Premier League

Shearer’s first win lifts Newcastle out of relegation zone

Newcastle United recovered from a goal down to defeat fellow strugglers and north-east rivals Middlesbrough 3-1 and move out of the Premier League’s relegation zone on goal difference.

The wins drops Hull City into the bottom three for the first time this term and leaves Middlesbrough 19th in the 20-team league, three points from safety with two games remaining. Both sides had not scored in their last three matches yet it was 1-1 inside nine minutes at St James’ Park. First, Middlesbrough striker Tuncay Şanlı spun Habib Beye on the edge of the penalty area, and although his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Steve Harper, the ball rebounded in off Habib Beye. The hosts responded immediately with Mark Viduka blasting against the post and Steven Taylor firing the rebound over. Taylor was not to be denied, though, and lost his marker Matthew Bates to powerfully head in Danny Guthrie’s corner.

The goal was cue for a spell of home pressure, though it was the visitors who almost regained the lead before half-time when Marvin Emnes, making his first league start for Middlesbrough, shot wide after his initial effort had been saved by Harper. With Alan Shearer seeking his first win as Newcastle manager, he introduced Obafemi Martins for Michael Owen after 70 minutes and, just 55 second later, the Nigerian striker evaded Bate’s sliding challenge and fired past Brad Jones. A volley from fellow substitute Peter Løvenkrands four minutes from time confirmed Newcastle’s first win in eleven games.

Newcaslte 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.

This was such a huge win for Newcastle as it gives them hipe. It sure looks like Boro and West Brom are down, and Hull is in real trouble now as they play Bolton away and Man United at home.