Ex-Newcastle United, Real Madrid and Leeds United defender Jonathan Woodgate has revealed how Craig Bellamy met his match when he blamed his manager for the 6-2 home defeat to Manchester United in a Premier League game in 2003. Craig Bellamy received a perfect response to his claim from then Newcastle United manager late Sir Bobby Robson during a heated training ground inquest on the back of the disappointing defeat to the Red Devils.

Woodgate was in the Newcastle United team that lost heavily to the Red Devils and he told Open Goal podcast that they had a massive inquest the following day and Sir Bobby Robson was furious with the players prompting Craig Bellamy to fault him for his tactics. He told Robson that it was his fault after instructing Woodgate to man-mark Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. In his response, Robson told Bellamy that van Nistelrooy didn’t score from open play. Craig Bellamy wanted to give a reply to the response from Robson before Woodgate gestured on him to keep quiet.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was relatively quiet due to the attention given to him by Woodgate and he only scored one of the goals from the spot kick.

Newcastle United scored first through midfielder Jermaine Jenas before they collapsed defensively against Manchester United. Paul Scholes was unplayable against the Magpies as he scored a brace in the first half to help the Red Devils to a 4-1 lead at the break. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ryan Giggs were the other goalscorers.

Scholes completed his hat-trick after the break before the penalty goal from van Nistelrooy minutes later. Shola Ameobi pulled one goal back for the Magpies to ensure that the game ended 6-2.

Ahead of the game, Sir Bobby Robson was worried by the influence of van Nistelrooy and he told his players that he wanted to try something different. He asked Woodgate to man-mark the Dutchman whom he worked with at PSV Eindhoven.