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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 21:53 GMT
Newcastle 4-1 Stoke
By Paul Fletcher

Michael Owen celebrates scoring for Newcastle
Owen scored after just eight minutes to put Newcastle ahead
Newcastle sealed a fourth-round FA Cup tie at Arsenal with a comfortable victory over Stoke on the day Kevin Keegan returned as Magpies manager.

Keegan missed Michael Owen's goal from inside the six-yard box but was in the stands to see Claudio Cacapa's header.

James Milner and Damien Duff scored with precise strikes before Stoke's Liam Lawrence replied from 20 yards.

Emre saw red in the first-half for a tackle on John Eustace, who had earlier escaped after a lunge on the Turk.

In many ways it was a largely unspectacular match, with lengthy passages of mediocre play, but Newcastle had the extra class in the attacking areas.

And in truth the evening was all about the return of Keegan 11 years after his first spell as manager came to an end.

606: DEBATE

The news had broken in the afternoon and fans quickly flocked to St James' Park to queue for tickets and the hope of a glimpse of the man regarded as a hero on Tyneside.

Such was the clamour for tickets that kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes.

With the return of Keegan to the club the prospect of Stoke causing an FA Cup upset had very much become the secondary issue in the north east.

But Tony Pulis's team started the match as though they were intent on grabbing their own headlines.

Shay Given parried an early shot-come-cross and the ball broke to Ryan Shawcross, who could only strike the side netting from an acute angle.

Ricardo Fuller then broke into the Newcastle area and forced Given into action once more.

But the evening belonged to Newcastle and just eight minutes had elapsed when Owen smashed the ball home after Stoke failed to clear the danger from Milner's far-post header.

Fans celebrate the return of Kevin Keegan to the club
The focus of the evening was about the return of Keegan

Steve Simonsen saved a shot from Duff after the winger superbly controlled a long raking pass before two unsavoury and unwanted tackles received very different punishments from referee Uriah Rennie.

Eustace's lunge on Emre resulted in a foul and a golf ball-sized lump on the shin but no card while the Turk's horrible challenge on the Stoke skipper minutes later produced a straight red from the referee.

If Stoke sensed a chance to force their way back into the contest it was quickly snuffed out when Cacapa's header doubled the Magpies lead.

By this time Keegan had arrived at the ground and was watching in the directors' box flanked by owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort.

Jon Parkin's clever volley on the turn beat the advancing Given but went wide of the Newcastle goal as the Championship side continued to try to dent Keegan's return.

But Milner's precise low strike across goal from 19 yards nestled in the bottom corner and effectively ended any hope of a Stoke comeback.

And the effective Charles N'Zogbia played a square ball to Duff, who was in acres of space and slotted the ball past Simonsen for the fourth.

Lawrence scored a consolation for Stoke close to full-time with a superb curling finish from the edge of the area.


  • Newcastle caretaker manager Nigel Pearson:
    "I am pleased to reach the next round and pleased that the players have some self-respect back after the defeat at Manchester United and put on a good show.

    "We were under pressure to get a result and we managed to do that.

    "There were a lot of good displays and what is important now is to move beyond this disappointing period.

  • Stoke boss Tony Pulis on the return of Kevin Keegan:
    "It made it more difficult but we did not turn up, there are no excuses.

    "They kept the ball better than us and it was a bad day at the office.

    "I said to the players that these days happen and I am glad that it was not in a league game."


    Newcastle: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa (Rozehnal 71), Jose Enrique, Milner, Emre, N'Zogbia (LuaLua 79), Duff, Viduka (Carroll 72), Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Edgar.

    Sent Off: Emre (29).

    Goals: Owen 8, Cacapa 31, Milner 68, Duff 76.

    Stoke: Simonsen, Zakuani, Shawcross, Cort, Delap (Dickinson 78), Lawrence, Eustace (Pulis 78), Pugh, Fuller, Cresswell, Parkin (Diao 62).
    Subs Not Used: Hoult, Pericard.

    Booked: Delap.

    Goals: Lawrence 89.

    Att: 35,108

    Ref: Uriah Rennie (S Yorkshire).


    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Newcastle's Michael Owen 8.22 (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.



  • SEE ALSO
    Keegan's return in photos
    17 Jan 08 |  Football
    Wednesday's football photos
    16 Jan 08 |  Football
    Keegan returns as Newcastle boss
    16 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
    Peacock expects role for Shearer
    16 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
    Keegan's coaching career in photos
    16 Jan 08 |  Football
    What they say about Keegan
    16 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
    BBC pundits on Keegan
    16 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
    Debate: Newcastle fan's view
    16 Jan 08 |  Football


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