Owen makes scoring start
Striker on target against Barnsley
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: August 30, 2007 7:06am
Owen: On target
Michael Owen ended his 20-month wait for a Newcastle goal as the Magpies secured a 2-0 win over stubborn Barnsley.
The England striker struck 12 minutes after the break to score for his club for first time since 2005.
The £17million man then made way for Obafemi Martins seven minutes from time, who promptly wrapped up the victory three minutes later on 84 minutes with a well taken volley.
The win was Newcastle's first of the season at St James' Park and also preserves their unbeaten start.
However, It was far from comfortable for long periods as manager Sam Allardyce decided to use the full extent of his squad for the game.
Claudio Cacapa and Jose Enrique started for the first time at the back and despite seeing the visitors enjoy plenty of possession, they and their defensive colleagues were rarely under extreme pressure before the break.
Keeper Shay Given had only one save of any significance to make on his return from injury, but it was a vital one from a 38th minute Dominik Werling's free-kick.
Newcastle, though displayed a lack of cutting edge up front with Owen partnering Shola Ameobi.
Owen did get in on 15 minutes from Charles N'Zogbia's pass, but although he escaped the attentions of Werling, he was under pressure when he shot and directed his effort straight at keeper Heinz Muller.
Nolberto Solano and N'Zogbia both saw long-range efforts deflected wide and the Frenchman also forced a good save from Muller three minutes before the break.
Owen and Ameobi both had shouts for penalties in the dying seconds of the half, but their appeals were more in hope than expectation.
Newcastle increased their tempo in the second half and Emre was replaced by Nicky Butt to add steel in central midfield after 52 minutes.
Geremi forced a smart save from Muller with a curling 56th minute shot, but it was Owen who finally broke the deadlock a minute later.
Ameobi picked out his strike partner with a perfect pass and Owen stabbed home just his second goal at St James' Park to the delight of the home crowd.
N'Zogbia saw another pile-driver blocked as the Magpies looked to kill the game off, but they were served with a timely reminder that the game was far from over at the other end when Rob Kozluk's speculative cross came back off the post.
Butt and Ameobi both threatened Muller's goal again as Newcastle looked to cement the victory.
However, it was Martins who killed the game with his third goal of the season after replacing Owen.
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Barnsley|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||1|
|3||Shots off Target||2|