been mentioned, yet!! ;)

  14. Supermac says:
    January 8, 2012 at 12:46 am

    “I watched endless pap to get 2 minutes of NUFC”

    I don’t think it was even a minute Supermac. Altogether there were about half an hour of ads for a certain bookies, which is what matters.

  15. 43 seconds of highlights.

    I’ll plonk them at the bottom of this match report, I can’t do separate post just for those, even though Ben Arfa’s goal was the goal of the season so far.

  16. There was only one camera set up behind the posh seats and it wasn’t the best. We had some good play but everyone just looked a little tired I thought. Santon is class, he’s got a real presence about him at the back and he was getting forward well too with some good runs and passes to Jonas. Ben Arfa is still finding his feet but did well, had a few little dribbles then he eventually got all the way through and powered it in for his goal. Only one team in it after that looking for the win and Jonas with a lovely dink over the keeper in the last seconds then with the mask out was a mint ending.

    2 wins out of 2 in 2012 QPR next sunday at home and it looks like faurlin who’s their best player could be out for that and bartons probably banned too so another win could be on the cards looking good for 7th dare I say it