Newcastle keep hopes alive

NEWCASTLE: Alan Shearer experienced his first win as Newcastle United’s manager when goals from Steven Taylor, Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands ensured a 3-1 success over Middlesbrough in a St James’ Park relegation battle.

They are goals that could be worth up to $70 million to Newcastle, who would lose a substantial portion of their income if they drop out of the Premier League. With two games remaining against Fulham and Aston Villa, they are still far from safe, but they are out of the bottom three following a game Shearer described as the most important of his Newcastle career.

Middlesbrough must now accept they are heading for the Championship next season after losing a game where they took the lead and wasted several other chances. An own goal from Habib Beye put Middlesbrough in front before Taylor equalised, with both goals coming early in a game that looked destined to end in stalemate before substitutes Martins and Lovenkrands handed Middlesbrough their 11th successive away defeat.