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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 May 2007, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Newcastle 0-2 Blackburn
By Jonathan Stevenson

Jason Roberts celebrates his goal for Blackburn
Roberts has been in great form for Blackburn in recent games
Blackburn kept alive their hopes of qualifying for Europe with a comfortable victory away at Newcastle.

Striker Benni McCarthy gave Blackburn an early lead, slamming in a volley after the home defence went missing.

Steve Harper made a brilliant save from a Morten Gamst Pedersen volley before Jason Roberts headed in for 2-0 after great work from David Bentley.

Michael Owen's goalbound effort forced Chris Samba to head off the line, but Newcastle got just what they deserved.

It was a lame performance and will not help boss Glenn Roeder as the speculation mounts over his position as Magpies manager.

Newcastle had nothing to play for and it showed as the visitors dominated throughout.

Roeder's side lacked any real urgency and after a good early save from Brad Friedel to push Kieron Dyer's header over, it was mostly all Blackburn.

They took the lead with their first real chance, as the Magpies' defence - not for the first time this season - gifted their opponents a goal.


Stephen Warnock swung over a cross from the left and McCarthy, in acres of space as Newcastle got their offside trap horribly wrong, hammered in.

After Harper brilliantly stuck out a hand to stop Pedersen's left-foot rocket flying in, Rovers nearly caught out Newcastle twice more.

McCarthy first delayed too long and played in Roberts who was offside, before Bentley ran through and chipped in, but he too was adjudged to be beyond the last man.

As the first half came to an end Newcastle briefly came to life, Scott Parker tamely shooting at Friedel and Owen blazing over from 12 yards.

Sadly for the home fans who booed their team off, normal service was quickly resumed after the break.

Blackburn's Tugay (left) tackles Newcastle's Michael Owen
Blackburn's Tugay (left) tackles Newcastle striker Michael Owen

Pedersen should have made it 2-0 when he found acres of space 10 yards out on the left, but the Norwegian badly dragged his shot wide.

Tugay tested Harper from long-range soon after and it seemed a matter of time before the visitors put the result beyond doubt.

Blackburn had a rare scare when Owen raced on to a lofted pass and chested the ball round Friedel, but his goalbound volley was superbly headed off the line by Samba.

Moments after Samba's brilliance, Bentley conjured up some magic of his own to help wrap up the points.

He went on a 70-yard run down the Rovers right and, having cut into the box, chipped expertly on to Roberts' head for the striker to nod in a second.

Cue more boos and a flood of home supporters out of St James' Park for the last time this season.

Mercifully, many of them will have missed the frankly abysmal finish to the game, during which absolutely nothing happened.

Plenty must happen at St James' Park this summer to avoid another season of abject failure.

  • Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder on being booed off the pitch:
    "Of course I know why they boo, they are frustrated, but they must understand that I'm equally frustrated.

    "I don't like talking about luck but we haven't had much and I hope I am given the opportunity in an injury-free season next time to carry on.

    "Today was hugely disappointing. We just can't buy a goal at the moment."

  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes on finishing in the top seven and gaining a Uefa Cup spot:
    "The results today have sent a number of clubs back towards us.

    "If we can win our last two games we can get very close to the top seven, though no-one believed me when i said we could it a few weeks ago.

    "We've hit a rich vein of attacking form, we're on a great run of form and are playing exceptionally well now."

    Newcastle: Harper, Solano, Onyewu, Bramble (Ramage 70), Carr, Dyer (Ameobi 70), Parker, Butt, Milner, Owen, Martins.
    Subs Not Used: Srnicek, N'Zogbia, Carroll.

    Booked: Butt.

    Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Kerimoglu (Gallagher 89), Mokoena, Pedersen, McCarthy (Derbyshire 67), Roberts (Nonda 85).
    Subs Not Used: Brown, Henchoz.

    Booked: Warnock, Roberts, Kerimoglu.

    Goals: McCarthy 14, Roberts 73.

    Att: 51,226.

    Ref: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

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