Alan Shearer praises 'wonderful' Newcastle United star after FA Cup win at Blackburn Rovers

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The Newcastle United legend was impressed with one Magpies star in the FA Cup win at Blackburn Rovers.

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer hailed the performance of Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka following Tuesday night’s FA Cup fifth round win at Blackburn Rovers.

The former England captain was on punditry duty for Match of the Day as two of his former clubs went head-to-head for a place in Wednesday night’s quarter-final draw. It was the Magpies that looked on their way to the last eight when Anthony Gordon put them ahead with 20 minutes remaining but a Sammie Szmodics equaliser forced the tie to extra-time and penalties.

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Having already made several impressive saves over 120 minutes of a nervy tie, Slovakian international Dubravka came to the fore in the shoot-out as he kept out penalties from goal-scorer Szmodics and Rovers captain Dominic Hyam to ensure Eddie Howe’s side kept alive their hopes of claiming silverware this season.

Shearer praised Dubravka for his performance as the experienced stopper returned to the United side in fine style after missing Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal with an illness.

He told BBC Sport: “Obviously I feel for Blackburn but Newcastle owe him (Dubravka) a lot tonight.  He’s been their best player tonight.  Pulled some wonderful saves off during 90 minutes and in extra time. And of course he’s made two saves from penalties. They owe him a huge debt. They are in the next round because of him.”

Shearer also had words of praise for Rovers as he reflected on the performance of the Championship side, who will return to second tier action with a visit to Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

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He said: “John Eustace had them (Blackburn) really, really well organised and they made it really tough for Newcastle.  At times, they were the better team, certainly in the 90 minutes, they had the better chances.  Then both teams had big chances, which they failed to put away in extra-time but great credit to John Eustace and Blackburn.  If they keep playing like that this season they’ll be fine and they’ll have no relegation worries whatsoever.”

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