Owen piles on the agony for the Mackems!
NEWCASTLE UNITED won the local bragging rights in todayÃ¢ÂÂs Tyne-Wear derby after a solid 2-0 win over Sunderland.
Michael OwenÃ¢ÂÂs double did the job for Kevin KeeganÃ¢ÂÂs side on a great day for the Magpies at St JamesÃ¢ÂÂs 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 starÃ¢ÂÂs 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 OwenÃ¢ÂÂs 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 OwenÃ¢ÂÂs 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