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Blackburn 3-0 Newcastle

By Saj Chowdhury

Benni McCarthy
McCarthy got the ball rolling for Blackburn

Second-half goals from strikers Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts handed Blackburn a victory over Newcastle that moved them out of the bottom three.

McCarthy opened the scoring from the spot after David Edgar was adjudged to have fouled the South African.

Roberts doubled the lead when he slammed in from 10 yards before tapping in a more simple effort from Morten Gamst Pedersen's square ball.

Newcastle were reduced to 10 men when Nicky Butt was shown a second yellow.

Sam Allardyce's wish of getting "one over" his former employers came true in emphatic fashion but for 60 minutes Newcastle looked the better team.

Allardyce enjoys win over old club

The match was well short of being a classic, but there were still plenty of chances created and, in the first half, Joe Kinnear's Newcastle had the lion's share.

Gateshead-born Andy Carroll, who has made the most of his first team chances in recent weeks, twice went close with headers - his first went a yard wide of the left-hand upright and his second was cleared off the line by Keith Andrews.

His strike partner Michael Owen, watched by England coach Fabio Capello, was unlucky not to grab his ninth league goal of the season when his low shot across goal was blocked Stephen Warnock.

And had it been either Owen or Carroll found by Damien Duff instead of Butt then perhaps a shot from eight yards would not have been fired over keeper Paul Robinson's bar.

The only chance created by Rovers in the first half came at the end of the period when Christopher Samba headed his effort narrowly wide of Given's right-hand post.

Samba bowed out of the match shortly afterwards when he picked up a nasty looking head injury which required four stitches.

Kinnear backs Barton's 'passion'

Newcastle began the second half brightly but it was the home team that were first to test their opponent's goal when McCarthy's 20-yard free-kick was brilliantly palmed on to the post by Given.

The major talking point of the match came moments after when a long ball found McCarthy in the area and he tumbled to the ground under a seemingly innocuous challenge from Newcastle defender Edgar.

Referee Rob Styles pointed to the spot and McCarthy rifled the spot-kick low past Given.

With the wind in their sails, Blackburn ploughed forward and took advantage of a shell-shocked Newcastle when Roberts was fed in by Pedersen, via Robinson's long ball, the striker emphatically slamming his shot into the Newcastle goal.

Fan gives Magpies boss Kinnear-full

The visitors, who have now only taken one point from the last 12 on offer, continued their implosion when Butt picked up his second yellow following a challenge on David Dunn.

And with four minutes remaining, the sprightly Pedersen found Roberts unmarked three yards out at the far post, who gratefully grabbed his second.

To round off a miserable day for the Magpies, team-mates Joey Barton and Jose Enrique had to be separated from squaring up to each other by Sebastian Bassong following Roberts' second strike.

All of which will be of no concern to Allardyce, whose men are now unbeaten in five games and out of the relegation zone.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce on the opener:

"I didn't see that coming after half-time.

"We played very poorly for us at home in the first half and I had a bit of sorting out to do.

"At that stage it was all Newcastle and I was a little bit worried. But the one thing the players did was keep hold of their defensive qualities."

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear on the penalty:

"I could never see that coming.

"We were in control and I am very disappointed with the decision. It was the turning point for the game.

"The penalty made all the difference. It was harsh. I think that is the third time this season that referee Rob Styles has given a penalty against us."

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba (Dunn 45), Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Kerimoglu (Grella 59), Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy (Roque Santa Cruz 70).
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Mokoena, Treacy, Derbyshire.

Booked: Grella, Roberts.

Goals: McCarthy 61 pen, Roberts 66, 86.

Newcastle: Given, Edgar, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Duff (Gutierrez 79), Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia (Barton 74), Carroll, Owen.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Xisco, Taylor, Kadar, LuaLua.

Sent Off: Butt (83).

Booked: Edgar, Butt, Barton.

Att: 25,583

Ref: Rob Styles (Hampshire).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Shay Given 7.52 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Saturday's football photos
17 Jan 09 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
17 Jan 09 |  Premier League
Kinnear offered extended contract
17 Jan 09 |  Newcastle

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