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FOOTBALL

Owen scores twice in Newcastle win

WEST BROMWICH, England -- Michael Owen scored twice and Alan Shearer added a third as Newcastle United romped to a 3-0 English Premier League victory at West Bromwich.

Owen livened up a dreary game by scoring seconds after the restart and added his second 12 minutes from the end.

Shearer, who spent the first 65 minutes on the bench, found the net after 80 minutes.

There were few thrills before the break but Owen forced Albion goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak to save well in the 37th minute after the striker raced into the penalty area.

Twenty seconds into the second session Owen met a cross from Emre and fired his volley in from six yards.

Shay Given saved superbly from Robert Earnshaw to preserve Newcastle's lead and at the other end Junichi Inamoto headed an Owen effort off the line.

Earnshaw twice troubled the Newcastle defense again before Kieron Dyer set up a second goal for Owen. He cut the ball back from the touchline and Owen steered it high into the net.

Shearer quickly snapped up the third, meeting a cross from Peter Ramage.

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

Shearer said he had been surprised at starting amongst the substitutes and added: "Graeme Souness knows how to get the best out of me, though I might have scored two or three if I had started" .

Shearer has been troubled by a nagging injury which may need an operation at some point and Souness said he omitted the 35-year-old striker from the starting line-up "to look after him."

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