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Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

Newcastle scalped in day of cup shocks

LONDON (AP) Newcastle was ousted from the F.A. Cup by fourth-tier Stevenage in Saturday's biggest third-round shock, following Premier League rivals Blackpool, Sunderland and West Bromwich out of the competition at the hands of lowly opposition.

News photo
Kick in the chops: Notts County's Jon Harley kicks the ball as Sunderland's Cristian Riveros trails on Saturday at the Stadium of Light. AP PHOTO

Despite Newcastle making five changes to the side that routed West Ham 5-0 in midweek, it was still a strong side that went down 3-1 at Stevenage.

While Stevenage is 15th in League Two, Newcastle is eighth in the Premier League.

"We've had a really tough period — the injuries and the effort took its toll tonight and unfortunately we were on the end of a defeat that we wouldn't like," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. "The Premier League is all well and good but a few young boys got caught out tonight by the passion and the physical side of Stevenage.

"They bossed patches of the game through their sheer endeavor and enthusiasm. We've got to match that and we didn't do that."

It was also a bad day for northeast rivals Sunderland, which lost 2-1 loss to third-tier Notts County, and League Championship Middlesbrough, which lost by the same score to Burton of the fourth-tier.

Blackpool went down 2-0 at third-tier Southampton and West Bromwich lost 1-0 at Reading of the second-tier League Championship.

Leeds looked set to follow last season's victory over Manchester United by ousting Arsenal before Cesc Fabregas canceled out Robert Snodgrass' spot kick with one of his own in the 90th minute to earn a 1-1 draw.

"Leeds were well organized, they were quickly on us and maybe our game was not quick enough to get out of their pressure," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who made nine changes from the team which drew 0-0 with Manchester City last week.

Stoke and Wolverhampton will also have to contest replays, but Premier League rivals Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bolton, Everton, Fulham, West Ham and Wigan all secured places in Sunday's fourth-round draw.

In Stevenage, which is 48 km north of London, Stacy Long, Michael Bostwick and Peter Winn scored for the home side.

Newcastle's Cheik Tiote was sent off for a reckless two-footed challenge and Joey Barton scored a late consolation.

"We played the game on the front foot and played the better football over 90 minutes and it was good to see the goals go in," Stevenage manager Graham Westley said.

Dalglish calls for calm

LONDON (AP) Back in the Liverpool manager's job after 20 years, Kenny Dalglish urged fans on Saturday to be realistic and not to expect his emotional return will immediately banish the gloom at Anfield.

Dalglish has been hired until the end of the season by Liverpool's American owners after Roy Hodgson's dire six-month reign was brought to a halt.

But with Liverpool just four points above the Premier League relegation zone and stars like Fernando Torres struggling for form, the 59-year-old Dalglish is cautioning that there will be no quick-fix.

"We won't always be successful, and to be perfectly realistic I think we have to say 'Let's just start walking before we run,' " Dalglish said on the Liverpool website. "Let's not go crazy here and think the season changes and we're going to sweep everything aside now and go undefeated from now to the end of the season."

"We're perfectly capable of doing it but let's be realistic, let's just go out there and try our best and take things one game at a time."



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