Owen piles on the agony for the Mackems!

By Lee Ryder on Apr 20, 08 03:24 PM

NEWCASTLE UNITED won the local bragging rights in today’s Tyne-Wear derby after a solid 2-0 win over Sunderland.

Michael Owen’s double did the job for Kevin Keegan’s side on a great day for the Magpies at St James’s Park.

United went in against Sunderland on the back of a five game unbeaten run with Toon players bidding to end the campaign on a real high.

The players entered the field in front of a sell out crowd amidst an electric atmosphere as the Geordie nation roared their team into action.

The first glimpse of goal for Sunderland came on three minutes when Kenwyne Jones wriggled his way through to fire a shot at Steve Harper.

But Newcastle hit back instantly and grabbed the lead a minute later.

Geremi clipped in a right wing cross with Michael Owen climbing high to get above Paul McShane and nod the ball past Craig Gordon at Gallowgate for 1-0.

On 12 minutes Habib Beye almost caught Gordon napping when he fired in a low drive which the Scottish keeper had to turn round the post with Newcastle dominating the early opening period.

Newcastle were on top throughout the opening quarter and almost went 2-0 up when Geremi crossed for Oba Martins but the Nigerian star’s header failed to hit the target.

Martins broke free down the left on 29 minutes and after turning two Sunderland defenders inside out his powerful low effort had to be gobbled up by Gordon.

United won a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Owen’s one-two with Viduka cannoned off the arm of Danny Higginbotham,

And it was Owen who calmly rolled the ball underneath Gordon for 2-0 to net his second of the game.

Owen was then wiped out by Daryl Murphy in first half stoppage time which handed the black and whites a dangerous free-kick.

Geremi delivered from the right but Owen fluffed his effort in front of goal but Newcastle went in two goals to the good at the break.

Sunderland started the second half in positive fashion though as Dean Whitehead flashed in a deflected shot but Newcastle cleared the danger.

On the hour Joey Barton gave the ball away cheaply to allow Andy Reid to get his shot in but his effort drifted just over the bar.

Five minutes later a Geremi free-kick was pumped into the box but Faye could only glance the ball high and wide.

With the game going into the final quarter Owen picked out Martins on the left but Gordon came out to block his effort.

Sunderland almost clawed their way back into the game seconds later when Jones headed at goal from close range only for Harper to pull off a tremendous save.

With 20 minutes left on the clock Martins was with withdrawn as Damien Duff was handed a slice of derby action with KK switching to a 4-4-2 formation.

Roy Keane unleashed former Toon young gun Michael Chopra with nine minutes left as the player replaced Murphy.

Chopra was booed on to the field but it was current Academy product Carroll who almost had the crowd in raptures soon after when Owen’s cross evaded the teenager by just inches.

UNITED: Harper, Beye, Taylor, Faye, Enrique (Edgar 86), Geremi, Butt, Barton, Viduka (Carroll 76), Martins (Duff 70), Owen
Subs not used: Smith, Forster

SUNDERLAND: Gordon, Nosworthy, McShane (Harte 86), Edwards (Richardson 58), Whitehead, Murphy (Chopra 81), Miller, Higginbotham, Collins, Jones, Reid.
Subs not used:, Leadbitter, Fulop.

Ref: Mike Dean

Crowd: 52,305


Paul Patterson said:

Well Well, Well Well. I’ll take that very nicely thank you.

One point for the red and white contingent to ponder- Why wait till nine minutes to go to bring a former Toon Striker on, surely that would have been the idea, the second Owen scored the second.

Never mind it’s not my job to do Roy Keane’s job for him, far from it, it’s my job to congratulate Kevin on a fabulous day for he, his players and the Toon army, the points gratefully received and added to the total.

On the whole, it wasn’t a great game, in fact Sunderland had the better of it in the second half, with Geremi doing his best to find red and white shirts with every pass- EXCEPT the vital cross for Owens opener.

From Steve Harper throughout to Man of the Match Owen, every man did their jobs without really battering them.

The future must be focused on now, while Sunderland fans don’t seem to worry about the long term as long as short term success over Newcastle United is achieved.

Well for this week, they certainly haven’t done that.

The summer will be the interesting, VERY interesting- Roy Keane said in the newspapers that he wants £40m to spend and he could spend £200m if he had it- Keep dreaming Roy, Keep Dreaming.

I trust Kevin Keegan.


Bret Maverick said:

Job well done - although we seemed to take the foot off the gas for a while in the first half and we could've had more. I think I would've replaced Viduka before Martins, but our options on the bench aren't too inspiring.

Victory at West Ham next.

mag in boro said:

easiest derby win for years....the great unwashed tried to come and kill off the game with 5 man midfield and kick anything in black n white(as they havent the quality to win the ball fairly)as macshame showed with less than minute on the clock
Keegans 100% derby record intact another clean sheet without being stretched and owen geting a couple(more points for my dream team)
now to all the SMB who posted before the game
i did say all you were doing was trying to talk it up before crying that you spent all your giro money jog on back to your stadium of (answers to lee on a postcard)dole offices in pennywell and roker crammed with applications for crisis loans in morning
and just like that credit card
ticket to game £25
few pints and pie£15
seeing the look on roy keanes face at 2-0 down PRICELESS


Sandy Love said:

Brilliant result! We weren't that good but were better than Sunderland so its not difficult to win. I agree with Paul I know I was quite scared when Chopra came on and he definitely wouldve made more of an impact had he been on longer. I thought midfield was a bit lacking but Enrique I thought had his best game for us. 4 clean sheets in five games?! Does'nt sound like us...looks like great things are ahead for us.

harpo said:

Lee why did so many people have inflatable dogs with them at today's game?

Ryder's reply: Something to do with Roy Keane's love of the animal.

harpo said:

Men agaist boys.

pedi said:

Its difficult to put in a performance in derby games due to the pressure and although todays game was no thriller the result is all that counts! We are safe now and can plan for next season (reckon KK will go for Henry).
1 thing I did find dodgy was Owens reluctance to commit himself when asked about the new contract. I still think if liverpool came in for him he'd be off. He's been quality for a while now and proved my judgment of him being passed it was misplaced. I even wanted to get shot of him earlier in the season but IF he can stay fit keep him.
Owen got the goals but man of match for me was Beye.... again, best defender we've had for a while. Enrique was also excellent. Anyone know whats going to happen with rozenhal, is he coming back?
Another clean sheet, lets see what the southern press blame for our win, sunderland were tired from the long drive up.


I went into this game thinking that this really could be a walk over..and it was to some degree !! Cant remember last time i felt like that. We scored the 2 goals and the rest was easy really, cple of chances 4 them thats it. I must say,am really pleased with Enrique, i really liked what i saw in him, lets hope he can keep up that level, and make that spot his own, its early days yet but i felt he was exceptional today, long may it continue.

Craig, Salisbury said:

Naturally, i'm in a joyfull mood at the (inevitable?) result against that lot down the road. I admit, I was a bit nervous and sweating like a makum in a spelling test before the game, but that all disappeared after 3 minutes or so. By the way, why was that McShame own-goal chaked off? I watched it on SKY in the pub but the sound was on low and couldn't hear the commentator. However, reason i'm writing is this; What's Oba on? Straight down the tunnel when subbed. Now look, I've got nowt against the lad, he's a breath of fresh air, but I can't help feeling that he's putting personal glory before the team. He talked before the game about having a good record in the Milan derby, he knows he's a fan's favourite, he want's to score (naturally). Very recently, he seems to be taking 'chances' with a pot at goal instead of giving it to the better positioned team mate - see second half today against the poor sods from Blunderland, he was sent through by Owen, a ball across the face of goal would have found Viduka or Owen, but no, he smacked it against the fumbling net minder in the makums goal. He did a ' near post job' last week against Pompey which was saved and tried it again today from the opposite side, which again, was saved. It's almost like he's wanting to make/break records. Now, in my opinion, if you do your best for the team, records take care of themselves. The minute you embark on a personal journey to break records, in a team game, all cohesion goes out of the window. I can't help thinking that the huff down the tunnel was as a direct result of the above mentioned personal agenda. Shades of Tino? Anyone? Anyway, message to Oba Drive; Chin up son, don't try too hard, play for the lads, your time will come. Now then, young Steve Taylor - thought you were 'definately' going to scrore today? I'll let you off, just stick it in the back of West Hams onion bag next week instead. Right i'm finished. One last thing, that Reid bloke that plays for Sunderland, he's a bit of a fatty isn't he? Could trap a bag of cement him.

Craig, exciled in Salisbury (which is not too bad as you get the pub to ya sel when the lads are on the telly)

Ronnie Lambert said:

Fantastic day!!! Greatest atmosphere I can remember for yonks, the noise when poor Chops came on would've registered 6.5 on the Richter scale in Los Angeles.
Strangely enough, unlike many derbies before, I wasn't the least bit nervous before and during the game. It was so easy it was unbelievable. Roy Keane was magnanimous in defeat publicly, but I bet he rollicked his team for not trying very hard at all. Even the fans had an aura of defeatism about them which almost had me feeling sorry for them, trying to imagine how I'd be feeling if the roles were At this rate of improvement since the Blackburn game, I honestly think we might do Chelsea, if we start concentrating and working harder. The defence were so cool in playing out from the wee bits of danger that Sunderland occasionally posed. Enrique's learning fast with his run in the team and looks like the class his price tag warrants, though he dropped a couple of clangers with wayward passes. Although everyone made a few wayward passes today in their nonchalence, even Butt had his few duffers. We should have scored more goals, and but for Oba's blinkers when he could have squared for Viduka to tap in, it would have been three nowt, but what the heck.
The black and white cards were a huge success and made great paper planes, the elastic bands were fun too, pinging them all over the place when the game got a bit boring caused much mirth in the Leazes end, though a mother of two young lads gave me disparaging looks at the example I was setting. Bring on Chelsea and Keegan's summer shopping surprises, the good times are definitely back Lee.


Hi lee-not best of games by derby standards-but a whole lot more than we would have had if the fat useless one was still here- hope he was watching how our two fullbacks have become better and more menacing players than they would ever have been under his scientific rubbish- Enrique gets better and better and I think he will eventually prove he was money well spent -even if the fat one did sign him.4 wins and 2 draws must surely demonstrate that the King knows more about the game than all the pundits who have been sniping at him since his return.All in all if they could sort out Taylors contract and Michaels we might not need too many arrivals-Though I think Charlie is on his way south-sadly-he has a talent-and cant beleive the rumour that Moyes wants Carr { I will give him a lift down to Merseyside after our next home game }The useless Duff did nothing when he came on against the Mackems to suggest to me that he should stay-Milner can play both wings. Carroll looks like he could make it. EXIT Charlie,Duff,Carr,Ameobi,QUERY Geremis legs-he is caught too often on the ball- Given might not be first choice anymore Butt has had a great season-might another season be too much to hope for? Barton -better but still needs to show how good he can be- Smithy remains a bit of an enigma -but a good squad player- Viduka- legs are now truly catching him out-Martins has great ability but my oh my the coaches need to do some serious work on his general play for him to mature into the great player he could be. Ok I will shut up now -I trust in Kevin to get it right-now I know one swallow does not make a spring but I do think Greavsie should be saying some humble pie about Kev now as he said plenty the other way when Kev was appointed.

Charles said:

Good result without good performance but who cares as long as you've got the points. In the game of Newcastle, I think everyone here has endured good performance without result all season.

The performance of course is a priority but it is nice to get points as well. In football, points makes everything, from unconvincing and undeserved wins to undeserved losses. Look at ManU, playing terrible but got results as well...

Once again, Owen. The man I've never doubt from the start he signed. Of course he been ravaged by injuries and out of forms but ultimately found his strength back and now is showing his true value. Thank god for not selling him earlier.

Overall, Martins needs a little bit more shooting practices. He could have scored one at least but let it off. Got lots of chance bu again couldnt find the net. Still young though, and still lots of time to make amends.

Barton, a little quiet all afternoon. Butt been tremendous even after Big Sam's policies drowned his head. Enrique showing a little more than usual. Beye got a good run, just needs a better right partner. Faye and Taylor, solid as rock, literally. Harper got a good clean sheet, well deserved and Viduka got a few touches, still needs more from him though.

And that leaves Geremi...god, I've been talking about him for five games already. The problem with him is that he couldnt get a good corner done. How is it that he was the one who crosses to Owen for the goal is beyond explanation but one thing's for sure, he really-really cannot take a spotkick in his life ever again. Not to single him out but he's got a really bad game yesterday and I almost found him comparable with Smith. He passes weakly, took bad corners and even worst free kicks. His only main contribution was that cross which is superb but other than that its like playing with one leg. Hopefully Milner comes back and show a little more than what he could ever achieve.

2 nil got us the bragging rights and we've certainly used it. Bring on West Ham. Can see a slight improvement in performance.

jon said:

well...performance aint pretty...but look at e past we would hv taken e result n hack e perfomance...go newcastle!!!..

by e way...i tink we nid 2 get another person 2 take corners...geremi is nonsense at corners...

Ronnie Lambert said:

Good points Jon, but might you ride your horse at a steady canter when you type your next piece, or better still, tie it to the hitch-rail. ( chuckle )

Markus said:

I have high blood pressure but my team made sure it didnt rise above that of most of the mackum team. Thanks lads.


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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