Shearer on attack over 'blatant dive' in Cup defeat at Chelsea

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The Independent Football

Alan Shearer accused Shaun Wright-Phillips of diving last night as his Newcastle United team exited the FA Cup and his Magpies' career in effect ended without him picking up any silverware.

The England international Wright-Phillips brushed past Newcastle's central defender Robbie Elliott and fell to the ground despite there being minimal contact. With a minute remaining, Elliott was then sent off for his second yellow card and Shearer said: "We're bitterly disappointed and he clearly dived. It was a blatant dive. There was no contact made. I've seen a replay and I thought that at the time. That's definitely the case. It's an element that's creeping into our game that is not nice.

"It has to be stamped out and only a referee can do it. I've had two days at the FA Cup final and everyone says it's a great day but you can be sure it's not great when you lose.

"We've been beaten by a good team tonight and I wish them good luck." Shearer was backed by his caretaker manager, Glenn Roeder, who was downcast after his team's defeat, although the single goal margin flattered the Magpies on the balance of play.

Roeder said: "It was crystal clear what happened with Wright-Phillips. He got the ball past Robbie who turns sideways. He's already been booked and he's an experienced pro and he doesn't want to get booked again but Wright-Phillips falls to the ground. I'm disappointed in the young man and I'm sure his dad [the former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright] will be none too pleased. The sending-off was a major incident."

Roeder claimed that his side were not prone to diving. "There were two incidents, one where Kieron Dyer was in the corner and was scissored. He didn't roll around and wasn't looking for a foul and got up. Then there was the sending-off. That was the fair play and no fair play."

Asked whether it was an aspect of the game he ever encouraged his players to do, Roeder replied: "I don't know where to start in telling players how to dive." Roeder also spoke for Shearer's latest and last career disappointment, as the former England striker retires from football this summer.

He said: "Alan had set his heart on reaching the last four of the Cup and we haven't even forced them back to our place for a replay. He will be disappointed at that but he doesn't want sympathy from other people."

Looking at the game, Roeder admitted that falling behind to John Terry's goal was key. He said: "Conceding that goal so early was disappointing but John Terry is probably the best defender in England and Europe as well. He will be very important for England at the World Cup in those set-piece situations."

That contrasted with Terry's delight at reaching the semi-finals. He said: "My early goal set the tone and now we're in the hat for Friday. There was no idea of revenge in this game from losing against Newcastle last season in the Cup."

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