After going ahead with two goals in the first half this afternoon, Newcastle ran out fairly easy winners even though Sunderland enjoyed more of the play in the second period.
Newcastle got off to the perfect start this afternoon with a goal after only 4 minutes. And it was Michael Owen again who got the goal, as he ghosted in front of Paul McShane from just 10 yards out to head home Geremi’s pinpoint cross from the right wing.
It was Owenâ€™s 11th goal of the season and an excellent way to start the game for Newcastle fans.
In the first 20 minutes Newcastle had much more of the play but were unable to add to their lead. After 27 minutes Dean Whitehead was the first man to receive a yellow card for a deliberate hand ball on the halfway line.
On 29 minutes Martins is put clear down the left by Barton, and Owen and Viduka try to get into the box but Oba has his eyes on goal and gets beyond the challenge of McShane before firing low at Gordon’s near post.
But Gordon made an excellent stop gets down low to hold the ball well. Then Martins appeared to be brought down in the box after 39 minutes by McShane, but TV replays of the incident showed referee Dean made the right decision by waving play on.
Just before half time Newcastle went 2-0 up and itâ€™s that man Owen again. Owen passed with Viduka inside the penalty box and tried to lift the ball over Higginbotham, but the Sunderland player appeared to handle the ball.
Referee Mike Dean had no hesitation and pointed to the spot. The Newcastle captain took the penalty himself and got his second goal of the game as his low shot deflected into the net off Gordon. That’s his 12th goal of the season for Newcastle.
Sunderland started the second half having more of the possession than in the first half.
Martins and Owen played a nice one-two 25 yards out and the Nigerian was suddenly in on goal. But Martinsâ€™ powerful strike was kept out by Craig Gordon. That was an excellent opportunity to put the game away for the Magpies.
On 68 minutes Damien Duff came on to replace Oba Martins that was not before Liam Miller was booked for a foul on the Nigerian.
Sunderland then broke on the right with Murphy, and he found the unmarked Jones, who was denied a goal by a fantastic Steve Harper save as the Newcastle goalkeeper went full length to push the ball clear.
Four minutes later Andy Reid followed Miller into the book for a wild, sliding challenge on Owen and then 19 year-old striker Andy Carroll came on for Mark Viduka.
Another yellow card for Sunderland followed as Nosworthy entered the book for a clumsy challenge on Carroll, making it 5 yellow cards for Sunderland players this afternoon. No Newcastle player was booked.
Then Andy Carroll was so close to getting his first competitive goal for Newcastle and was only inches away when he narrowly missed connecting with Owen’s chipped cross from the left.
But the final whistle came with Kevin Keegan’s name ringing around St. James’ Park as Kevin keeps his perfect record against Sunderland with a 5th win out of five against the red and whites.
Two goal Newcastle captain of course was the hero for this game and it’s now 6 games unbeaten with 14 points and we are now level on points with Spurs. That’s also our 4th clean sheet in 6 games – who says our defense is weak anymore?