Newcastle got the win they needed today and stopped a run of five wins in succession by Blackburn Rovers at St. James’ Park, and it was Demba Ba who was the hero with a great hat-trick.
Newcastle were a lot better than the 3-1 scoreline may suggest, but they missed several chances, and even when Blackburn were reduced to 10 men after 73 minutes, when Olsson received his second yellow card for deliberately fouling Best as he stopped a quick Newcastle break from defense, Newcastle chose to just play out the game and ensure all 3 points, and that’s exactly what they did.
But make no mistake about it, Newcastle played some lovely football this afternoon, and Gabriel Obertan had a very good game out on the right wing, Tiote was excellent in the middle of the park, and Dembo Ba looked deadly in the penalty area.
Newcastle started the game well and immediately started to string some good passes together. In the first three minutes Newcastle had three corners in a row, and were immediately pressing Blackburn.
On 6 minutes it was Demba Ba who had a good run but he shot over the crossbar, and then after 12 minutes Obertan was looking good on the right wing, and he beat his man went to the line and brought the ball back to Best who hammered the ball way over the bar.
Newcastle were having most of the play and on 20 minutes a good cross by Obertan on the right found Best who hit the ball over the bar. Obertan was looking good and most of the play was going down the right wing for Newcastle.
On 25 minutes Ryan Taylor who has been off the pitch for a bruised right foot did well to cut out a dangerous left wing cross.
And then Newcastle went ahead after 27 minutes and it was a first goal for Newcastle from Demba Ba.
Best was out on the left wing and he got the ball to Demba Ba who shielded the ball beautifully and then turned and smashed the ball into the back of the net with tremendous power with his right foot, 1-0 to Newcastle.
And then just three minutes later Demba Ba scored his second goal and it looked all too easy. The cross came in from the right wing and the ball was headed on and it was Demba Ba who then coolly and assuredly headed the ball home, from about six yards out.
It was interesting that for both goals, Samba had been drawn away from the center of the penalty area.
Newcastle, when right on top, seemed to go to sleep and they conceded a very poor goal when Ryan Taylor gave the ball away, and then some loose marking allowed Junior Hoilett a free shot, and he took the invitation and smashed the ball high into the net past Tim Krul.
Then on 42 minutes a pinpoint cross from Ryan Taylor, who was playing quite well at left back before his error, was met by Best on the six yard line but he headed over the bar, when it looked much easier to score. It should have been 3-1 to Newcastle, but it wasn’t.
Newcastle had had most of the play in the first half, and should have been ahead by more than the 2-1 scoreline after 45 minutes, and certainly Alan Pardew would not have been pleased with the goal the defense gave away.
Blackburn started the second half well, and seemed determined to get back into the game. But then on 54 minutes Demba Ba scored yet another goal to get a hat-trick at St. James’ Park.
Tiote put in a beautiful left wing cross and Ba headed the ball towards the top left hand corner of the goal, and goalkeeper Robinson couldn’t reach the ball, and neither could Best who jumped for the ball as it crossed the line.
It was confirmed on the loud speakers it was Demba Ba’s goal, and a great home hat trick - a very nice start for the Senegal International. Blackburn players protested that Best had impeded the goalkeeper (or center-back Dann or both) for the goal, but the referee was having none of it, and he quite rightly allowed the goal.
On 60 minutes a cross cane into the Newcastle penalty box and Danny Simpson seemed to miskick it badly, but the ball went out of play for a goal kick. And then on 66 minutes another good run by Obertan, who was having his best game for Newcastle, as he seemed to be gaining confidence, set up Cabaye but his shot was blocked.
And then just two minutes later Obertan made another great run down the right wing and then cut in and hit a left foot shot but it was just over the bar.
And then Newcastle broke like lightning out of defense, and Leon Best was fouled intentionally by Martin Olsson, who received his second yellow card and was sent off without any protests from the Blackburn players.
On 74 minutes Ben Arfa was brought on for hat-trick hero Demba Ba who opened his account with a wonderful hat-trick.
Then in five minutes Leon Best created two chances for himself, but each time he hit the ball over the bar. Newcastle seemed to be content to play the game out rather than go for more goals against a 10 man side.
Om 84 minutes Gutierrez was taken off to great applause and Sylvain Marveaux came on. Ben Arfa had a decent chance on 22 yards but then hit the ball over the bar, as Newcastle were trying to play time out.
Newcastle basically played the game out, but still went close on several occasions and this could have been a really big win for Newcastle, but this was still a job well done by the lads who now have 12 points form their first 6 games, and we are certainly not complaining.
There’s going to be some competition for places for the next few games that’s for sure, with Demba Ba now having come through big time for the Magpies, and Leon Best went close several times this afternoon, and with a little bit of luck could have had a couple of goals.
Newcastle remain in 4th position one place behind Chelsea and one place above Liverpool, who are followed by Tottenham.
So we’re in with the big boys at the moment, and today’s performance may even suggest we can keep a fairly high position in the league this season, but we’ll see, and we’re not getting carried away – but we’re still unbeaten this season.
Howay The Lads!!
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Ryan Taylor; Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Leon Best, Demba Ba
Subs: Steve Harper, James Perch, Danny Guthrie, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands
Blackburn Rovers: (4-4-2): Paul Robinson; Michel Salgado, Christopher Samba (c), Scott Dann, Gael Givet; Junior Hoilett, Steven N’zonzi, Jason Lowe, Martin Olsson; Mauro Formica, Yakubu
Subs: Mark Bunn, Grant Hanley, Vince Grella, Radosav Petrovic, Simon Vukcevic, Ruben Rochina, Jason Roberts