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Last Updated:  Saturday, 1 March, 2003, 14:26 GMT
Newcastle sink Chelsea
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink heads into his own net
Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea

Newcastle United strengthened their grip on a Champions League place with a vital victory over close rivals Chelsea at St James's Park.

Sir Bobby Robson's side moved level on points with Manchester United in the Premiership - and delivered a blow to Chelsea's hopes of finishing in the top four.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink unwittingly gave Newcastle the lead with a flying header into his own net - but Frank Lampard put Chelsea level before half time.

But Newcastle's impressive home form continued and Olivier Bernard scored the winner in the 52nd minute.

Newcastle gave 9m Jonathan Woodgate his debut - and he was part of a defence that was kept busy as Chelsea controlled the first half.

It was a shock when Newcastle took the lead on the half-hour - and the source of the goal was even more surprising.

Hasselbaink, lethal in front of goal, delivered a deadly blow to his own team when he flashed a near post header past Carlo Cudicini with unerring accuracy.

Newcastle's advantage was against the run of play - but Chelsea deservedly restored equality five minutes later.

Hugo Viana beats Mario Melchiot

Shay Given failed to claim Jesper Gronkjaer's corner, and Lampard sent a brilliant first-time volley into the top corner.

Gronkjaer wasted a perfect opportunity to set up the unmarked Hasselbaink six minutes before the interval, shooting wastefully straight at Given.

Newcastle captain Alan Shearer had penalty appeals waved away by referee Jeff Winter on the stroke of half-time as he went down under challenge from John Terry, adding to the frustration of the home supporters.

Robson's side opened the second half with far more purpose, and they were rewarded by restoring their lead after 52 minutes.

Hugo Viana, back to full fitness after a shoulder injury, was the creator with a brilliant pass inside Gronkjaer to Bernard, who bravely lifted a finish over the onrushing Cudicini.

But Chelsea were in defiant mood and were almost on terms, Given saving brilliantly from Lampard's header.

Newcastle: Given, Hughes, O'Brien, Woodgate, Bernard, Solano (Griffin 79), Dyer (Ameobi 88), Speed, Viana (Bramble 72), Shearer, Bellamy.
Subs Not Used: LuaLua, Caig.

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Gallas, Terry, Babayaro (Cole 77), Gronkjaer (Zola 67), Morris, Lampard, Stanic (Zenden 67), Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen.
Subs Not Used: Evans, Huth.

Booked: Cole.

Attendance: 52,157

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).

BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"Newcastle had that little bit extra"

Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed
"We can realistically win the league now"



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