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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Chelsea were gifted a goal in the first eight minutes"
 real 14k

Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
"The tempo of Newcastle was better than Chelsea"
 real 14k

Chelsea's Graeme Le Saux
"It was two points we felt we dropped"
 real 14k

Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"It's looking a bit healthy for us"
 real 14k

Sunday, 19 August, 2001, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Acuna rescues Newcastle
Zenden hits Chelsea's opener
Zenden strikes just nine minutes into his debut
Chelsea 1-1 Newcastle

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Goalkeepers Shay Given and Ed de Goey exchanged blunders as Newcastle forced a point at Stamford Bridge.

Given's early howler looked to have gifted Chelsea an opening-day victory as he allowed Boudewijn Zenden's strike to squirm through his grasp after only nine minutes.

But, 12 minutes from time, Newcastle capped a spell of pressure by forcing a similar error from De Goey.

The Dutchman, preferred ahead of Mark Bosnich as Carlo Cudicini's replacement, could only parry Bassedas' drive and Clarence Acuna pounced to sidefoot home the equaliser.

That was no less than Bobby Robson's side deserved after an impressive second-half fightback.

The goal also spared Given's blushes after his horrible mistake had seen him post an early contender for howler of the season.

  Key moments
9 mins: Given's mistake gifts Zenden an opener
78 mins: Bassedas' free kick is parried by De Goey and Acuna follows up to equalise
Zenden and Zola worked a corner well from the right and Zenden cut inside to make himself space for the shot.

But the effort lacked power and was straight at Given, who seemed to have the situation under control only to allow the ball to bounce in front of him before squirming through his grasp.

On a slippery surface, Ed de Goey nearly returned the favour at the other end.

The Chelsea keeper fumbled a Robert shot and was highly fortunate to see the ball spin wide of a post.

But it wasn't all bad news for the goalkeepers.

Six minutes after his early clanger, Given made ammends with a remarkable save from defender John Terry.

Given was already committed to diving one way when Terry latched on to a Zola free kick, but Given reacted brilliantly to knock away the close range effort with an outstretched leg.

De Goey also made up for his earlier misdemeanour, rushing off his line to block a Craig Bellamy shot after the striker had been put clear by a superb pass from the impressive Warren Barton.

Laurent Robert
Laurent Robert made his Newcastle debut
While Barton shone for Bobby Robson's side, most of Chelsea's brightest moments stemmed from Zenden, who enjoyed an oustanding debut.

That fact simply rubbed salt into Newcastle's wounds after the Dutch winger had resisted their overtures and opted instead for Stamford Bridge during the summer.

Aaron Hughes became too frustrated when a sublime turn by the Dutchman left him floundering and Hughes' subsequent shirt pull earned him a booking.

But Newcastle had their chances to fight back, not least in a heavy spell of pressure early in the second half.

Rob Lee went closest with a long-range sidefoot drive which flew just the wrong side of De Goey's upright.

Newcastle's increasingly-frantic search for an equaliser inevitably left gaps at the back and Zola twice came close to punishing them on the counter attack.

First, the little Italian saw a mazy run blocked as he shaped to shoot, then a Zola shot forced a smart save from Given.

Emmanuel Petit (left) and Craig Bellamy
Petit and Bellamy battle in midfield
But it was Newcastle who finished the stronger, possibly as a result of their pre-season build-up.

While Chelsea have been playing meaningless friendlies, Newcastle have sharpened their competitive edge in the InterToto Cup.

Their extra match fitness gave them an edge late on and Acuna was the man to profit.

De Goey flapped woefully at Bassedas' free-kick and Acuna was alert enough to steer home from close range and earn a deserved point for the visitors.

Chelsea: de Goey, Terry, Le Saux, Melchiot, Desailly, Lampard, Petit, Zenden, Hasselbaink, Zola, Gronkjaer. Subs: Jokanovic, Stanic, Gallas, Gudjohnsen, Bosnich.

Newcastle: Given, Barton, Elliott, Dabizas, Hughes, Lee, Acuna, Bassedas, Robert, Ameobi, Bellamy. Subs: O'Brien, Griffin, Harper, Quinn, Lua-Lua.

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)


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