Tue, Nov 01, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Owen beats West Brom

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Newcastle's star striker scored twice in the shutout, with Alan Shearer adding one more

AP , LONDON

Newcastle United's Michael Owen, right, opens the scoring against West Bromwich Albion during an English Premier League match at The Hawthorns in Birmingham, England, on Sunday. Owen scored twice as Newcastle defeated West Bromwich Albion 3-0. Newcastle ended the day 10th in the English Premier League standings.

PHOTO: AP

Michael Owen scored two second-half goals and Alan Shearer added one in the 80th minute to give Newcastle a 3-0 victory Sunday over West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League.

The victory improved Newcastle to 15 points, and edged the Magpies into 10th place, ahead of Middlesbrough on goal difference. West Brom has only eight points with both teams having played 11 games.

The match at West Brom was the only game Sunday in the Premier League.

Despite the lopsided loss, West Brom could have turned the match around when Robert Earnshaw shot from point-blank range in the 52nd, but was stopped by Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given.

After that, Newcastle broke away.

"In the second half it started to come together a little bit better," Owen said.

Shearer came off the bench to score his goal, and said he was surprised at being benched by coach Graeme Souness.

"He [Souness] knows how to get the best out of me, though I might have scored two or three if I had started," Shearer joked.

Souness said he benched the 35-year-old Shearer "to look after him."

About Owen he added: "I don't think there is any surprise that Michael got a couple today. Michael is a proven goal scorer. He got a couple of goals to get us on our way."

On Saturday, Chelsea beat Blackburn 4-2 to extend its unbeaten streak to 40 matches in the Premier League. Chelsea has 31 points and leads Wigan by nine points, Tottenham and Bolton by 11, Manchester United by 13, and Arsenal and by 14.

Arsenal rallied to draw 1-1 with north London rival Tottenham.

Wigan beat Fulham 1-0, its sixth consecutive victory to continue its surprising run. And Manchester United fell further off the pace when it crashed to a 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

"It was a shocking performance," Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said.

Celtic beat host Dundee United 4-2 to take over first place in the standings.

John Hartson and Chris Sutton gave Celtic a 2-1 lead after 28 minutes. Collin Samuel equalized for Dundee United in the 30th, but Alan Archibald scored an own-goal two minutes later to give Celtic a 3-2 lead, with Stephen Pearson making it 4-2 in the 88th.

Celtic and Hearts each have 32 points, followed by Hibernian with 28 and Rangers with 22. Celtic leads Hearts with a better goal difference.

Sutton said Celtic fans had begun to warm to new manager Gordon Strachan, who replaced Martin O'Neill.

"It was never going to be easy filling his boots, but the manager is his own man, has his own ideas, his own style and that's good for the club," Sutton said. "Managers are judged on results, but it's too early to say that we have turned the corner because things can change so quickly in football."

Strachan had a rough start at Celtic when he team was eliminated in August in a qualifying round of the Champions League by Artmedia Bratislava.

David Lopez and Inaki Munoz scored a goal in each half and Osasuna downed Espanyol 2-0 to regain the top spot in the standings.

Osasuna, which is 6-0 at home this season and enjoying its best ever start to a season, is two points ahead of defending champion FC Barcelona, which beat Real Sociedad 5-0 and moved into second place.

Ronaldinho scored two goals and midfielder Mark van Bommel, captain Carles Puyol and substitute Henrik Larsson added the others at Camp Nou stadium to extend Barcelona's unbeaten run to seven matches.

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