FA CUP 6TH ROUND
SUNDAY 13TH MARCH, 2005
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 (1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 (0)
Referee: - Rob Styles
Attendance: - 51,307
Newcastle (4-4-2):- Given; Carr, Boumsong, Bramble (sub Jenas, 39), Hughes; Dyer, Faye, Bowyer, Robert (sub Milner, 80); Shearer (Capt.), Kluivert (sub Ameobi, 67)
Subs not used: - Harper; Butt
Booked: - Boumsong, Ameobi, Shearer
Spurs (4-4-2):- Robinson; Pamarot (sub Marney, 79), Naybet (sub Gardner, 87), King (Capt.), Atouba (sub Keane, 63); Davies, Brown, Carrick, Ziegler; Defoe, Kanoute
Subs not used: - Cerny; Edman
Booked: - Atouba, Brown, Pamarot, Ziegler, Naybet, Davies
Spurs Cup dreams are over for another year, whilst Newcastle’s dreams of a first domestic trophy (and a medal in their colours for Alan Shearer) go on, after a fifth minute goal by Patrick Kluivert was enough to carry the Geordies through to a semi-final appointment at Cardiff in mid-April.
Most readers of this report will have seen the game – arguably the best of the quarter-finals – and I do not propose to give you Chapter and Verse on this occasion. Suffice to say that Spurs, after a lack of concentration for the first 10 minutes ultimately cost us dear, bossed the possession (55-45% overall), and had more shots on target and off target than the home side. Rob Styles (not the best friend of Spurs fans) failed to see a Bowyer handball in the area in injury time, did see another hand ball by Bowyer in the box, but decided it was ball to hand, and also disallowed a Keane goal, after spotting a foul from Gardner’s innocuous challenge to head down a corner with two minutes of normal time left. The closing minutes of the game were played out in a cauldron-like atmosphere, and I have never heard the Toon Army baying so loudly for the final whistle. Graeme Souness said Spurs were the best team; the pundits agree that Spurs were hard done by, but it’s the Toon and not Spurs going to Cardiff. If the rub of the green with decisions is supposed to even out over the season, then we’re still waiting for our fair share. I just know we will fail to qualify for Europe by the two points stolen from us at Old Trafford in January.
For Newcastle, Celestine Babayaro seemed to be the only casualty from Newcastle’s midweek venture to Greece. Titus Bramble did not last out the first half though, and was replaced by Jenas, who coped well in the unusual left-back position. Hughes moved inside to help the impressive Boumsong. Martin Jol favours Thimothee Atouba at left back, and it was to cost us in that opening spell as Kieron Dyer tore Atouba to shreds, getting to the bye line too easily, until Thimothee settled down. Newcastle had already provided an early threat when Dyer took a flick on from Shearer and forced a corner, leaving Atouba in his wake. However, it is Ledley King who has to put his hands up to a m is-timed tackle, as Newcastle got the benefit of a couple of rebounds, and Shearer got away from Ledley on the flank, pulling the ball back to an unmarked Kluivert for a relatively easy finish. Atouba became the first of no less than 9 bookings for Mr Styles, predictably for a foul on Dyer, just outside the area.
After that opening blitz, Robinson had hardly a save to make until the exciting closing stages of the game, by which time Spurs were giving it their all, and Newcastle were responding to the opportunities to break back. Sadly, for all their possession, Spurs once again made poor use of the ball. It’s getting boring saying this, but surely Michael Carrick has got to boss games like this, if he is really a class act? I didn’t see much from him today. Given’s first notable save was from a Ziegler free kick awarded for a foul on Defoe after 19 minutes. Boumsong got booked for throwing himself to the floor in the Spurs area. Kanoute got a shot on target on the half hour, but it carried no threat for Given.
Simon Davies won the ball in the midfield and sent Defoe away down the right. Jermain got the ball to Kanoute, who fired into the side netting. Defoe then got the ball down the left side and hit a good shot that Given only held at the second attempt. A Ziegler corner was flicked on at the near post, and Atouba’s shot from just outside the box, was held again by Shay Given.
After the break, Mr Styles increased his collection of names, before Spurs had a chance falling to Simon Davies after 52 minutes. Atouba had taken a throw, and Kanoute challenged. The ball ran to Davies who had time to pick his spot, but fired wide. There was a great battle for possession featuring Defoe, Ziegler and Carr, typifying the hotly contested game. Martin Jol made some tactical adjustments, firstly taking Atouba off for Keane. Spurs went 4-3-3 with Ziegler dropping back. Carrick at last gave an impressive pass to Kanoute who battled well on the right, and cut in for Keane, whose shot from 10 yards was brilliantly parried by Given, who then did even better to save Defoe's well-struck volley. It was a match-clinching double save, richly deserving of the wild applause.
Ameobi replaced Kluivert, and nearly scored within minutes, as he raced away, and hit a cross/ shot that was deflected for a corner, with Shearer ready to pounce. As we entered the closing ten minutes, Defoe turned brilliantly to beat Carr, and hit a shot that Given saved. Ledley King was following up, but his effort was blocked for a corner. Then came the drama of the disallowed goal (the whistle had gone before Keane converted Gardner’s header), Bowyer’s handball, and a brilliant save from Robinson as Dyer nearly beat him at the stretch.
Sky’s cameras will again be in action when these sides meet at White Hart Lane the week before the semi-final. Spurs will have to serve up some revenge then, and must now concentrate on UEFA qualification through the League – starting at The Valley on Wednesday night.
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