Press praise for Chelsea win

Last updated : 03 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Beating one of their pet teams on Saturday finally seems to have opened their eyes to the fact that not only are we a better team than their favourites (Spurs, Chelsea and West Ham), we play better football and have a better manager.

Some excerpts from the Sunday and Monday papers:

The Guardian – Michael Walker

Newcastle’s aim is higher and what pleased Robson is that they climbed nearer to it by playing to a different tune.

Newcastle –yes Newcastle – finished this game with six defenders on the park.

There were four at the back and two in midfield and Robson loved it, loved it.

Daily Telegraph – Rob Stewart

When Sir Bobby Robson warmly shook Claudio Ranieri by the hand at the end of their intriguing battle of minds, he did so with a feeling of immense satisfaction after overcoming a kindred spirit.

Ranieri had boldly sought to outwit his septuagenarian counterpart with a series of changes that saw Chelsea's attacking reinforcements swarm towards the Newcastle goal in the last quarter of a gripping encounter.

Robson did his utmost to counter the Chelsea manager's moves by throwing on extra defenders and deploying striker Shola Ameobi as a wing-back, and he relished an extraordinary confrontation of two teams hoping to be in next season's Champions League.

Sunday Mail - Gordon Waddell

A gutsy 2-1 win over the Londoners - their first in 12 attempts - pulled them seven points clear of their rivals. Now a win over Middlesbrough in midweek will cement United's place among Europe's elite next term and all the riches that come with it.

But why look over your shoulder? Sir Bobby Robson's side have crept up on the blind side and are now joint second with Manchester United - with Sir Alex Ferguson's side still to come to this St James' Park fortress - and just five points back from Arsene Wenger's champions.

Sunday Telegraph - Colin Malam

Newcastle beat their bogey team for the first time under Sir Bobby Robson, got a good result after a Champions League game for a truly remarkable 12th time this season and crept level with Manchester United on points behind Arsenal at the top of the Premiership.

Sunday Herald - Colin Diball

The future looks bright for the Geordies -- who finally buried their Chelsea jinx with the first win in 10 attempts against the Londoners.

They are now level with Manchester United in joint-second spot. And even though they had to dig deep for this victory, it was a tribute to their resilience that they managed it just three days after their Champions League triumph over Bayer Leverkusen.

Independent on Sunday - Nick Townsend

No heroics, no dramatics, but, most crucially, nothing to seize upon for his critics. And, at the final whistle, there were surely no misgivings from Jonathan Woodgate at his journey from Yorkshire to the North-East which could yet end with him securing a championship medal.

The Guardian – Michael Walker

One final thought from Saturday: Jeff Winter is the Danny La Rue of referees.