It's all over

Last updated : 20 March 2003 By Matchday Correspondent

The great dream is over as Newcastle fell at the final hurdle in their quest for further Champions League glory.

A disastrous second half saw Newcastle crumble to goals from the masterful Patrick Kluivert and Thiago Motta as Barcelona recorded a double over Sir Bobby Robson's side.

But even a win on the night would have been in vain for Newcastle as they needed Inter Milan to drop points and they went on to record a victory at Bayer Leverkusen.

Even so a sell-out crowd at St James' Park showed their appreciation for what has been a great campaign with a standing ovation at the final whistle when every Barcelona player shook the hand of Robson.

The Catalans were already assured of their quarter-final place but wanted to maintain their proud unbeaten record this season that has produced 11 wins and one draw away to Inter Milan in the competition.

But in fairness a 2-0 scoreline was unfair on Newcastle who threw everything at Barcelona with Craig Bellamy a constant threat throughout as he created no fewer than nine good individual chances.

The nearest the Welsh international came was after 18 minutes when he struck a post - a goal then could have made all the difference.

It was an electric start by Newcastle, and twice inside the opening eight minutes Bellamy was played in by Alan Shearer but his shots lacked direction.

At the other end Fabio Rochemback twice went close but they were rare first-half flashes from the Spaniards.

Newcastle strung together a devastating move in the 18th minute fronted by Kieron Dyer and Shearer who found Bellamy but his low shot was deflected on to the foot of the far post by Victor Valdes.

Gabriel Gabri cleared off the line from Bellamy in the opening minutes of the second half before a blunder from Titus Bramble gift-wrapped Kluivert his goal on the hour mark.

The big defender attempted to allow the ball to roll through to keeper Shay Given but the Dutch international nipped in and rolled his shot into the net.

The result was put beyond Newcastle's reach with 16 minutes left when the outstanding Juan Riquelme floated a free kick for Motta to squeeze a shot past Given.

Substitute Hugo Viana had a free kick brilliantly saved before Barcelona almost added a third in injury time when Gerard broke clear only to be denied by Given.