Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Marred by Woodgate Blow

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Win Marred by Woodgate Blow

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

A potentially serious injury to Jonathan Woodgate took the gloss off a thrilling Newcastle victory yester-day after the England international hobbled off with a possible torn thigh muscle 16 minutes from time.

United moved back into pole position in the race for fourth place after memorable goals either side of the break from Shola Ameobi and Alan Shearer secured an invaluable three points.

However, a titanic 2-1 win against Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea came at a cost after Sir Bobby Robson admitted the club's worst fears concerning Woodgate could be realised.

"It's the type of injury which could rule Jonathan out for the rest of the season," admitted the Magpies' manager. "We've had some rotten luck over the last week and this one is indicative of that.

"It looks like Jonathan has pulled his thigh muscle and that could be the end of him for us until next season. With the other four players out all struggling to play some part between now and the end of the season it's not looking good.

"Other teams will be laughing at us now. I'm not really interested in whether Jonathan will be fit to play for England because Newcastle is my only concern.

"He has an injury which could rule him out for up to six weeks, but Euro 2004 is not until June."

Joe Cole seized on a rare Woodgate error after only five minutes to fire the visitors in front, but Newcastle's spirited response was typical of United's new-found drive and determination.

Ameobi levelled with his sixth of the season on the stroke of half-time and Shearer doubled the Magpies' tally three minutes after the restart with yet another contender for goal of the season.

"That was another of those goals which was up there with the best Alan's scored, but Shola's wasn't far behind," added a mightily satisfied Robson.

"Alan just blasted it and it would have been a blur for their keeper. He has hit it right off his bootlace holes and it flew into the back of the net.

"But Shola's goal was fantastic as well. He took it on his chest and just buried it in the bottom corner. …

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