Premier League – Shearer conjures vital win for Newcastle


Alan Shearer made two inspired substitutions as Newcastle United beat Middlesbrough 3-1 at St James’ Park to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.

FOOTBALL 2008-2009 Premier League Newcastle United Newcastle-Middlesbrough Obafemi Martins after scoring in 3-1 relegation battle over local rivals Middlesbrough - 0

The Newcastle manager introduced strikers Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands in the second half, and both scored to earn his team a precious victory against their North East rivals.

A Habib Beye own-goal put Middlesbrough ahead inside five minutes, before Steven Taylor‘s powerful header saw the relegation battle into the break at 1-1.

Martins scored with his first touch after replacing Michael Owen on 71 minutes to put United ahead, and Lovenkrands sealed all three points with a convincing finish five minutes from time.

The result moves Newcastle above Hull City on goal difference and outside the bottom three.

Boro, meanwhile, slide deeper into the mire and are now three points from safety with just two matches of the Premier League season remaining.

It all started so well for Gareth Southgate‘s team when Tuncay’s sharp turn in the box created space for a shot on three minutes

Steve Harper saved the Turkish striker’s stabbed effort, but the Newcastle goalkeeper could only watch on in anguish as his parry was deflected into the net by the helpless Beye.

Boro’s lead would last just six minutes.

Newcastle drew level when Taylor lost his marker and glanced home Danny Guthrie‘s right-wing corner with a firm header.

The goal gave the home side belief and on 27 minutes Brad Jones made a fine reaction save to stop Owen’s goalbound header.

Boro’s Marvin Emnes then shot wide after Harper saved his initial effort, but the teams went into the break all square.

The first genuine chance of the second half also fell to Boro, but once again Harper came to the rescue, parrying a powerful drive from Gary O’Neill.

With a draw no good for either side, Shearer then shuffled his pack – first introducing Lovenkrands for Jonas Gutierrez and then Martins for Owen, who once again delivered a low-key performance.

Martins had been on the field for just 55 seconds when he took possession inside the Boro box and shot past Jones, despite falling over in the process.

Lovenkrands sealed victory for Newcastle, blasting home Kevin Nolan‘s right-wing cross to send the St James’ Park crowd into hysteria.

Shearer’s team face Fulham at home next, before a trip to Aston Villa completes their season.

Boro, meanwhile, face Villa at home on Saturday, followed by a visit to West Ham on the final day.

Will Tidey / Eurosport