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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006, 16:55 GMT
Blackburn 1-3 Newcastle
By Saj Chowdhury

Obafemi Martins (centre)
Martins (centre) celebrates his stunning goal
Obafemi Martins scored twice to help Newcastle beat 10-man Blackburn at Ewood Park.

The Magpies struck first courtesy of a stunning 18-yard strike from the pacy Nigerian forward.

Steven Taylor doubled the lead, poking in from six yards, before Stephane Henchoz was sent off for pulling down Martins just before half-time.

Morten Gamst Pedersen made it 2-1 with a 25-yard effort, before Martins broke away from 40 yards to score his second.

Roeder's men have now only lost one in 12 in all competitons, but more importantly for the Newcastle boss, his side have distanced themselves from the teams occupying the relegation places.

The visitors looked second best for much of the first 45 minutes and Blackburn were unlucky not to take the lead through defender Andre Ooijer, whose powerful header from Pedersen's corner was brilliantly tipped over by Shay Given.

606: DEBATE
OD

Martins also went close early in the match, but his tame low shot from six yards was easily cleared by Brad Friedel in the Rovers goal.

However, the Nigerian made amends 15 minutes before the break by rifling in a far more difficult chance, from Sibierski's well-weighted cross-field ball from the right.

Before Blackburn had much of chance to re-group, they were 2-0 down.

Their defence failed to clear a Nicky Butt's right-wing cross. The ball fell for N'Zogbia who found Taylor on hand to tap in from close range.

And just before the half was out, things got worse for Mark Hughes' men when Henchoz was sent off for hauling down Martins who, according to referee Dermot Gallagher, would have been clear on goal.

Blackburn have been underachieving this season after many predicted they would be challenging for a European spot.

But they showed signs of why perhaps they should be in the top half of the table with a much-improved performance in the second 45.

One player who shone in the first-half was Pedersen, and his moment of magic almost immediately after the restart woke up the jaded home supporters.

After managing to nutmeg two Newcastle defenders on the left, the Norwegian unleashed a cracking strike from 25 yards out which gave the agile Given no chance.

Rovers' tails were up and with Newcastle talisman Emre stretchered off with a ankle injury, the 10 men looked more likely to get the next goal.

Blackburn peppered the Newcastle goal with crosses from the left and right, but they were rarely allowed a sight on goal.

Their best chance of an equaliser fell to Pedersen, who had his header from four yards acrobatically saved by Given.

Blackburn won a corner at the death and keeper Friedel surged forward, but by doing that he was also committing hare kare.

The ball broke for Martins and he ran 40 yards before tucking in his shot into an empty net from the edge of the area.


  • Blackburn boss Mark Hughes:
    "Stephane won the ball in the air and as he came down he clipped the back of Martins' heels.

    "The ball was going away from the goal. So how the referee can give the sending off?"

  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder:
    "We had to work hard, but the win was thoroughly deserved.

    "The first half was excellent we took the game to Blackburn. Martins' opening goal was unstoppable, but he always scores goals like that in training.

    "The red card for Stephane Henchoz was deserved. Rules are the rules, he was the last man."


    Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Ooijer, Henchoz, Gray, Bentley (Todd 46), Savage, Kerimoglu, Pedersen, Nonda (Derbyshire 46), McCarthy.
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Mokoena, Peter.

    Sent Off: Henchoz (40).

    Booked: McCarthy.

    Goals: Pedersen 47.

    Newcastle: Given, Solano (Rossi 67), Ramage, Taylor, Babayaro, Milner, Butt, Emre (Pattison 54), N'Zogbia, Martins, Sibierski (Huntington 86).
    Subs Not Used: Srnicek, Luque.

    Booked: Babayaro, N'Zogbia.

    Goals: Martins 31, Taylor 35, Martins 90.

    Att: 19,225

    Ref: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    09 Dec 06 |  Football


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