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  Saturday, 9 March, 2002, 19:32 GMT
Robert rescues Magpies
Arsenal's Edu celebrates his goal against Newcastle
Arsenal were unable to repeat last Saturday's win
Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal
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Newcastle and Arsenal cancelled one another out in this entertaining FA Cup quarter-final draw at St James' Park.

The second meeting in a week between the two sides proved closer than last Saturday's Premier League encounter - Arsenal had won 2-0 - as Arsene Wenger's side were made to look distinctly uncomfortable.

The source of much of that discomfort was Newcastle's goalscorer Laurent Robert, whose goal soon after the restart equalised Edu's 14th minute strike for Arsenal.

As well as scoring, the Frenchman also hit the bar and he proved a constant irritant to the Arsenal defence, particularly Lee Dixon.

  Match facts
14 mins: Edu opens the scoring for Arsenal
15 mins: Laurent Robert's volley rebounds off the bar
52 mins: Robert revives Newcastle with a fine shot

With Arsenal on a high in both the Premier League and in Europe after a series of potent attacking performances, Wenger rested Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and David Seaman.

If it was a team selection that looked forward to Tuesday night's Champions League showdown against Deportivo La Coruna, the 11 players Wenger sent out still had just enough experience - and luck - to grind out a draw.

Robson's side started brightly enough, but after Richard Wright had tipped Alan Shearer's free-kick over the bar, Arsenal took the lead through Edu.

Sylvain Wiltord beat Sylvain Distin on the right and his cross was touched home by Edu, who had managed to get in front of Nikos Dabizas.

Newcastle immediately responded by mounting a succession of attacks that saw Robert strike a volley against the Arsenal bar and then hit a shot that Wright could only parry away.

Then Dixon did well to clear off the line Distin's header and then Dabizas sent a powerful header from a Robert free-kick that went narrowly past Wright's right-hand upright.

Laruent Robert goes past Gilles Grimandi
Robert scored his seventh goal this season

In the 35th minute Dixon's defensive colleague Igor Stepanovs also had to be alert to head away a Carl Cort header.

Soon after the restart Newcastle's cup hopes were resuscitated by Robert - easily the home side's most impressive player.

Dabizas launched the ball forward and as Stepanovs slipped, Shearer's flick-on sent Robert free and the Frenchman made no mistake with a finely-struck shot.

In the 66th minute Cort was unable to wrap his foot round the ball as he stretched to reach Distin's inswinging cross.

The two teams will now meet on 23 March at Highbury.


Newcastle: Given, Hughes, Dabizas, O'Brien, Distin, Solano, Acuna, McClen, Robert, Cort (Ameobi 70), Shearer.
Subs Not Used: Elliott, Harper, Lua-Lua, Bernard.
Booked: Hughes.

Arsenal: Wright, Dixon, Campbell, Stepanovs, Lauren, Ljungberg (Pires 58), Vieira, Grimandi, Edu (Bergkamp 61), Kanu, Wiltord.
Subs Not Used: Seaman, Tavlaridis, Kolo Toure.
Booked: Dixon, Pires.

Att: 51,027

Ref: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"A draw, the least Newcastle deserved"
Newcastle captain Alan Shearer
"We should have won, I really believe that"
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
"Over the 90 minutes we were the better team"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It was very difficult for us to play our usual game"
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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