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Wednesday, February 24, 1999 Published at 23:43 GMT


Saha makes it simple for Ruud

Dietmar Hamann (right) battles with Nathan Blake

Blackburn 0 - 1 Newcastle

On-loan striker Louis Saha scored the only goal as Newcastle booked a quarter-final clash with Everton.


BBC Radio 5 Live's Simon Brotherton reports from Ewood Park
Saha, who was only playing because of Alan Shearer's late withdrawal through flu, scored eight minutes before the end of the first half to give Ruud Gullit's men the win they thoroughly deserved.

It was Saha's - who signed from Metz till the end of the season - second goal in only three starts.

Blackburn were without eight first team players through injury and ineligibility, and fielded the out-of-favour duo of Kevin Davies and Nathan Blake up front.

Newcastle had much of the first half possession, and it was Dietmar Hamann who registered Newcastle's first attempt on goal with a 30 yard free-kick that Filan held comfortably.

Two minutes later, Temuri Ketsbaia, who had flourished since being recalled to the first team, forced another save from Filan when he shot accurately from 20 yards.

Meanwhile, the best effort that Blackburn could manage came from Jason Wilcox who finished a 30 yard run with a wayward shot from the edge of the box which flew over Shay Given's crossbar.


[ image: Dietmar Hamann shadows Damien Duff]
Dietmar Hamann shadows Damien Duff
On 37 minutes, Hamann hit an inch perfect ball from right to left, which Saha chested into his path before shooting past Filan to give Newcastle what turned out to be the winner.

Newcastle increased their superiority in the second half, with Hamann and Nolberto Solano.

Ketsbaia fed Saha from 20 yards out, but this time the French Under-21 shot wastefully high and wide.

Former Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie, who was booed every time he touched the ball by the away fans, demonstrated a nice turn of speed as he beat Warren Barton down the right and centred for Blake, only for his shot to be saved by Given.

Gary Croft replaced Jeff Kenna at right-back and Ashley Ward was brought on as Blackburn went with three up front.

But Blackburn's adventure meant that there were more gaps for Newcastle to exploit, and both Garry Brady and Laurent Charvet had great chances to increase the visitors' lead, but both players failed to find the target.

At the final whistle, Newcastle's usually calm manager jumped for joy and celebrated with his team's joyous fans.

Blackburn: Filan, Kenna, Peacock, Broomes, Davidson, Gillespie, Wilcox, Marcolin, Duff, Blake, Davies. Subs: Johnson, Croft, Dunn, Ward, Flowers.

Newcastle: Given, Charvet, Dabizas, Howey, Barton, Solano, Hamann, Speed, Brady, Saha, Ketsbaia. Subs: Lee, Dalglish, Hughes, Griffin, Harper. Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury)



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