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  Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Newcastle edge out Juventus
Newcastle celebrate their winner against Juventus
Newcastle celebrate their winner against Juventus
Newcastle United 1-0 Juventus

Newcastle United kept their Champions League hopes alive with a thrilling victory over Juventus at St James's Park.

Andy Griffin's second half goal - scored with the help of a huge deflection from Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon - gave Sir Bobby Robson's side the win they needed.

It was the first goal of their Champions League campaign and was richly-deserved as Newcastle bounced back in style from the 5-2 Premiership thrashing at Blackburn Rovers.

Newcastle suffered nervous moments in the closing stages when Juventus substitute Marcelo Zalayeta struck the woodwork.


Big resolve and big tenacity was shown by us - it would have been horrible if we had not got anything
Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson

But they hung on to claim three priceless points as a weakened team battled bravely to sink the Italian giants.

Newcastle were forced to field a reshaped side, with Nikos Dabizas and Craig Bellamy suspended, and Kieron Dyer out with a back injury.

And boss Robson rang the changes even further by dropping goalkeeper Shay Given and restoring Steve Harper after 11 months.

Harper gave Newcastle their biggest scare of an eventful first half when he sent a clearance straight to Pavel Nedved, who wasted the chance.

Solano is surrounded by Juve defenders
Solano is surrounded by Juve defenders

Laurent Robert had Newcastle's best opportunity on the stroke of half-time, but he shot hopelessly wide after being set up by Gary Speed.

Newcastle surged forward after the interval, knowing only victory would maintain their hopes of progress.

And Buffon was in constant action, saving brilliantly from Nolberto Solano - then pushing away a powerful Alan Shearer free-kick on the hour.


We created three clear chances, but didn't take them and it wasn't easy at all because of Newcastle's performance
Juventus coach Marcello Lippi

But it was only a brief reprieve, and Italy's first-choice keeper had to take his share of the blame as Newcastle went ahead.

Griffin raced into the penalty area and fired across the face of goal, only for Buffon to deflect the ball into the net via his elbow.

Buffon made a measure of amends as Newcastle almost added a second immediately, diving brilliantly to his left to palm away Solano's angled drive.

Juventus, inevitably, responded and the Turin side's talisman Alessandro del Piero was denied by a brave block from Harper after Titus Bramble's slip.

The Toon Army held its breath again with eight minutes left, when substitute Zalayeta crashed a shot against the bar.

But that was Newcastle's last alarm and St James's Park celebrated.


Newcastle: Harper, Griffin, O'Brien, Bramble, Hughes, Solano, Jenas, Speed, Robert, LuaLua, Shearer. Substitutes: Given, Elliott, Acuna, Ameobi, Kerr, Bernard, Viana.

Juventus: Buffon, Thuram, Ferrara, Iuliano, Birindelli, Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Davids, Nedved, Del Piero, Di Vaio. Substitutes: Fresi, Conte, Chimenti, Zambrotta, Baiocco, Moretti, Zalayeta.

Referee: R Pedersen (Norway)

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"The winner came from a most unlikely source"
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"It's a big scalp for us"
Newcastle's Gary Speed
"This result gives us some hope"

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23 Oct 02 | Champions League
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