Before a capacity crowd at St. James Park, Bobby’s boys booked themselves a UEFA Cup semi-final tie with a well won 3-2 aggregate victory over PSV Eindhoven. The hard work of last weeks first leg 1-1 tie out in the Netherlands proved to be invaluable as PSV refused to be counted out until the final whistle was blown a full four minutes after full time.
Newcastle opened the scoring, and settle their nerves, after just 9 mins with a typical peach of a header from old faithful, Alan Shearer. A magical delivery of a corner from Robert was dispatched into the back of the PSV net when Shearer rose like a salmon above his marker. Newcastle 1 – 0 PSV Eindhoven at half time.
The second half introduction of PSV’s 6’4” lanky centre forward fella proved a decisive tactical decision as it allowed the visitors to pile pressure on the Newcastle defensive backline. The ever-dependable Woodgate lead by example and inspired a solid performance for the sometimes shaky Titus Bramble. Ironically it was one of Newcastle’s most consistent performers this season, Olivier Bernard, who took a needless second touch inside his own 18 yard box and found himself in trouble (what did I used to say Erick? If in doubt….kick it out!). A desperate attempt to clear resulted in a foul on the PSV player and a definite penalty, which Kezman scored. Newcastle 1-1 PSV Eindhoven.
Some may argue it was the influence of the capacity crowd that won this game as the fans took to their feet and voraciously cheered their team on. After a long anonymous spell Robert fired in another quality corner from the left and at the back stick was Gary Speed to head home past the flapping PSV goalkeeper. Newcastle 2-1 PSV Eindhoven.
After an unexplained extension of 4 minutes the referee finally blew for full time and tonight’s result, aggregated with last weeks 1-1 draw was enough to see Bobby’s boys through to the final four of this European cup competition for the first time in 35 years. The last time they were this far, they went on to lift the trophy. Better hope I don’t get a job starting next week, because I’m going to be standing in line for tickets.
HOWAY THE LADS!!!