English FA Cup

April 17, 2005

Full-time

Newcastle

1 - 4

Man Utd

English FA Cup

13:00 +00:00, April 17, 2005

Millennium Stadium, Wales

Referee: M Riley

  • 93'

    FULL TIME: Very one-sided at times, but Newcastle contributed much to this entertaining match. United set up a very tasty final against Arsenal next month.

  • 91'

    Carr is lucky not to be booked after sliding through the back of Heinze, who seems to have annoyed Newcastle somewhat this afternoon.

  • 90'

    Van Nistelrooy is penalised for backing in to Boumsong. United's Dutch striker has looked back to his best today; some of his touches have been superb and he has looked dangerous throughout.

  • 89'

    Three minutes of extra-time will be played. Carr breaks down the right-hand side but is stopped by an off-side flag.

  • 88'

    There is still a great atmosphere inside the ground, with both sets of supporters making a decent amount of noise.

  • 87'

    The game is very tamely reaching its inevitable conclusion. Ferguson seems to have thrown away his chewing gum. I hope he put it in a bin, and didn't merely toss it to the floor. I hate it when people do that. Do you know how difficult it is to get chewing gum off your clothes? I do.

  • 86'

    Ameobi wins a free-kick when he tempts Heinze in to a rash challenge. The Argentine left-back is booked for the tackle, which won't please his manager.

  • 84'

    Another cross from Giggs causes problems in the Newcastle area, but Boumsong manages to stick a leg out and stop the ball reaching Van Nistelrooy. Boumsong has been excellent today, despite the scoreline.

  • 83'

    It will be the 17th time Manchester United have made the FA Cup final. Giggs clips a cross in to the area, where Fletcher heads back across goal towards Van Nistelrooy. The Dutchman is denied a hat-trick when Taylor intercepts.

  • 82'

    N'Zogbia attempts to spark an unlikely recovery with a driven shot from 25 yards, but his effort flies over Howard's bar.

  • 81'

    What a final we're going to get in Cardiff next month; United v Arsenal, with both clubs playing for their only chance of a trophy. If you can't get to the game, why not follow the action with me, here at Soccernet? It'll be great fun, I promise.

  • 80'

    What an incredible second half it's been. I've been kept on my toes from the very first minute. Thankfully, I'm good enough to have kept up with the action; other commentators may sadly have faded away.

  • 79'

    Newcastle are still playing with plenty of spirit and determination, to their credit, though the pace of the game has slowed considerably since United's fourth goal.

  • 78'

    Ronaldo seemed to have been taken off because he was close to picking up a second yellow card on a couple of occasions. Rooney was limping as he departed the field, and might have picked up an injury.

  • 77'

    SUB: Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes off, Giggs on, Phil Neville and Fletcher on. Ferguson takes United's three best players off and introduces three fresh pairs of legs to see the game out.

  • 76'

    So, it's surely game over now. Newcastle have made a brave effort to get back in to the game in the second half, but their desperation to grab a second goal has allowed United to tear them apart on the counter-attack.

  • 75'

    GOAL! Van Nistelrooy is found on the edge of the area. Great awareness from the striker, as he turns and slides a pass in to Ronaldo, who passes the ball in to the back of the net.

  • 74'

    Oooh! Shearer cracks a shot goalwards, but Howard makes no mistake and takes the ball in to his chest. Neville then finds more space down the right, lofts a nice ball in to an un-marked Ronaldo, but his header from eight yards is straight at Given.

  • 73'

    Ronaldo break with five men through the middle. Ronaldo slides the ball through to an overlapping Neville, who clips a ball in to the middle. Boumsong is forced to slide the ball clear under great pressure from two United men.

  • 72'

    Really frantic stuff at the moment. Rooney gives the ball away, and Ronaldo fouls Taylor in an attempt to get possession back again. He needs to be careful, having been booked for diving in the first half.

  • 71'

    Oooh! United win another dangerous free-kick. This time Scholes steps over the ball and Rooney curls a low shot in towards goal which Given is forced to turn around the post.

  • 70'

    Oooh! Scholes takes the free-kick, blasting a powerful shot through the wall, and Given is forced to punch clear. Great strike, good save.

  • 69'

    Rooney breaks through the middle, holding off three challenges before attempting to slide a ball through to Scholes on the edge of the area. He's fouled as he does so, however, and United win a free-kick in a very dangerous position.

  • 68'

    It's really quite an intriguing match at the moment. Newcastle are desperate to get a goal back, but United are sensational on the break.

  • 67'

    Alex Ferguson is furiously chewing his gum on the sidelines. He looks more than a little concerned. Van Nistelrooy sees Given off his line a little, and attempts an audacious chip which the goalkeeper is forced to turn over his bar.

  • 66'

    Newcastle win a corner, but the ball is flicked clear and Rooney collects with a three-on-three situation developing in front of him. He picks out Ronaldo on the right, but Newcastle flood back and smother the danger.

  • 65'

    Newcastle are throwing everything at Manchester United, who seem prepared to sit back and hit their opponents on the break.

  • 64'

    The Newcastle fans are really getting behind their side at the moment, and it seems to be inspiring the players.

  • 63'

    Ameobi almost slides in Kluivert within seconds off his introduction, but the off-side flag stops the Newcastle attack. The Magpies are playing with a very positive formation at the moment: a 4-3-3, with Butt the only holding midfielder.

  • 62'

    SUB: Kluivert on, Milner off. The final throw of the dice for Souness, who brings on Dutch international Kluivert for the young winger.

  • 61'

    Robert takes a short corner and fires in a dangerous cross, but Fortune heads clear. Newcastle prepare to make a final change.

  • 61'

    The problem for Newcastle is that the more they push forward, the more space they leave for Ronaldo, Rooney and Scholes.

  • 60'

    If Newcastle can steal a second goal in the next few minutes, we should have an exellent finish to this match. Football is a funny old game, isn't it?

  • 59'

    Robert kicks out and Ronaldo after taking umbridge to the way the United man was attempting to tackle him. Yellow card, but it could easily have been red. Stupid, just stupid.

  • 59'

    GOAL! Shearer plays Ameobi in down the right side of the box, and the young striker beats a man before firing a shot through the legs of Howard from a tight angle.

  • 58'

    Rooney and Scholes have been absoultely superb today, combining well in dangerous areas to tear Newcastle apart.

  • 57'

    GOAL! Van Nistelrooy wraps up the game with a side-foot shot from 16 yards out. Butt gave the ball away on the half-way line, Scholes and Rooney combine to work the space for Van the Man, who places his shot past Given.

  • 55'

    Newcastle take the free-kick. Heinze heads clear and United break with incredible speed and skill. Rooney beats a man, lays the ball off to Ronaldo, who gives it back to Rooney down the left channel. The youngster spots Van Nistelrooy tearing through the middle, clips a ball in to his team-mate, but the Dutchman's prod towards goal trickles just wide.

  • 54'

    Brown is booked after tripping Shearer as the veteran striker was breaking in to the box from the right-wing. Free-kick.

  • 53'

    Newcastle are enjoying a better start to the half than the first; they have had most of the ball, although have been unable to create anything concrete.

  • 51'

    Ameobi goes down in the box after a challenge from Ferdinand. Good challenge from the United defender, but Ameobi is unhappy about some earlier shirt-pulling from Fortune.

  • 50'

    Carr curls in a dangerous cross, but it's over the heads over both Newcastle strikers. Robert collects on the left wing, but a strong challenge from Ronaldo wins United a free-kick.

  • 49'

    It's a quiet start to the second half, which will please United.

  • 48'

    Ronaldo touches to Scholes, who lays it off to Fortune, but the South African's shot is way over the bar.

  • 48'

    Carr is clumsy in his challenge on Heinze. Free-kick, and United win a second moments later when Milner brings down Ronaldo on the edge of the area.

  • 47'

    Good play from Milner down the right as he whips in a dangerous cross that Brown heads clear. Good defensive work from Rooney wins the ball back for United.

  • 47'

    Souness smiles as he eats an apple on the Newcastle bench. I wonder what he has up his sleeve? His arm, probably. What a ridiculous question.

  • 46'

    Taylor has moved to left-back, with O'Brien moving in to the middle of defence. N'Zogbia starts the half with a shot from the edge of the area; it flies over the bar.

  • 45'

    SUB: N'Zogbia and O'Brien on for Faye and Babayaro. Newcastle kick-off the second half with something of a dilema. Do they attack Manchester United, knowing they have nothing to lose? Or try to guard against what could be a humiliating defeat?

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: Scholes and Van Nistelrooy have put United in to a commanding half-time lead. Newcastle look out-of-sorts and on the ropes.

  • 45'

    One minute of added time will be played. United surely now have booked their place in the final against Arsenal; Newcastle have offered little up front, and it will take a massive turnaround in the second half.

  • 44'

    GOAL! Scholes makes it 2-0. Ronaldo crosses from the right wing, Scholes makes a near-post run and flicks a sensational header over Given and in to the far corner. Great goal.

  • 43'

    Newcastle will want to get in at half-time and reorganise themselves, because they have been over-run in the first half. Ronaldo, Rooney and Scholes causing untold problems.

  • 41'

    The free-kick is whipped in towards Shearer, who is caught by a stray boot from Ferdinand as he dives in to head goalwards. The former England striker requires treatment for a cut to the eye.

  • 40'

    Shearer manages to hold off Rooney in the corner, before the younger man gets frustrated and fouls the veteran.

  • 39'

    Butt brings down Fortune for the third time in the space of a few minutes. He's lucky not to have been booked, if only for persistent fouling.

  • 38'

    FACT ME HARD: Manchester United have yet to concede a goal in this year's FA Cup.

  • 37'

    Scholes drifts a dangerous corner in to the middle, but Brown is just inches away from being able to head goalwards. United have completely out-played Newcastle in this first half. It's women against girls out there.

  • 36'

    Ronaldo is getting plenty of the ball, and Babayaro is doing little to stop him. This time the young winger cuts inside from the right wing, and Butt is forced to hoof the ball out for a corner.

  • 35'

    Oooh! Rooney cracks a superb low shot, which Given manages to scramble wide of the post. Scholes takes the corner, but Given collects well.

  • 34'

    Ronaldo collects a nice through ball from Ferdinand. He cuts in to the penalty area and hits a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, with Van Nistelrooy only a couple of yards from being able to poke it home.

  • 33'

    Howard and Carr collide after Newcastle take a quick free-kick. Everyone is up on their feet, no damage done.

  • 32'

    Again, Ameobi breaks through the United defence but is stopped in his tracks by the referee after ruling that he fouled Ferdinand.

  • 31'

    Nicky Butt tries to beat Fortune down the right wing, but gives away a free-kick after losing control of the ball. Butt is, famously, playing against his former club.

  • 30'

    Milner is booked for a foul on Heinze. Perhaps the winger is a little unfortunate; he didn't seem to catch the Argentinian too heavily. He certainly looks aggreived by the decision.

  • 29'

    Ameobi breaks through the middle and fires a left-foot shot narrowly wide, but the referee had already blown for handball by the lanky striker.

  • 28'

    It has begun to rain quite heavily now in Cardiff. Keane plays a ball out to the United left, where Heinze had stole in un-noticed. Given is caught out of position, and Heinze's powerful centre is clipped over the bar.

  • 27'

    Television cameras pick out Sir Bobby Robson in the crowd. He's sat next to former Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool legend Paul Walsh. Why they couldn't follow the match via my Soccernet commentary, I'm not sure.

  • 26'

    Ronaldo runs with the ball from his own half, taking on two Newcastle defenders, but his cross towards Van Nistelrooy is hopelessly over-hit. Goal kick.

  • 25'

    Newcastle take a quick free-kick. Milner whips in a dangerous cross which Brown is forced to put out for a corner. Again, United look comfortable in clearing the danger.

  • 24'

    Great play from Rooney down the right wing, and he wins a corner from Babayaro. Scholes takes the set-piece, but Faye stoops to clear as Ronaldo prepared to shoot.

  • 23'

    United look so composed and determined today. Scholes has been everywhere, finding space and playing his team-mates in to dangerous positions.

  • 22'

    Fortune fouls Ameobi inside the Newcastle half. Ryan Giggs is fit enough to take his place on the United bench, should Ferguson need him later on in the game.

  • 22'

    DID YOU KNOW? Sir Alex Ferguson has never lost an FA Cup semi-final?

  • 21'

    Oooh! Great turn and cross from Robert, but it evades three Newcastle players in the penalty area. Moments later, a lovely flick from Shearer almost slips Ameobi in, but Howard is quick off his line to smother.

  • 20'

    Van Nistelrooy has been going through a torid time since returning from injury, but it was a great finish from the Dutchman. Understandably, he looked delighted; I haven't seen him that happy since he won �20 on the National Lottery.

  • 19'

    Newcastle win a corner, but again Robert's centre doesn't beat the first man and United clear with ease.

  • 18'

    GOAL! Babayaro misses a challenge out on the left wing. Ronaldo crosses low, Boumsong slips and Van Nistelrooy turns and fires home from eight yards.

  • 17'

    Boumsong has been immense in the opening stages; he's making up for the fact that Babayaro to his left has been utter rubbish.

  • 16'

    Boumsong is forced to play a long ball back to Given after being put under pressure by Rooney. The French defender is then in the right place at the right time, intercepting at the last moment as Rooney waited to slot home from six yards.

  • 15'

    Keane brings down Robert 35 yards out. The Frenchman stands over the ball as Riley gets the wall back the full distance. After a long run-up, he scuffs his shot 20 yards wide. Awful.

  • 14'

    Ronaldo is being booed every time he touches the ball at the moment - which is about every 15 seconds. It won't take long before they get bored.

  • 13'

    Fortune curls a great ball in to the box towards the far post, where Van Nistelrooy pulls away from Boumsong and nods back in to the danger area. Fortunately, Taylor is alert to the danger and clears.

  • 12'

    Fortune slips as he attempts a long-range shot, much to the delight of the Newcastle supporters. United are well on top at the moment.

  • 10'

    The corner is aimed towards Heinze, but a Newcastle defender stoops to clear the danger. Moments later, the ball finds itsway to Rooney, but he can only stab his shot wide of the post under pressure from Babayaro.

  • 10'

    Ronaldo fires in a cross which deflects off Boumsong and out for a corner. The French defender has the job of marking Van Nistelrooy and is getting very tight to the United striker.

  • 9'

    It's important that Newcastle hold on and don't concede here; they are being put under some preasure by the Reds, and are struggling to even get a hold of the ball.

  • 8'

    Gary Neville finds some space down the right and fires in a dangerous cross. The ball just evades Scholes inside the six yard box, before hitting Rooney and running away to safety.

  • 7'

    'United! United!' the crowd cry, though it is uncertain which team they cheer. Perhaps they are a travelling band of neutral supporters, and they just want to see good football.

  • 6'

    The United players are incensed with the referee's decision. Replays show that Taylor did stick out a leg, but Ronnaldo dived over the challenge and there was definitely no contact. Ronaldo should hang his head in shame. He doesn't however; he continues to strut around the field like a peacock on heat.

  • 6'

    Incredible! Ronaldo breaks through two defenders and throws himself to the ground inside the area. United appeal for a penalty, but Referee Riley books the winger for diving.

  • 5'

    Brown is forced to clear away for a corner after good work from Shearer. The delivery from the corner isn't good, however, and United clear at the near post.

  • 4'

    A great turn on the edge of the area from Van Nistelrooy; he beats Boumsong and hits a first-time shot from 20 yards which Given palms away to safety.

  • 3'

    Ronaldo prods through to Scholes, but Given is on hand to punch away the danger.

  • 2'

    Ronaldo throws himself to the floor after a challenge with Butt, and wins a free-kick. There was little, if any, contact.

  • 2'

    Scholes almost robs Taylor on the half-way line, but the referee blows for a foul. Ameobi holds the ball up well, but Carr's cross is headed away by Ferdinand.

  • 1'

    We're off. For the purposes of this commentary, I'll be referring to Manchester United as 'United', and Newcastle United as 'Newcastle'. All clear? No disrespect meant, it merely makes my already difficult job a little easier...

  •  

    Newcastle have been hit by the suspension of Dyer and Bowyer, though Souness has relented and selected rebel Laurent Robert. Ameobi partners Shearer up front.

  •  

    Ferguson has picked all his big guns for the match, though there is a slight surprise with Brown preferred to Silvestre at centre-back.

  •  

    So, the two United's take to the field knowing that the winners will face Arsenal in the final next month. There are 70,000 fans packed inside the stadium, and the atmosphere is fantastic.

  •  

    Can a depleted Newcastle United side cause an upset against Manchester United? Join us from 14:00 BST to find out.