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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 21:52 GMT
Magpies go down fighting
Dutchman Patrick Kluivert celebrates as he restores Barcelona's one-goal advantage in the 35th minute
Kluivert scored his 100th goal for Barcelona
Barcelona 3-1 Newcastle

Newcastle were taught a cruel lesson in attacking football by a rampant Barcelona side at the Nou Camp.

Sir Bobby Robson's side caused the Barcelona defence plenty of problems.

But without first-choice strikers Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy they were unable to make them count as they slipped to a second defeat in Group A.

Marc Overmars was the destroyer in chief for Louis van Gaal's side who maintained their impressive Champions League form.

The former Arsenal winger, who scored against Newcastle in the 1998 FA Cup final, reminded United early on what he was capable of in forcing a couple of quick corners.

Key moments
7 mins: Dani scores from a Xavi cross
24 mins: Newcastle equalise through Ameobi
35 mins: Kluivert puts Barcelona back in front
58 mins: Motta gives the home side some daylight

He then beat Andy Griffin to set up Patrick Kluivert, but the Dutchman miscued his shot badly.

When the Catalan side went 1-0 ahead in the seventh minute it was hardly a surprise.

Overmars forced another corner and when the visitors failed to clear Xavi sent in a curling cross that was volleyed left-footed at full stretch by Dani past a helpless Shay Given.

Newcastle came back through Lauren Robert, who drilled in a cross-come-shot that squeezed through keeper Roberto Bonano's legs and Nolberto Solano was unable to poke the ball home.

We never stopped and I'm a bit sorry with the result

Newcastle manager Sir Bobby Robson

Barcelona suffered a double blow when Michael Reiziger and Phillip Cocu were forced off midway through the opening half with injuries.

The changes seemed to disrupt their flow and Newcastle were able to grab an equaliser with only their second attack of the game.

Solano slipped the ball to Kieron Dyer on the edge of the box and the England international laid the ball to the unmarked Shola Ameobi who slotted the ball past Bonano.

The goal lifted Newcastle and Dyer and Ameobi began to find acres of space behind a suspect looking Barca defence.

But such is the way with Robson's side that even when on top they are more than capable of leaking goals.

Overmars was again the instigator as he ran at a retreating Newcastle defence and played a sideways ball for Kluivert.

Newcastle's Lauren Robert had a below-par night

This time the 26-year-old connected cleanly and although Given got a hand to it the Irishman was unable to keep his shot out.

It was his 100th goal for the club since arriving at the Nou Camp in 1998 from AC Milan.

Newcastle continued to press in the second half with Lomana LuaLua flashing a shot wide and Ameobi going agonisingly close with two headers.

But again Newcastle's defence proved to be the weakest link as Barcelona went 3-1 ahead through Thiago Motta.

The Brazilian midfielder got up highest to head home a Riquelme corner, but questions will be asked of Dyer who appeared to be half asleep on the line.

A typical header from Gary Speed from a corner almost clawed a goal back, but it flashed the wrong side of the bar and Newcastle face an uphill task to qualify for the next stage.


Barcelona: Bonano, Reiziger (Christanval 15), de Boer, Puyol, Cocu (Mendieta 16), Riquelme, Xavi, Motta, Overmars, Kluivert, Dani (Saviola 78).
Subs Not Used: Enke, Gerard, Rochemback, Geovanni.

Newcastle: Given, Griffin, O'Brien, Hughes, Bernard, Solano, Dyer, Speed, Robert, LuaLua (Chopra 84), Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Acuna, Jenas, Cort, Caldwell, Dabizas.

Booked: Ameobi.

Attendance: 45,100.

Referee: Frank De Bleecker (Belgium).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"No dream return for Sir Bobby Robson"
Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson
"Ameobi could have had a hat-trick"

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11 Dec 02 | Champions League
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