I honestly don't know where to start! That was amazing. What kind of football team can lose at home to Blackpool and then go away to Goodison and win, then rock up to Stamford Bridge and score FOUR! The wonderful world of Newcastle United Football Club.
I got into the ground just in time for kick off after the inevitable pre match beers and looking down at the line up's I thought we would do very well to walk away with a respectable defeat. They fielded several 'first teamers' whilst for us only Colo started in Saturday's excellent win at Everton.
Chelsea started very strongly with my favourite Chelsea player, Paddy van Aanholt looking very threatening roaming down the left hand side. It only took 6 minutes for them to cut us open and Paddy scored with a shot that Krul should probably have saved - there was some terrible defending in the build up too. At that point I think every single Newcastle fan feared the worst.
Then something strange happened. We grew in stature and looked very confident. We started to dominate the game and 20 minutes later Nile Ranger converted a cross from the fantastic Shane Ferguson to pull us level. A minute later Ranger should have scored again - just as we worried that our big chance had gone, Shola was fouled on the edge of the area and Ryan Taylor scored with a fantastic free kick. We continued to dominate and it was disappointing when the half time whistle blew.
Four minutes in to the second half and we scored AGAIN. World beater(!) Shola Ameobi placed a shot inside the post from outside of the area - we all went mental. I started wondering if it was really happening or had I nodded off on the train and was having a ridiculous dream. 3 v 1. Shortly after that Shola played Lovenkrands in with a fantastic ball. Lovenkrands, who barely touched the ball all evening, broke clear and could have finished the tie but he failed to hit the target.
The tie looked to be over when Benayoun and Kalou picked up injuries - Chelsea used all of their subs and this meant that they had to see out the remainder of the game with ten men. Surely then we could stroll home? Oh no, not Newcastle United. Their last sub was a 17 year old English kid by the name of Josh McReachan. McReachan dominated the midfield and Chelsea pulled a goal back - more good work from van Aanholt and his cross was put away by the ever dangerous Anelka. We continued to sit back and 'homer' ref Phil Dowd did all he could to help the home side keep their 'quadruple' dream alive. Alex toppled over in the box despite no contact whatsoever and Dowd pointed to the spot. Genuinely one of the worst penalty decisions I have ever seen. Anelka made taking a penalty look like the easiest thing in the world and they were level with only 3 minutes remaining. It looked like extra time was on its way.
Then the unthinkable happened. A couple of minutes into the allocated SIX minutes of stoppage time we won a corner right in front of the Newcastle fans. Jonas swung it in, Shola broke off to the near post and planted a bullet header into the far corner of the net - 4 v 3 and one of the best goal celebrations in the away end that I have ever seen.
We soaked up the inevitable late pressure for the remainder of stoppage time and saw out the game. What an amazing result, an amazing performance and a fantastically entertaining game. And what a joy to be on the RIGHT end of a 4 v 3 result.
I have been to many away games over the years and this features right up there for me. My fifth visit to Stamford Bridge and the first time that I have seen us win there. In fact we scored twice as many goals as I had seen in my previous four visits combined!
The most encouraging thing of all is that this was effectively done with our second XI. My big concern at the start of the season was that we had no strength in depth - especially at left back, but this game has given me great confidence. Shane Ferguson, a left winger to date, looked like he had played at full back for his whole life. That has to be his permanent position from now on. Sol looked steady and very quick, Vuckic looked very comfortable in the centre of the park and despite playing out of position out wide right, Nile Ranger was a handful all night.
Incidentally, Opta Joe on Twitter pointed out that Chelsea were unbeaten in 30 domestic home cup games before this result!
The future is bright.
Krul 6 Some quality saves but should have done better with their first
Taylor 8 What a goal that was
Ferguson 8 The kid looks every bit a natural born full back
Colo 8 We looked more solid when he was on the park
Campbell 8 Very solid first start
Smith 5 Very poor - can someone please tell him he is not Beckenbauer and cant pass 40 yards
Vuckic 7 Steady once he settled
Ranger 8 Also at fault for their 1st, but scored a goal and put in a shift
Jonas 8 Another player who put in a great shift. And Messi reckons hes as good as Fabregas
Lovenkrands 5 Very quiet and missed a great chance. Needs games
Fenham Eusebio 9 Yeah, he almost hit the cornerflag and the roof, but two great goals and an all round super game
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