Three points for Newcastle at last!
NEWCASTLE UNITED finally recorded their first win under Kevin Keegan as Fulham left St JamesÃ¢ÂÂs Park empty handed tonight.
Goals from Mark Viduka and Michael Owen sealed the three points as United took another step closer to safety in the Premier League.
United boss Kevin Keegan named an unchanged line up following the 1-1 draw with Fulham meaning Alan Smith was only a sub with Damien Duff not selected.
As expected United started with the 4-3-3 formation that served them so well at St Andrews in the second half on Monday night.
Toon players formed a huddle before the game as they attempted to win their first game since December 15 in the Premier League ironically against the Cottagers at Craven Cottage.
The first chance of the afternoon went to Fulham when Jimmy Bullard cracked one at goal from outside the box but the ball went over the bar after a deflection off Joey Barton on three minutes.
But three minutes later United were in front thanks to Mark Viduka as the rain lashed down at St JamesÃ¢ÂÂs Park.
Geremi fashioned the opening down the right and the Aussie turned his man on the edge of the box to fire home the opener.
That rain soon turned into snow but Newcastle kept up the pressure and looked the better team in the opening 15 minutes.
And they could have doubled their advantage on 23 minutes when a long ball found Ob Martins before the Nigerian raced on to curl a wonderful shot at Kasey Keller which the American turned away for a corner.
Owen then tested Keller again with a long range effort after VidukaÃ¢ÂÂs win in the air on 29 minutes and Fulham had to twice clear frantically from the resultant corner.
Fulham responded with another long rang dig from Bullard 11 minutes before the break but Harper held firm.
Once more though Newcastle roared back and two minutes later Owen could have made it two when Beye crossed from the right to set up a header which was easily gathered by Keller.
But Newcastle went in ahead at the interval with a 1-0 lead.
Eight minutes into the second half Martins began to demonstrate his pace and skill once again when he latched on to a block tackle from Joey Barton before firing over at Gallowgate.
On 57 minutes Barton tested Keller to the limit when a half cleared corner fizzed inches wide with the one time England international enjoying a solid game for the Mags.
Keegan changed things with 15 minutes left when NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia replaced Martins who was as usual afforded a tremendous reception when he left the field.
KK switched it to a 4-4-2 formation with NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia moving out to the left hand side.
Geremi cracked one at Keller on 76 minutes but even though the US star fumbled the effort he grabbed the ball at the second attempt.
With eight minutes left United sealed the victory after GeremiÃ¢ÂÂs superb free-kick was headed home by Owen to make it 2-0.
UNITED: Harper, Beye (Edgar 87), Taylor, Faye, Enrique, Geremi, Butt, Barton, Viduka (Smith 84), Owen, Martins (NÃ¢ÂÂZogbia 74)
Subs: Forster, Carroll.
FULHAM: Keller, Konchesky, Johnson, Staleri (Healy 85), Hughes, McBride (Dempsey 67), Bullard, Davies, Andreasen, Murphy (Volz 71), Hangeland.
Subs: Bocanegra, Warner
Crowd: 52, 293
Ref: Alan Wiley