Newcastle 0-2 Barcelona
Newcastle's rollercoaster ride in the Champions League came to an end when they were beaten at home to Barcelona.
Goals from Patrick Kluivert and Thiago Motta ensured they went out on a losing note, but victory for Inter Milan at Bayer Leverkusen meant the result was of little consequence.
Newcastle went into the game knowing they needed a win to have any chance to progress and they made sure they went out with a bang.
Sir Bobby Robson's men came flying out of the blocks and Craig Bellamy could have put them into the lead inside three minutes.
The Welsh forward was released by Alan Shearer and was one-on-one with the keeper but shot well wide.
A couple of minutes later the same pair combined again with Shearer flicking on and Bellamy's pace taking him into the box, but he again missed the target.
Six years ago Tino Asprilla scored a hat-trick as Newcastle recorded a famous victory over Barcelona at St James' Park.
Had Bellamy brought his shooting boots he could easily have emulated Asprilla's famous feats.
18 mins: Bellamy hits the post for Newcastle
60 mins: Kluivert opens the scoring for Barca
74 mins: Motta makes sure of the three points
His best chance came in the 18th minute after Shearer had got behind the defence and picked him out.
Bellamy's shot lacked power but was goalbound until Victor Valdes managed to deflect it against the post.
Bellamy then earned his side a free-kick on the edge of the area.
It was perfectly placed for Shearer to test the keeper, but his rocket of a shot was blocked by a brave Spanish wall.
Barcelona ran out winners at St James'
Barcelona stroked the ball around with confidence, but they rarely threatened the Newcastle goal.
Thiago Motta and Fabio Rochemback both tried speculative attempts from long range that failed to test Newcastle stopper Shay Given.
Rochemback managed to break free from the shackles of Olivier Bernard, but with just Given to beat he lofted the ball over the bar.
Newcastle were unable to keep up their searing pace and the news that Inter Milan were leading in Germany seemed to deflate them.
Their hopes seemed buried when Barcelona took the lead through Kluivert on the hour.
Titus Bramble will have nightmares about the way he dithered over a harmless ball forward and Kluivert poked the ball past Given.
Group A: Barcelona (Spa), Inter Milan (Ita)
Group B: Valencia (Spa), Ajax (Ned)
Group C: AC Milan (Ita), Real Madrid (Spa)
Group D: Manchester United (Eng), Juventus (Ita)
The Shearer-Bellamy partnership could have got Newcastle back on level terms almost immediately, but the latter was again off-target.
Bellamy continued to try his luck but it was not to be his night as he shaved the bar with a shot from the edge of the box.
Barcelona made sure of their 13th win in 14 Champions League games when Motta flicked home from a Juan Riquelme free-kick.
Newcastle: Given, Griffin, O'Brien, Bramble, Bernard, Solano,
Dyer, Jenas, Robert, Shearer, Bellamy. Subs: Harper, Hughes,
LuaLua, Ameobi, Kerr, Caldwell, Viana.
Barcelona: Valdes, Reiziger, De Boer, Andersson, Gabri,
Mendieta, Motta, Xavi, Rochemback, Kluivert, Riquelme. Subs:
Bonano, Overmars, Christanval, Gerard, Oleguer, Iniesta, Sergio.
Referee: Jan Wegereef (Holland)