Tue, Feb 22, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Newcastle rules the Blues

EUROPEAN FOOTBALLL Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gambled and came up short in the fifth-round game, losing only his third match since taking over the Blues


Chelsea's quest to win four major titles ended when Newcastle ousted the understrength Blues from the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at St. James' Park on Sunday.

Mourinho started with seven regulars on the bench, hoping to save them for Wednesday's high-profile Champions League match at FC Barcelona.

"We got a great result today against an excellent team," Newcastle manager Graeme Souness said.

Mourniho's strategy went wrong in the fourth minute when Patrick Kluivert gave the Magpies a quick lead, heading in a cross from 8m to the right of diving goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini.

Mourinho had been dubbed the "Portuguese Man of Four." Now he will have to settle for three.

Chelsea leads the Premier League by nine points, goes in as a slight favorite against Barcelona, and plays next weekend in the League Cup final against Liverpool.

With centerback John Terry suspended, Mourinho rested starters Petr Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Frank Lampard, Claude Makelele, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Damien Duff.

Bowing to the tradition of the FA Cup, Mourinho put Lampard, Duff and Gudjohnsen on to start the second half -- using all his substitutions trying to salvage the game.

That move went wrong when winger Wayne Bridge went off with an ankle injury just two minutes into the half, forcing Chelsea to play with 10 men. Three minutes into second-half injury time, 'keeper Cudicini was sent off on a red card.

By the end of the match, Duff and defender William Gallas were limping.

Mourinho said Bridge had "no chance" to play against Barcelona.

Chelsea lost to Manchester City 1-0 in league play, and fell to FC Porto 2-1 in the Champions League.

The FA Cup quarterfinals are sure to have a non-Premier League flavor.

Manchester United, Newcastle and Bolton are in, but Charlton is out after falling to lower-division Leicester. Four Premier League teams -- Arsenal, Southampton, Blackburn and Tottenham -- face replays to advance to the last eight.

Blackburn's 0-0 draw at bitter northern rival Burnley forces a replay at Blackburn. The two venues are separated by only 13km.

Gregory Vignal and Nacho Novo scored second-half goals to lift Rangers to a 2-0 victory over Celtic, pushing the winners into first place in Scotland after the latest showdown between the bitter rivals.

The victory at Celtic's Parkhead gave Rangers 65 points with Celtic on 62. Rangers have played one more game than Celtic.

Vignal scored in the 71st minute on a shot from just outside the box, which Celtic goalkeeper Robert Douglas fumbled. The ball bounced off his hands, over his shoulder and into the net.

Novo scored the clincher in the 82nd.

Gary O'Connor scored two goals and Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher scored the others in Hibernian's 4-0 victory over Dundee. The win solidified Hibs' hold on third place with 47 points, followed by Hearts (41) and Aberdeen (39).

Brazilian midfielder Marcos Assuncao scored two goals to lead Real Betis over Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 and into third place.

Defending champion Valencia missed a chance to overtake Betis later in the day when Uruguayan forward Mario Regueiro scored to give lowly Santander a 1-0 win.

The defeat left Claudio Ranieri's team in sixth place and without a league win in six games. It also added to the pressure on the Italian coach, who returned to the club last summer for his second spell.

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