Magpies brush aside Boro to keep hopes alive
Newcastle United got themselves out of the relegation zone with a convincing 3-1 win over local rivals Middlesbrough in a match both managers will tell you was an exciting spectacle.
Gareth Southgate's side went in front when Turkish midfielder Tuncay forced an error from United fullback Habib Beye resulting in an own-goal. The Toon responded with a goal of their own only minutes later through a powerful Steven Taylor header from a Danny Guthrie corner.
The scores remained 1-1 at half-time, but on the stroke of an hour of play, Newcastle took the lead with Obafemi Martins, after the substitute expertly slotted the ball into the Boro net after some good work down the right flank.
Danish forward Peter Lovenkrands made it 3-1 with four minutes to play, and the Magpies could have made it five, had it not been for the poor finishing of local lad Andy Carroll.
It was a fantastic game for the neutral with attacking flair from both sides, and a particularly impressive Marvin Emnes leading the line for the Teesiders.
Afonso Alves had to be substituted due to an injury, and that will only add to Gareth Southgate's woes, as Boro find themselves stranded in the relegation zone with two games left in the season.
Newcastle United are only out of the relegation zone due to a superior goal difference over Hull City who are also on 34 points.
The Toon welcome Roy Hodgson's Fulham next week, and if they can maintain the energy levels and commitment that was shown this evening, expect a fiesty encounter at St. James' Park on that day.
Alan Shearer will be hoping his rivals slip up next week, and that he can at least get a draw out of the game, as United claw their way out of the relegation scrap.
Four points would do it for Shearer, but he would crave six.
Newcastle United: Harper, Beye, S Taylor, Bassong, Duff, Guthrie, Butt, Nolan, Gutierrez (Lovenkrands 65), Owen (Martins 70), Viduka (Carroll 88).
Goals: Taylor 9, Martins 71, Lovenkrands 86
Middlesbrough: Jones, Hoyte, Bates, Huth, Taylor (Johnson 76), Downing, O'Neil, Shawky (Aliadiere 69), Sanli, Emnes, Alves (King 36).
Goals: Beye 3 OG
Ref: M Dean