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Newcastle closes in on top 4 with win at Blackburn

Updated: February 01, 2012, 18:32


Newcastle United's Gabriel Obertan, left, scores a goal against Blackburn during their English Premier League soccer match at Ewood Park, Blackburn, England, Wednesday Feb. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

BLACKBURN, England(AP) Newcastle climbed to within three points of fourth-place Chelsea after a 2-0 win at Blackburn in the Premier League on Wednesday.

An unfortunate own goal by Scott Dann gifted Newcsatle the lead in the 12th minute, and French winger Gabriel Obertan made the game safe in second-half injury time.

The match could have turned out differently had David Dunn converted a penalty in the 44th minute, after debutant Anthony Modeste had been fouled by Danny Simpson.

However, the midfielder's spot kick was easily saved by Tim Krul, leaving the hosts stuck in the relegation zone, two points from safety.

"We've had enough chances to win three games,'' Blackburn manager Steve Kean said. "I think if you are trying to take positives out of the defeat, then we are certainly making the chances but we just weren't ruthless enough.''

Newcastle's fourth win in its past six games lifted the team above Arsenal with fourth-place Chelsea within its sights.

"We defended with passion and with our hearts, like we have done all season and that is why we have done so well,'' Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said.

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