Newcastle won this afternoon at St. James’ Park against a 10 man Wigan side after Kevin Kirkland was harshly sent off after 46 minutes after seemingly heading Alan Smith in the back of the head.
Newcastle missed many chances in both halves with the chief culprit was Michael Owen who missed four golden opportunities to score.
Owen, however, made no mistake with only three minutes remaining when substitute Obafemi Martins crossed to the near post and Michael timed his run to perfection to head past Chris Kirkland for a good opportunist goal and snatch all 3 points for Newcastle.
Michael Owen – scored the winner for Newcastle with 3 minutes remaining
Newcastle were easily worth the full 3 points, although for much of the game, it appeared that their missed chances and the excellent play of old boy Titus Bramble and goalkeeper Kirkland would keep them at bay.
Newcastle were eventually rewarded in front of a crowd of 50,461. Another good clean sheet from the defense which means Newcastle will not need to score a lot of goals this season to get the points.
Styeve Harper in goal made a fantastic save in the first hal;f to keep out Wigan and we continue to notice how much better he looks under Sam Allardcye. England boss Steve McClaren was again at the game and although Owen ebventually scored he missed far too many chances.
Maybe when Owen gets his sharpness back we could have won this 4-0.
In the second half Steven Taylor hit the bar and had a goal ruled out for offside, and Nicky Butt and substitute Shola Ameobi also missed gilt-edged chances for the Geordies.
But it was a win and a clean sheet – which is a perfect result for newcastle and now 8 points from the first 4 games.
The full match report follows:
Michael Owen was in the starting line-up for his first Premiership game of the season as Newcastle look for their first home win of the season. Michael replaced Oba Martins from the team that started at Middlesbrough last weekend.
Steve Harper keeps his place in goal from last week, while Steven Taylor will start at right-back following the injury to Stephen Carr (hamstring) with Cacapa and David Rozehnal paired at the heart of the defense.
Former Newcastle players Antoine Sibierski and Titus Bramble both start for Wigan on their return to St.James’ Park.
Charles N’Zogbia was making his 100th appearance for the club and was moved to left-back after playing in left midfield against Barnsley.
Newcastle: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Charles N’Zogbia, Cacapa, David Rozehnal, Alan Smith, Geremi, Nicky Butt, James Milner, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Subs: Shay Given, Oba Martins, Matty Pattison, David Edgar, Shola Ameobi
Wigan: Chris Kirkland, Andreas Granqvist, Antoine Sibierski, Kevin Kilbane, Emile Heskey, Jason Koumas, Michael Brown, Denny Landzaat, , Titus Bramble, Mario Melchiot, Paul Scharner
Subs: Mike Pollitt, Julius Aghahowa, Emmerson Boyce, Josip Skoko, Marcus Bent
Referee: Steve Bennett
3min – Geremi’s take a free-kick and Rozehnal and Cacapa challenge with Bramble on the penalty spot but Kirkland collects the ball safely.
8min – Cacapa moves forward from deep and Viduka flicks on to Owen who is through on goal with Kirkland, Owen tries to side-foot into the far corner but Kirkland diverts the ball around the post. A definite chance.
16min â€“ A cross comes in and Bramble heads clear but only to Owen of Bramble 14 yards out, he drills a right-footed shot goal-wards which deflects off Mark Viduka and straight to Michael Owen at the far post and Owen puts the ball in the net from close range but is flagged offside.
19min – Koumas fires goalwards and Steve Harper makes an excellent save at full-stretch to prevent the visitors from taking the lead. The crowd chants “Harper for England”
28min – Taylor sends the ball forward for Michael Owen and Granqvist slips and Owen is again one-on-one with Kirkland. He tries to lift the ball over the keeper with his left-foot but over the cross-bar. Owen should have scored.
36min â€“ Newcastle are pressing and this time it’s Smith whose header has too much height and clears Kirkland’s bar.
39min – Viduka evades a couple of challenges inside Wigan’s area and the ball spins goalwards and Owen is first to react but Bramble recovers to slide clear.
43min – Nicky Butt comes close to opening the scoring but his header from Taylor’s right-wing cross is beaten away by Kirkland on his goal-line. Another real chance goes begging for Newcastle who should have been ahead at the break.
Michael Owen was the chief culprit as he may have had at least two goals.
Just after the break Kevin Kilbane gets a second yellow card from referee Steve Bennett for heading the back of Alan Smith’s head – and is sent off. The decision seems extremely harsh.