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The BBC's Alan Green
"Newcastle might feel a little aggrieved"
 real 28k

Newcastle manager Bobby Robson
"It was a match we were close to winning"
 real 28k

Sunday, 9 April, 2000, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Chelsea triumph over gutsy Magpies

Gustavo Poyet: Chelsea's two-goal hero celebrates
Chelsea 2-1 Newcastle

Two goals by Gustavo Poyet earned Chelsea a place in the FA Cup final alongside Aston Villa after a scintillating semi against Newcastle at Wembley.

The Uruguayan struck in the first half to give the Blues a 1-0 advantage at the interval, only for Rob Lee to equalise after a period of inspired play by the Magpies in the second 45 minutes.
Match facts
16 mins: Poyet gives Chelsea the lead
38 mins: Ferguson off injured
HT: Sutton off injured
65 mins: Lee equalises for the Magpies
70 mins: Poyet snatches his second
90 mins: Dyer denied by De Goey

But Poyet was on hand again to convert Jon Harley's cross and deny Newcastle their third consecutive FA Cup final.

In perfect sunny conditions, both sides demonstrated from the outset their intention to play positive, attacking football.

The Magpies survived an early scare on five minutes when confusion in the Newcastle defence let Poyet slip a pass to George Weah in the area.

The ball finished in the back of the Newcastle net, but Weah was ajudged fractionally offside.

Alan Shearer had a similarly bright chance moments later when he nutmegged Didier Deschamps on the edge of the Chelsea box and shot straight into the arms of Ed De Goey.

Rob Lee (left): His goal was not enough

The hustling Magpies immediately made another good opportunity for Duncan Ferguson from a clever cross by Nolberto Solano, only for the big striker to scuff the volley wide.

But it was a move that started with a quick free-kick from Blues captain Dennis Wise that broke the deadlock in the 16th minute.

Poyet took the ball down the left and passed inside to Chris Sutton, before setting off on the run that saw him latch onto Weah's one-touch flick and lob the ball over Newcastle keeper Shay Given.

The score was not without controversy, however, as the Magpies protested that the ball was still rolling when Wise took his free-kick.

The goal stood and Weah was denied from another one-on-one with Given just before the half-hour mark when the Liberian star was once again blown up for offside.

Toon Army: Not much to cheer about

Newcastle's frustration at being unable to break down the Chelsea defence was heightened by Ferguson's increasingly ineffectual performance up front.

The big Scot's persistent knee injury was clearly troubling him and he was finally substituted for Didier Domi after 38 mins.

The Magpies responded by producing their best effort of the half, with Shearer nodding down a long cross which Solano thumped fractionally over the bar.

The outgoing England captain started the second half in similar fashion with another header that lacked just enough power to beat the keeper.

And Kieron Dyer's 51st minute volley was only kept out because he blasted it straight at the stranded De Goey.

A brilliant spell of pressure for the Magpies then saw Nikos Dabizas denied by an outstanding tackle from Blues defender Marcel Desailly.

Duncan Ferguson: More injury misery

But it was Shearer who finally created the hugely-deserved equaliser after 65 minutes with Newcastle well and truly in the ascendant.

The striker took the ball wide right and beat the bamboozled Franck Leboeuf on the outside to slam over an inch-perfect cross.

Lee was on hand to bang the header into the back of the Chelsea net.

But the Magpies had barely five minutes to enjoy their comeback as Poyet once again gave the Blues the lead.

With the tie at boiling point, an altercation between Domi and Poyet led to blows in the Newcastle area. The incident broke up without any cards being shown.

The fuming Poyet, who clearly believed he had been denied a scoring opportunity by a shove from Domi, returned less than a minute later to head home Harley's long, speculative cross from the left.

Gianfranco Zola, on for Weah, nearly made it three with just seven minutes to go after a break down the right, but Given produced a textbook save.

Dyer almost equalised two minutes into injury time, but another brilliant save from that man De Goey preserved Chelsea's lead.

Teams

Chelsea: 1-Ed De Goey; 17-Albert Ferrer, 5-Franck Leboeuf, 6-Marcel Desailly, 34-Jon Harley; 16-Roberto Di Matteo, 11-Dennis Wise, 7-Didier Deschamps, 8-Gustavo Poyet; 31-George Weah, 9-Chris Sutton

Newcastle United: 1-Shay Given; 2-Warren Barton, 34-Nikos Dabizas, 6-Steve Howey, 18-Aaron Hughes; 15-Nolberto Solano, 37-Robert Lee, 11-Gary Seed, 7-Kieron Dyer; 9-Alan Shearer, 20-Duncan Ferguson

Referee: Peter Jones

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See also:

09 Apr 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Reds run Spurs ragged
09 Apr 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Leeds lose in controversy
20 Feb 00 | FA Cup
Villa destroy Goodison's dream
02 Apr 00 | FA Cup
Villa book Cup final place
Links to other FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.