Emirates FA Cup, Football

Blackburn vs Newcastle: Magpies go through to Quarter-Final after penalty shootout

Newcastle United secured a hard-fought victory over Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup Fifth Round at Ewood Park. The match ended 1-1 after extra time, with Newcastle prevailing 4-3 in a tense penalty shootout.

Anthony Gordon opened the scoring for Newcastle, but Sam Szmodics equalized for Blackburn, forcing the game into extra time. The deadlock persisted, leading to a penalty shootout where Martin Dubravka’s heroics, saving penalties from Sammie Szmodics and Dom Hyam, ensured Newcastle’s progression to the next round.

The opening goal by Anthony Gordon for Newcastle set the tone for an intense battle, but Blackburn responded valiantly with Sam Szmodics finding the back of the net to level the score. The deadlock persisted through regular time and extra time, with neither side able to break through the opposing defense to secure a decisive victory.

As the match headed into a nerve-wracking penalty shootout, the tension soared as each penalty kick could potentially determine the outcome of the game. Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Martin Dubravka, emerged as the hero of the hour with crucial saves against Blackburn’s Sammie Szmodics and Dom Hyam, ultimately propelling Newcastle to a hard-fought 4-3 victory in the shootout.

This victory was crucial for Newcastle, as they had to withstand an inspired Blackburn side that pushed them to their limits throughout the match. Despite Blackburn’s strong performance, Newcastle’s resilience and Dubravka’s saves proved decisive in securing their advancement in the FA Cup.

Blackburn boss John Eustace said: “When it goes down to penalties it’s a bit of a lottery but I’m very, very proud of the squad that we used and also very proud of the supporters.

“I couldn’t ask for any more effort and desire and togetherness. You can see that everyone’s really fighting and looking after each other and you can see the style of play improving game by game.

“We’re making small steps forward. We’re playing against a top Premier League team, top players, and you could see that we could hurt them in certain areas. On another day we could have had a couple more goals.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe praised the heroics of Dubravka after the Slovakian keeper had been ill in the build-up to the game.

He said: “The two penalty saves were huge for us but in open play I thought he really performed well and we needed him to because they had a few big moments.

“He’s been playing feeling slightly ill and he deserves huge credit for doing that. He was nowhere near fit for the weekend against Arsenal and hasn’t been 100 per cent for quite a long period of time.

“I thought we got better as it went on. I don’t think the first half was particularly good, I thought the second half was better and extra-time was our best spell of the game by a long way.

“Really we shouldn’t have allowed it to go to penalties with the chances we missed in extra-time.”

Blackburn will travel to Swansea this Saturday in a bid to alleviate their relegation concerns in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Newcastle will welcome Wolves on Saturday as they aim to recover from their defeat at Arsenal in the previous weekend.

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