Newcastle got off to an incredible start this afternoon at St. Jamesâ€™ Park with a goal after only 4 minutes.
And it was that man Owen again as he ghosted in front of Paul McShane from 10 yards out to head home Geremi’s excellent cross in from the right.
Itâ€™s Owenâ€™s 11th goal of the season and a great way to start this derby game for Newcastle fans, who raised the roof at St. Jamesâ€™ Park.
In the first 20 minutes Newcastle were having much more of the play but were unable to add to their lead. Then after 27 minutes Dean Whitehead is 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 makes an excellent stop gets down low to hold the ball well
Martins appears to be brought down in the box after 39 minutes by McShane but TV replays show referee Dean made the right decision by waving play on.
But then just before half time Newcastle go 2-0 up and itâ€™s that man Owen again. Owen passes with Viduka inside the penalty area and then tries to lift the ball over Higginbotham, but the ball strikes the arm of the Sunderland player.
Referee Mike Dean has no hesitation and points to the spot. The Newcastle captain takes the penalty and he gets his second goal of the game as his low shot deflects into the net off Gordon.
Then just before the half time whistle Daryl Murphy is the second Sunderland player to see yellow for a very late tackle on Owen.
Thatâ€™s it, after 2 minutes of added time, and Newcastle are well worth their 2-0 advantage at the break.
Newcastle United: Steve Harper, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique, Abdoulaye Faye, Steven Taylor, Nicky Butt, Joey Barton, Geremi, Michael Owen (c), Oba Martins, Mark Viduka
Subs: Fraser Forster, David Edgar, Alan Smith, Damien Duff, Andy Carroll
Sunderland: Craig Gordon, Nyron Nosworthy, Paul McShane, Carlos Edwards, Dean Whitehead (c), Daryl Murphy, Liam Miller, Danny Higginbotham, Danny Collins, Kenwyne Jones, Andy Reid
Subs: Ian Harte, Kieran Richardson, Michael Chopra, Grant Leadbitter, Marton Fulop
Referee: Mike Dean