Angry Keegan rises to challenge

GLENN MOORE

There were cheers, not tears, for the Toon Army travellers last night as Newcastle finally rediscovered how to win away.

They did so just in time, their first victory on the road for 11 weeks cutting Manchester United's lead down to three points and keeping Newcastle's Premiership challenge alive.

However, there was also bitterness in victory as Kevin Keegan strongly criticised Alex Ferguson, his Manchester United counterpart. Keegan appeared to suggest that Ferguson had attempted - and apparently succeeded - in stoking up Leeds for last night's game.

After a 10-man Leeds had pushed Manchester United hard at Old Trafford last week Ferguson accused them of "cheating" their manager and complained that they tried harder against Manchester United than anyone else.

Leeds certainly tried hard last night and Keegan appeared to suggest that the reason for that was Ferguson's remarks.

"Some of the things that have been said in the last few days have been almost slanderous," an emotional Keegan said on Sky television after last night's match. "I think you should send a tape of that [match] to Alex Ferguson. That's what he wanted, isn't it?

"You don't say what Alex said about Leeds, you don't say that in football. He's gone down in my estimation. Football in this country is honest."

Keegan also spoke out over suggestions that it was wrong for Newcastle to be playing in the League against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Thursday and to return there the following week for Stuart Pearce's testimonial.

There have been suggestions that Forest might not want to beat Newcastle as it might deter their fans swelling Pearce's income. Frank Clark, the Forest manager, had reacted angrily to these rumours at the weekend.

Keegan added: "I would love it if we beat them [Manchester United], love it. The battle is still on, they have not won it yet."

Manchester United are, however, still strong favourites. While Newcastle took three points, they managed only one goal, from Keith Gillespie after 17 minutes.

Manchester United are six goals to the good and, realistically, Newcastle must gain at least a point at Forest to take the title race to the final day.

Had luck, for once, not favoured Newcastle at Elland Road it could have effectively been over already. Twice in the first 10 minutes, while the black and whites were still grey with tension, Leeds struck the woodwork.

The first was inside three minutes, Lucas Radebe hitting the bar from 20 yards after Philippe Albert had let in Brian Deane. Then Andy Gray glanced a header against the post after Wetherall had laid off Gary McAllister's cross.

Then, in the final minute, Leeds nearly snatched a point. Wetherall's close-range header was bound for goal when the big hands of Shaka Hislop intervened and clutched it tight to his breast.

In between Newcastle had a sheaf of chances, but took only one. That followed Newcastle's first period of sustained pressure, a series of corners, the last of which was well won by Les Ferdinand. His header back across the goal came to Gillespie. He alertly diverted it inside the far post, which had just been deserted by Nigel Worthington.

The goal settled Newcastle but, unlike their Old Trafford rivals on Sunday, they were unable to grab a quick second. Peter Beardsley and Ferdinand brought good saves from Mark Beeney but, after that, it was all misses.

Rob Lee was the worst culprit, astonishingly screwing a loose ball wide from eight yards a minute before half-time after Ferdinand had challenged for Gillespie's cross. Seven minutes later Ferdinand was the guilty party, pulling a 20-yard shot wide after Robbie Elliot had given him a clear sight on goal.

Faustino Asprilla, who was withdrawn after a histrionic display, and Albert shot over, Gillespie fired wide and there were a number of scrambles. None went in and Newcastle thus visit the City Ground on Thursday needing goals as well as points. But at least they are still in the hunt.

Leeds United (4-5-1): Beeney; Kelly, Wetherall, Beesley, Worthington; Gray, Ford (Masinga, 84), Radebe, McAllister, Speed (Wallace, 52); Deane. Substitute not used: Tinkler.

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Hislop; Watson, Peacock, Albert, Elliot; Gillespie (Barton, 82), Beardsley, Batty, Lee; Asprilla (Clark, 65); Ferdinand. Substitute not used: Srnicek (gk).

Referee: K Burge (Tonypandy).

Race for the title

P W D L F A Pts GD

Man Utd 37 24 7 6 70 35 79 +35

Newcastle 36 24 4 8 64 35 76 +29

Remaining fixtures

THURSDAY

Nottingham Forest v NEWCASTLE

SUNDAY

NEWCASTLE v Tottenham Hotspur

Middlesbrough v MANCHESTER UNITED

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Senior Application Support -Fidessa, Charles River, Oracle, FIX

£50000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Application Support - Fide...

Product Specialist - (Application Support, UNIX, SQL)

£45000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Product Specialist - (Application...

Technical Specialist - (Application Support, UNIX, SQL)

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Technical Specialist - (Applicati...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home