Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle: FA Cup third-round replay – as it happened

A much-changed Newcastle side survived injuries and a Blackburn fightback to earn a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup after extra time

And with that, I’m gone. Bye! Here’s Andy Hunter’s match report:

Rafa Benitez has a chat with BT Sport:

It’s a big bonus for everyone. The players were working so hard. Really pleased with the effort of everyone. The main thing I said to everyone is everyone was on the pitch giving everything, giving 100%, fighting for each other. And they did it. To win fighting and scoring four goals is better for the confidence of the players. If you win you have more confidence for the net game. The main thing now is to get three point against Cardiff.

He also says that he’d be happy to have a Cup run but will keep rotating his squad, and refuses to be drawn on whether Newcastle will be signing anyone in this transfer window.

Cal Roberts says he’s happy:

It still hasn’t sunk in yet. Just surreal. It’s what you work for, and for it to happen on a night like this, on my first start, it’s great. Playing 90 minutes and a little bit more, it’s what you work for every day.

Blackburn’s performance completely petered out in the final 15 minutes, understandably, but they did well with an under-strength side and are unfortunate to lose, when Newcastle’s first goal was a deflection and their third was offside and scored long after the first half of extra-time should have ended. They will look back at Dack’s chance in extra time, the moment when they might have taken control of the tie.

Final score: Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle

120+3 mins: And that’s it! Blackburn go out, Newcastle go into round four.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez congratulates Sean Longstaff at the end of the match.
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez congratulates Sean Longstaff at the end of the match. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA


120+2 mins: A cross comes in from the right. Schar heads the ball, and Graham heads Schar. Just goes flying right through the middle of him. Both players stay down.

120+1 mins: There will be one minute of stoppage time in this half. There were three in the first! Three! I still can’t get over that.

119 mins: Newcastle fans are olé-ing their team’s every touch.

118 mins: The clock is ticking down with Newcastle having a succession of throw-ins on the left flank.

115 mins: Murphy is sent running clear on goal, but Bennett does remarkably well to catch him up inside the penalty area and then slide in from behind to win the ball without conceding a penalty. Murphy gets it back and sets up Joselu, whose attempt is saved.

114 mins: Perez flicks the ball on to Joselu, who blasts a shot goalwards, saved by Raya. He is offside, and this time the linesman spots it.

112 mins: Blackburn win a corner, which is sent towards Dack, level with the near post, but he seems to misjudge its flight and heads only air!

111 mins: The corner goes long, is headed down to Schar, and his shot on the spin flies into the side netting.

110 mins: Murphy pulls the ball back from the byline, Joselu nudges it goalwards, and Raya saves. It didn’t look to me like the ball quite crossed the line, but Newcastle get a corner anyway.

109 mins: Newcastle bring Atsu on for Ritchie, ending the evening’s substitutions.

108 mins: Now Murphy has a go from 50 yards, but Raya doesn’t spill this one.

GOAL! Blackburn 2-4 Newcastle (Perez, 107 mins)

And surely that’s sealed it! The ball is looped into the Blackburn half, with Perez in loads of space running from left to right. He carries it into the penalty area before blasting through Raya, who gets a hand to it but can’t stop it!

Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez scores their fourth goal.
Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez scores their fourth goal. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters
Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their fourth goal/
Newcastle United’s Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their fourth goal. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA


106 mins: The fourth half is under way!

Elsewhere in the FA Cup tonight, Sheffield Wednesday have beaten Luton 1-0, and Shrewsbury have beaten Stoke 3-2.

And that’s half-time in extra time! Blackburn should have scored, Newcastle shouldn’t have been allowed to, but it’s a funny old game, etc and so forth.

GOAL! Blackburn 2-3 Newcastle (Joselu, 105+3 mins)

A stinging shot from distance from Schar, Raya flaps back into play and Joselu taps in! Questions to answer: 1) How were there three minutes of stoppage time at the end of that 15-minute half? 2) How did the linesman not notice how offside Joselu was?

Newcastle’s Joselu prods the ball past Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper David Raya for the Magpies' third goal.
Newcastle’s Joselu prods the ball past Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper David Raya Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
Joselu wheels away in celebration after putting the visitors 3-2 up.
Then watches the ball head into the net as he wheels away in anticipation of celebrating his goal. Photograph: Ryan Browne/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
Up in the stands, the Newcastle United fans look pretty pleased.
Up in the stands, the Newcastle United fans look pretty pleased. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters


105 mins: What a chance for Blackburn! Graham’s lovely pass into the area is nodded down to Dack, and that was a sitter! He sends the ball rolling wide from 15 yards, with only the goalkeeper in front of him.

Blackburn Rovers’ Bradley Dack misses a chance to score.
Blackburn Rovers’ Bradley Dack misses a chance to score. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


105 mins: And Conway sends his shot into the wall. Not just into the wall, but into their shins.

104 mins: Dack is steamrollered by Longstaff, and earns his side a decent shooting chance from the free kick. Conway stands over it.

103 mins: Richie Smallwood’s race is run, and Joe Rothwell comes on for Blackburn.

102 mins: Meanwhile, Schar is holding a thigh. Newcastle’s players are literally falling apart.

100 mins: Hayden is sprayed on the left hip/buttock area with some kind of magic spray, and rises gingerly to his feet.

99 mins: Hayden is down now. I can’t remember seeing anyone having to substitute the substitute of a substitute, but that might be what Newcastle are about to do.

99 mins: Blackburn spend an age with the ball around the edge of Newcastle’s area before finally working some space for Bell, who promptly overhits his cross. Throw-in.

97 mins: Bell crosses from the left, and Nuttall heads wide from 12 yards, with Fernandez getting in his way.

Blackburn Rovers’ Joe Nuttall heads wide.
Blackburn Rovers’ Joe Nuttall heads wide. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters


94 mins: Newcastle bring on Ayoze Perez and take off Callum Roberts, scorer of their second goal.

93 mins: Remarkable goings-on in the Cup game at Stoke, where the home side were 2-0 up against Shrewsbury with 20 minutes to play and have just gone 3-2 down with 10 to go.

91 mins: I think the only person who has unequivocally enjoyed this game is Neil Warnock. It’s not been terrible, far from it, but neither side would have volunteered for extra-time pre-match.

91 mins: They’re off!

“Something about Dack’s hairdo makes me think he’s a pirate captain from a bygone era,” says Scott Bassett. “Is there a more pirate-y number in the modern game?” He looks more second-rate boy-band than pirate to me, but I can see where you’re coming from.

Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray gives instructions to his players before extra time.
Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray gives instructions to his players before extra time. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


It’s been a game of two halves, one of which was wildly entertaining, and one of which was less so. We have two more to come.

We're going to extra time!

90+4 mins: That’s it! The teams remain undivided, and we’ll have some extra time!

90+3 mins: Raya catches the corner, and then Fernandez stops him releasing the ball. The referee shows his first yellow card of the evening.

90+2 mins: Longstaff has the ball in the middle, 35 yards out, with runners right, left and centre. He can’t quite find any of them, but the ball is booted out for a corner.

90+1 mins: Conway has a shot from just inside the area, and it deflects off a defender. In the first minute an optimistic shot from a Newcastle player was sent spinning into the net in similar circumstances; this one has all its pace taken off it and rolls straight to Woodman.

90+1 mins: Into stoppage time and this has become extremely scrappy. Three minutes of it will be played.

88 mins: Longstaff’s excellent sliding challenge on Bennett on the half-way line stops a Blackburn counter-attack.

86 mins: Dack’s first shot of the evening, from 30 yards, bounces well wide.

85 mins: Temporarily at least, Blackburn have Newcastle penned into their own half. The crowd roars. They knock a 60 yard pass straight out of play.

82 mins: An error-strewn couple of minutes, which has seen very few passes find their target, ends with a Blackburn goal kick.

81 mins: Ten minutes or so remaining, and extra time looms.

Joe Nuttall of Blackburn and Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United battle for the ball.
Joe Nuttall of Blackburn and Federico Fernandez of Newcastle United battle for the ball. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images


80 mins: For a change, Newcastle push down the right. Ritchie produces a cross that is pure Murphy. Goal kick.

78 mins: Now Harrison Reed is injured, so Blackburn take him off and bring on Bradley Dack, their top scorer.

77 mins: Murphy takes on Reed again. This time what comes out of the Murphy tombola is a useless cross that floats straight out of play. He has switched from right flank to left in this second half, and is doing pretty well there so long as you ignore his final ball.

73 mins: Blackburn make their second change, taking off Adam Armstrong, the scorer of their first goal, and bringing on Joe Nuttall.

72 mins: Blackburn’s momentum has stalled, allowing Newcastle to take the very marginally upper hand.

70 mins: Murphy takes on Reed, inevitably wins the race, but then blasts a left-foot shot over the bar from a very acute angle.

69 mins: Newcastle win a corner, which Hayden diverts just wide of the near post.

Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden and Blackburn Rovers’ Amari’i Bell battle for the ball.
Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden and Blackburn Rovers’ Amari’i Bell battle for the ball. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA


67 mins: It looks like he got caught in the chin by a couple of Lenihan’s fingers as the Blackburn man swung his arms for leverage in attempting to win the ball.

66 mins: Blackburn win a free kick and send it towards the back of the box, where Lenihan outjumps Schar. The Newcastle defender goes down clutching his face, though, so the referee has to stop the game.

65 mins: Blackburn bring Brereton off, and Conway on.

64 mins: The ball bounces up in midfield, and Smallwood has a pretty high boot as he challenges Hayden, who goes down in apparent agony. That might have hurt, if only Smallwood had made any contact with Hayden whatsoever. Which he didn’t.

61 mins: Lenihan cleaned out Joselu a moment after he’d met the ball. Chris Sutton on BT Sport is demanding a penalty, but this falls under the Law of the Free Hit, under which a defender or goalkeeper is allowed to do absolutely whatever they want to a forward in the moment after he’s had a shot.

61 mins: Ooooh! Murphy, who is looking the most likely source of further goals for Newcastle, pulls the ball back and Joselu turns it wide at the near post.

57 mins: Lascelles goes off, with Isaac Hayden replacing him.

56 mins: Blackburn pump the ball into the area, and the ball plops off Graham’s head towards Lascelles, who can’t move to it so a Blackburn player gets there first, winning a corner. Woodman catches it, though, so no harm done (except to Lascelles).

55 mins: Lascelles is still on the pitch, and potentially getting more injured with every pace.

54 mins: What a miss! Blackburn pass the ball into the area, Lascelles’ attempt to clear only sends it looping further into the area, and Brereton volleys wastefully wide!

52 mins: Lascelles is still on the pitch, but can hardly walk. Blackburn attack down the left, but Brereton tries to dummy the cross at the near post and there’s only a defender behind him.

51 mins: Ritchie’s left-footed shot from 20 yards flies a yard or so over the bar.

49 mins: Manquillo’s lovely cross from the left seemed to be dipping towards Murphy’s pate, but Bell got his eyebrows to it first and it rolls harmlessly away.

48 mins: Blackburn play the ball down the left and Lascelles shepherds it out of play - but in his final few strides he pulls up, clutching his right hamstring. He’s only been on the pitch for two minutes!

46 mins: Newcastle have brought Lascelles on at the break, replacing Clark, who seemed to be limping at times in the first half.

46 mins: Peeeeep! They’re off! Again!

In tonight’s other FA Cup ties, it’s Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Luton, and Stoke 1-0 Shrewsbury, with Tyrese Campbell grabbing the goal.

Half time: Blackburn 2-2 Newcastle

45+2 mins: And that’s half time! Blackburn claw their way back from a two-goal deficit to go into the break level!

GOAL! Blackburn 2-2 Newcastle (Lenihan, 45 mins)

Bell’s lovely crossover turn befuddles a defender but his cross hits another one and goes behind. From the corner Lenihan rises highest and heads powerfully into the far corner!

Darragh Lenihan powers in a header.
Darragh Lenihan powers in a header. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters


44 mins: Blackburn win a free kick deep inside their own half, send it forwards and win a free kick deep inside their opponents’ half. This one is sent into the area, and then headed back out of it again.

43 mins: A rare foray forwards for Newcastle ends with Murphy’s shot deflecting behind for a corner, which is flicked on at the near post and headed clear at the far.

42 mins: There has been a total absence of notable incident in recent minutes. Blackburn are dominating possession, but are either inside their own half, or stuck on the flanks.

38 mins: Blackburn give the ball away to Murphy, who has a straightforward chance to play Joselu in with a first-time pass but overhits it, and Raya collects.

35 mins: Lenihan meets the corner with the meatiest chunk of forehead, but the ball flies high.

35 mins: Travis plays a delicious chipped pass down the right flank, and Blackburn win a corner from it.

GOAL! Blackburn 1-2 Newcastle (Armstrong, 33 mins)

They try something different here! A long ball is pumped up to Graham, who controls well and then finds the perfect pass for Armstrong, whose run into the area has gone entirely unnoticed, and he lifts the ball over Woodman!

Adam Armstrong slots the ball past Woodman.
Adam Armstrong slots the ball past Woodman. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters


32 mins: Blackburn’s main tactic appears to be passing down the left, thumping a crossfield ball to Reed on the right, and then giving it away in short order.

31 mins: Good stat, this. The Newcastle Chronicle published an article about Roberts earlier today, if you’d like to know more.

26 mins: Newcastle win a free kick just inside the centre circle, inside their own half. Schar puts it down and shoots! It’s not a bad effort, either: the ball plops onto the roof of the net, though the goalkeeper would surely have saved it had it been on target. And the ball was moving anyway, so the free kick has to be retaken.

23 mins: Murphy looked offside when the ball was first played through to him there.

22 mins: Murphy is released on the right, beats Nyambe for pace and blasts the ball at the near post. Raya pushes the shot away but Murphy gets it back, centres and Roberts volleys in!

GOAL! Blackburn 0-2 Newcastle (Roberts, 22 mins)

Cal Roberts, making his first start for Newcastle, doubles his side’s lead!

Newcastle United’s Callum Roberts volleys in the second.
Newcastle United’s Callum Roberts volleys in the second. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters


20 mins: Danny Graham, who is looking dangerous, nods down to Smallwood, whose shot from the edge of the area deflects to safety.

19 mins: The human one, obviously.

18 mins: I can only assume that the very loud single voice the TV microphones are picking up belongs to Tony Mowbray. He sounds like a contestant on One Man and his Dog.

15 mins: Graham misses from close range! While offside! The ball is chipped over the defence and he controls on his thigh and then prods across goal and beyond the far post. It was a very marginal offside call, but the linesman got it right.

An offside Danny Graham shoots wide.
An offside Danny Graham shoots wide. Photograph: Ryan Browne/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock


14 mins: Murphy runs down the left, stops as he nears the byline and passes back to Ritchie, whose low shot is saved at the near post.

9 mins: “I’m merely writing to note how much I like Blackburn’s crest,” says Matt Burtz. “I think the single red rose is magnificent. That is all.” I quite like Newcastle’s. Funny seahorses that are half actual horse? Yes please.

6 mins: Smallwood loses the ball to Longstaff in midfield. This is an excellent clash of names.

5 mins: Lots of space in the stands. I think the coldest I have ever been was at Ewood Park one January, many moons ago. Apparently it’s pretty mild tonight, so that’s that excuse out.

2 mins: Longstaff collected a pass about 30 yards out and with his back to goal, bang in the middle of the pitch. He controlled, turned, took a touch and then another (not much by way of closing down here) and then finally shot towards the right side of goal. The ball hit Bell and flew right into the opposite corner, with Raya totally stranded. There were 57 seconds on the clock.

GOAL! Blackburn 0-1 Newcastle (Longstaff, 1min)

A shot from range, a massive deflection and Newcastle have the lead!

Sean Longstaff shot takes a massive deflection for the opening goal.
Sean Longstaff shot takes a massive deflection for the opening goal. Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters


1 min: It’s on! Newcastle take the kick-off, roll the ball back to a defender, and he passes it straight into touch. The only way is up.

Right, all preambles and preparations are complete. Brace for football!

The players are on their way out of the tunnel!

I will not mention the B word, but if you’d like news of the evening’s first comprehensive defeat, there’s this:

Here’s some snippets from the two managers. First, Rafa Benitez:

Always to win is good because it gives you more confidence. We will try to do our best today and try to come through. You know our list of injuries. We have to manage with the squad that we have, but at the same time I’m confident we can go through. The players know each other really well, they know what we want. We’ve approached the game the same as always.

And here’s Tony Mowbray:

We’ve got a bit of illness, varying degrees of illness. A player left our hotel on Saturday morning because we didn’t want him to pass on his virus, but it looks like one or two have picked up what he had. We’ve got a couple on our bench who aren’t feeling 100%. The big issue is our defence. It’s a problem for us but we’ll give it our best shot tonight. It’s a good challenge for us, a good test against a Premier League side. I know they’ve made changes but they’ve still got a few players that cost a few quid.

Apparently Blackburn’s changes are down to an outbreak of illness.

“Is it not typical of the current increasing disrespect of the FA Cup that BBC 5 Live are currently covering some ‘meaningful vote’ rather than the far more important task of a proper build up of this fascinating Third Round tie? The game has gone,” rages Jonathan Denness. Meaningful vote? Is it the X Factor final?

Thinking about the team changes for tonight’s game, I wonder why some clubs enter the competition at all (and I’m not only, or even mainly, thinking of Newcastle or Blackburn here). I don’t think entry into the FA Cup is automatic: every club must apply for their place. It’s not even free: it costs £75 to do so. Why bother, if you’re only going to make 10 changes and get knocked out at the earliest opportunity? And when was the last time a top-level club chose not to play in it?

Here’s the Press Association’s take on the teams:

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez made eight changes to his starting line-up for the FA Cup third-round replay against Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Matt Ritchie, Sean Longstaff and Ciaran Clark were the only survivors from the team that had started Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Chelsea. Winger Callum Roberts was handed his first Newcastle appearance since making his debut in January 2015.

Blackburn’s XI showed five adjustments from their 2-0 Championship win at Millwall, with former Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong among those brought into the side by Tony Mowbray.

Some random pre-match reading for you. Nothing to do with this game, either team or the FA Cup, but I wrote it and here it is:

That is, I believe, five changes for Blackburn, eight for Newcastle.

The teams

Team news is in, and this is it:

Blackburn: Raya, Nyambe, Lenihan, Travis, Bell, Bennett, Reed, Smallwood, Armstrong, Brereton, Graham. Subs: Rothwell, Leutwiler, Dack, Nuttall, Conway, Butterworth, Grayson.
Newcastle: Woodman, Sterry, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Longstaff, Roberts, Murphy, Joselu. Subs: Lascelles, Rondon, Hayden, Perez, Yedlin, Harker, Atsu.
Referee: Lee Probert.


Hello world!

“We just have to prepare ourselves for everything in this game because we are not sure on what is coming,” said Blackburn’s Tony Mowbray about tonight’s test. With Newcastle having changed , eight players and a formation for the first meeting at St James’ Park, nobody but Rafa Benítez and his team knows what kind of side he is likely to put out tonight. “It will be the same idea,” said the Spaniard. “We will look to protect some players and provide some balance. We will try to find the balance with those who played the other day and those