England round-up: Blackburn secure UEFA Cup spot

Blackburn Rovers FC earned a UEFA Cup place by winning the English League Cup on Sunday.

Blackburn Rovers FC earned a place in next season's UEFA Cup by winning the English League Cup on Sunday with a 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur FC.

Goalkeeper to thank
Former Manchester United FC striker Andrew Cole scored the winning goal for Blackburn after 69 minutes, but Graeme Souness's side had goalkeeper Brad Friedel to thank for maintaining their lead as Tottenham charged forward in search of an equaliser.

Jansen opener
A fantastic instinctive save saw Friedel claw away a close-range Les Ferdinand header in the dying minutes of the game to earn Blackburn their first League Cup success. Matt Jansen had given Blackburn the lead after 25 minutes at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but Germany midfield player Christian Ziege equalised for Tottenham just eight minutes later.

Newcastle win
In the FA Premiership, Greece defender Nikos Dabizas headed a second-half winning goal to give Newcastle United FC a 1-0 victory over Sunderland AFC in the north-east derby. Dabizas's 64th-minute goal gave Bobby Robson's side a deserved victory over the hosts in a hard-fought contest at the Stadium of Light. The win moved Newcastle into second place in the table, two points behind champions Manchester United FC, as the club's remarkable season continued.

Ruled offside
The former England manager's side made a good start and Craig Bellamy put the ball in the Sunderland net after 15 minutes, though the Welsh international striker's effort was ruled offside by referee Graham Barber. Goalkeeper Shay Given pulled off a number of brilliant saves before Dabizas headed home a Laurent Robert free-kick - conceded by Sunderland's new loan signing, Patrick Mboma of Cameroon.

Leeds held
In Sunday's final game, Leeds United AFC's troubles continued as they could only earn a 0-0 draw at home to Charlton Athletic FC. David O'Leary's side have not won a league match since New Year's Day but things could easily have been worse had Charlton's Paul Konchesky not shot wide with just goalkeeper Nigel Martyn to beat after 80 seconds of the game.

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