Newcastle into Champions League qualifier

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Newcastle score a 2-2 English Premiership draw at Blackburn to guarantee chance to qualify for the Champions' league next season.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Two goals from Blackburn old boy Alan Shearer gave Newcastle a point in a 2-2 English Premiership draw at Blackburn on Monday night. Ironically, Blackburn's two goals were scored by two former Newcastle players - Keith Gillespie and Andy Cole. Newcastle captain Alan Shearer returned to his old club Blackburn Rovers in the hope of guiding his team into next season's Champions League. Three minutes into the game came the first chance for Newcastle as Lomana Tresor Lua Lua fired from just outside the penalty area but Rovers keeper Brad Friedel got down well and made the save. Six minutes later, Alan Shearer was through on goal but crashed his shot onto the crossbar. Rovers took the lead after Andy Cole put Keith Gillespie through who cracked his shot through the legs of Newcastle keeper Shay Given. In the 36th minute, Blackburn could have doubled their lead but Shay Given made a great stop from Damien Duff. A minute later, Matt Jansen had the goal to his mercy but his header was way off target. In the second half, Newcastle equalized after Alan Shearer's side footed home from a Nolberto Solano cross. But four minutes later Blackburn were back in front after Andy Cole toe poked Keith Gillespie's cross. In the 71st minute, Newcastle were back on level terms after Laurent Robert put Alan Shearer through who made no mistake. The final score stood at 2-2. The draw guarantees Newcastle a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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