The second half started in much the same way until Chelsea found a renewed vigor in the blatant misses of both Lovenkrands and Ameobi, and, of all things the loss of Yossi Benayoun, whom they could not replace. At that point the announcer we were listening to started gushing about how amazing it would be to see Chelsea come back with a man down, and how Chelsea was just the side to do it, and how Newcastle would really regret missing those two goals they had in their hands. It didn't seem a biased approach at all.... But, with only 10 men on the pitch, Nicolas Anelka set about dragging his side back into the match. Which he did at 70 minutes off a van Aanholt cross that was only made possible by the lone mistake we saw from Sol Campbell in the game. He was dribbled 'round and left 15 yards behind the play only to watch van Aanholt make his cross completely uncontested.
The lads still seemed up to the task of holding on to their lead for the last 20 minutes until, that is, in the 87th minute. Either out of some misplaced sense of pity, or fear of unpopularity in being the man that called a Chelsea defeat, Referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty of which Chris Hughton had this to say:
''We showed great character and great finishing to get back in the game. The equaliser for them to get back 3-3 was the softest penalty you will ever see and it got them back in the game. Fortunately, it was us that stopped the game going to extra-time."We couldn't see the wrongdoing either. It was marginal at best. Diabolical at worst. But, whatever it was it was called, and it ended in Chelsea tying the game. With just a few ticks left we earned a corner that Gutierrez took to a chorus of jeers from the Chelsea crowd. He shut them up with a picture perfect corner to the head of Ameobi, who nudged it past to reclaim the lead. At that point we thought there would be no time for Dowd to give the game back to Chelsea again, but we forgot that time is exactly what he could give them. Six minutes, SIX minutes, of overage he called for, but our boys were up to the task.
''I didn't think it was a penalty. That is an understatement. It disappointed me because at that stage we hang on and win 3-2. If we had not got the winner and it had gone to extra-time, it would have been a travesty."
Our Man of the Match: Shane Ferguson
NUFC Side: Krul, R.Taylor - Booked 10 (Tiote 63 - Booked 86), Campbell, Coloccini (Williamson 63), Ferguson (Barton 90), Ranger, Gutierrez, Vuckic, Smith, Ameobi - Booked 42, Lovenkrands.
Unused Subs: Soderberg, Nolan, Carroll, Ben Arfa.
Goals: Ranger 26, R. Taylor 32, Ameobi 48,88
Chealsea: Turnbull, Ferreira, Terry (Alex 46), Bruma - Booked 32, Van Aanholt, Ramires, Benayoun, Zhirkov, Kakuta (Kalou 46 [McEachran 56]),Anelka, Sturridge.
Subs n/u: Cech, Clifford, Mellis, Chalobah.
Goals: van Aanholt 6, Anelka 69, 86(pen)