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Blackburn 1-1 Newcastle AET (3-4 on penalties)

Blackburn Rovers Newcastle United FA Cup Premier League

Martin Dubravka saved twice as Newcastle beat Blackburn 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in a compelling FA Cup fifth-round tie at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

The Newcastle goalkeeper denied Sammie Szmodics and Dom Hyam from the spot to secure a nervy victory after the Premier League outfit were taken all the way by the side 16th in the Sky Bet Championship.

Blackburn had enjoyed the upper hand for large spells of the game, but fell behind when Anthony Gordon broke the deadlock after 71 minutes.

Rovers hit back and forced extra-time with an equaliser from the impressive Szmodics, but neither side could find a winner before it fell to spot-kicks to determine the outcome.

Eddie Howe said: “Obviously a lot was riding on the outcome, so I thought the players handled the moment brilliantly, the goalkeeper and outfield players who took the penalties.
“It was big moment in our season at such a crucial stage. The players are desperate to achieve. No-one is underestimating the importance of the FA Cup.”

Blackburn Rovers
Newcastle United
FA Cup
Premier League

Dubravka deserves huge credit

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe praised the heroics of Dubravka after the Slovakia 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.”

What’s next?

Blackburn visit Swansea on Saturday as they look to ease their relegation worries in the Championship on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Newcastle host Wolves on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their humbling at Arsenal last weekend, kick-off at 3pm.