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Sunday, 9 December, 2001, 16:58 GMT
Solano adds to Ipswich woe
Nolberto Solano celebrates his goal against Ipswich with Alan Shearer and Gary Speed
Shearer and Speed help Solano celebrate his goal
Ipswich Town 0-1 Newcastle United

Bobby Robson returned to Ipswich only to increase his former club's relegation fears.

The former Portman Road boss saw his Newcastle team claim all three points in East Anglia thanks to Nolberto Solano's 20th minute strike.

A disappointing game saw Town - bottom of the Premiership table - rarely threaten Shay Given's goal while the Magpies defended their early advantage.

Robson and former Ipswich favourite Kieron Dyer - who returned to the squad as a substitute - were cheered by the Ipswich crowd.

But there were jeers for Newcastle's ex-Norwich striker Craig Bellamy.

Ipswich showed two changes to the side which lost heavily at Inter Milan in midweek, with John McGreal replacing Titus Bramble and new signing Marcus Bent replacing Richard Naylor.

But the changes made little difference.


Ipswich's supporters were not given cause to get too excited by the FA Cup third round draw which took place as the game kicked off.

Town were paired with the winner of Exeter's replay against Dagenham.

But the Portman Road faithful were even more upset in the 20th minute.

Solano flicked the ball over his shoulder for the unmarked Gary Speed whose shot was saved by Matteo Sereni at point-blank range.

Solano was on hand to prod home the rebound.

Newcastle, who were given Crystal Palace at home in the FA Cup, went in at the break still 1-0 up as Ipswich failed to threaten.

Town's only chances fell to Alun Armstrong, whose curling effort was tipped around the post by Shay Given, and Jermaine Wright who wasted two fine openings.

The home team - denied two penalty appeals - got back into the game just after the restart.

Newcastle's Nikos Dabizas wins a header against Ipswich
Dabizas required treatment for a head wound

Nikos Dabizas - who earlier had treatment for a head injury - let in Armstrong with a weak back-pass but the striker was forced wide and the chance came to nothing.

New signing Marcus Bent shot just over the bar before Newcastle regained control.

Alan Shearer's powerful volley was parried by Sereni and Chris Makin just managed to scramble the loose ball behind for a corner.

Yet more chances fell to Armstrong but the former Middlesbrough man saw a volley fly over the bar and he was then denied at close-range by Given.

A double substitution by George Burley - which saw the ineffective Finidi George and the wasteful Armstrong replaced - could not get Ipswich back into the game.

Ipswich: Sereni, Makin, McGreal, Venus, Hreidarsson, George, Holland, Wright, Clapham, Armstrong, Marcus Bent. Subs: Branagan, Counago, Naylor, Magilton, Peralta.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Dabizas, Elliott, Solano, Lee, Speed, Robert, Shearer, Bellamy. Subs: Dyer, Harper, Ameobi, Distin, Bernard.

Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)

BBC Sport's Alan Biggs
"Newcastle's greater conviction was the crucial factor"
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