Mon, Feb 06, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Newcastle, Arsenal get their form back

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Thierry Henry's 200th goal for Arsenal helped the injury-hit club out of a slump with a 2-0 victory at Birmingham as the Magpies also won 2-0

AP , LONDON

Birmingham's Emile Heskey, center, is caught between Arsenal players during their match in Birmingham, England, on Saturday. The Gunners won the match 2-0.

PHOTO: AFP

Alan Shearer became Newcastle's record scorer on Saturday when he scored in a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, his club's first game since firing manager Graeme Souness.

Acting as assistant to temporary manager Glenn Roeder, former England captain Shearer added the second goal in the 64th minute after French forward Charles N'Zogbia netted his first in 18 games for the Magpies. Shearer's 201st club goal moved him clear of the old record set by Jackie Milburn.

"After [goalkeeper] Dean Kiely's pulled off some excellent saves in the first half you begin to think `is it my day?'" Shearer said. "I was just delighted to see it hit the back of the net and that feeling, when I know it's gone in, I can't describe it. Even I got a little bit emotional even five minutes after. I knew the fans would give me a great reception but that was something special."

After only one point from its last six Premier League games, Newcastle fired Souness on Thursday with the team sliding to 15th.

Arsenal, which lost 3-2 at home to West Ham on Wednesday, had eight defenders missing but its young side dominated Birmingham. Togo forward Emmanuel Adebayor scored after 21 minutes and Henry added the other in the second half. Birmingham had Emile Heskey sent off near the end for two yellow cards.

"With the youth of our side it was very promising for the club," Wenger said. "They have not only shown quality but character as well and a determined attitude and efficiency and I'm very pleased today."

The victory lifted the Gunners to fifth, 23 points behind leader Chelsea, which hosts third-place Liverpool today. Second-place Manchester United hosted Fulham later Saturday, while fourth-place Tottenham hosts Charlton today.

In other games, Bolton and Wigan tied 1-1, Everton continued its improvement by edging Manchester City 1-0, and Aston Villa won 4-0 at struggling Middlesbrough.

West Ham overcame last place Sunderland 2-0 and West Bromwich Albion climbed further away from the relegation zone by beating Blackburn 2-0.

Stelios Giannakopolous put Bolton ahead after 63 minutes only for Andreas Johansson to reply for Wigan 13 minutes from the end.

Scotland defender David Weir scored Everton's winner against Manchester City as the Toffees made it five league wins in six games. City's Stephen Jordan was sent off in the second half for two yellow cards.

Luke Moore scored a hat trick as Villa coasted to victory at Middlesbrough and pushed manager Steve McClaren's team closer to relegation danger. Kevin Phillips scored the other for the visitor at the Riverside.

"Everything went wrong for us from the kickoff to the final whistle," said McClaren, who is assistant coach to England's Sven-Goran Eriksson and a candidate to take over when the Swede quits after the World Cup.

"We were very poor. There are no excuses. We've had injuries but once we've conceded the first goal you could see all the confidence drain out of the players."

Dean Ashton scored on his West Ham debut nine minutes from the end against Sunderland, and Paul Konchesky added the second with a 25m shot. Sunderland had been playing with 10 men since Stephen Wright had been sent off in the 23rd for a second yellow card.

Veteran striker Kevin Campbell gave West Brom a sixth-minute lead with only second goal of the season against a Blackburn team which had posted five victories and a tie in its last six Premier League games. Jonathan Greening volleyed the second in the 32nd.

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