Keegan finally tastes victory

Kevin Keegan enjoys his first win since his return to Newcastle.

    Crisis? What Crisis? Mark Viduka delivers
    for Newcastle United [AFP]
    Kevin Keegan finally won his first game in his return as Newcastle manager, with a 2-0 victory over visiting Fulham eaning his side three vital points in the English Premier League.

    Mark Viduka and Michael Owen scored for Newcastle to end a winless streak that dates back to January 16, the day the Magpies announced Keegan would begin his second stint as manager.

    Since then, Newcastle has lost six matches and drawn three, which included elimination from the FA Cup.

    The Geordie faithful were buoyant early when Newcastle went ahead in the sixth minute through Viduka.

    Owen then sealed the points and moved the side away from relegation with an 83rd-minute header.

    Elsewhere Tottenham beat Portsmouth 2-0 off late goals from substitutes Darren Bent and Jamie O'Hara; Roque Santa Cruz scored twice for Blackburn in a 3-1 win over Wigan despite playing with 10 men from the 16th minute; and Sunderland won its first away game of the season with a 1-0 victory at Aston Villa.

    Also Saturday, it was: Bolton 0, Manchester City 0; Middlesbrough 1, Derby 0; and Reading 2, Birmingham 1. Later Saturday, Everton hosts West Ham.

    On Sunday, the top four clubs play; Liverpool is at Manchester United and Chelsea hosts Arsenal.

    Man United leads the standings with 70 points, followed by Arsenal with 67, Chelsea with 65 and Liverpool with 59.

    Sunderland moves up to 16th place with 30 points, with Birmingham swapping places by dropping to 17th with 27 points. Bolton stays in the drop-zone with 26 points, followed by Fulham with 23 and Derby with 10.

    Reading and Newcastle moved to 31 points with seven games left of the season.

    Spurs down Pompey

    Darren Bent scored in the 80th minute at White Hart Lane, with Jamie O'Hara doubling the score in the 82nd. Both players had come on 10 minutes earlier.

    Dimitar Berbatov's shot was headed in by Bent, who then set up O'Hara to make it 2-0 in a match played in chilly, windy conditions.

    Jamie O'Hara, left, enjoys his
    first Premiership goal [AFP]
    "Benty opened up the whole match,'' Tottenham assistant manager Gus Poyet said.

    "The substitutes don't always know how important they can be.''

    Santa Cruz scored his first goal in the 11th minute, heading in a rebound after David Bentley's initial shot was pushed away by Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

    Blackburn had Christopher Samba sent off in the 16th minute for a foul on Wigan striker Emile Heskey, and Marlon King scored from the resulting penalty kick to make it 1-1.

    Blackburn went ahead again in the 45th through Jason Roberts, who scored through the legs of Kirkland, and Santa Cruz headed in his second goal to make it 3-1 in the 63rd.

    Wigan also went down to 10 men in the 69th minute, when Wilson Palacios was sent off for a late challenge on Bentley.

    Reading boost

    Andre Bikey put Reading ahead in the 31st with a header after collecting a free kick from John Oster, and he also headed in the winner in the 79th.

    Birmingham had levelled in the 64th through Mauro Zarate's first goal for the club.

    Sunderland scored in the 83rd through Michael Chopra, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Scott Carson. It was the first goal in four games for the Black Cats and their first win in nearly two months.

    Middlesbrough scored through Tuncay Sanli's 32nd-minute goal to continue Derby's wretched season and ease the pressure on Gareth Southgate’s men who are now unbeaten in their last three games.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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