Newcastle beat Aston Villa 2-1 this afternoon at St. James’ Park and it was Senegal strikers Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse – making his debut – that both scored good opportunist goals to get Newcastle the win.
It was after Tim Krul had made two good saves to keep Newcastle in the game, that Demba Ba scored his 16th league goal of the season after 30 minutes, as he collected the ball after a Ryan Taylor shot had been blocked, and he smashed the ball into the net from six yards out.
Leon Best had gone off injured after just 12 minutes and Papiss Cisse had come on to make his debut, with a tremendous greeting from the home fans.
But Ryan Taylor had to be stretchered off with his right leg in a brace, and it didn’t look good for the Liverpudlian.
Gabby Obertan came on and had another very decent game out on the right wing with some good runs straight at the Villa defense – this lad can become a very good player for Newcastle.
Then a full five minutes into injury time Robbie Keane equalized for a good looking Villa side, as he put the ball into the net from a Charles N’Zogbia left wing cross.
Newcastle came more into the game in the second half with Danny Gtuhrie and Davide Santon prominent.
And then after 71 minutes Papis Cisse collected the ball on his chest just inside the penalty area from a Ba head-on of a Gutierrez cross, and in one movement he hit the ball high into the back of the net with his left foot.
A magnificent goal for the Senegal striker on his debut, in front of 48,569 fans.
Newcastle were able to hang onto the lead and collected an important three points and they will keep their 5th position in the league.
It was two opportunist goals from the Senegal boys who saw Newcastle home today, and good goalkeeping from Tim Krul, who saved well twice when the score was still 0-0.
Newcastle are now on 42 points – just four points short of last season’s total after the full 38 games – and we still have 14 games to play.
Here are some of the highlights as we saw them during the game – and keep refreshing as we add the second half highlights.
The game started off fairly slowly as booth sides were testing each other out and then Bent had a chance after 13 minutes when Krul made a point blank save, but that was a warning to Newcastle.
After 12 minutes Leon best went down with a leg injury and he finally had to come off and it was time for Papiss Cisse to make his debut with roars form the Newcastle crowd.
Adler 28 minutes Tim Krul again saved from bent, this time with his left boot, as Villa were continuing to catch Newcastle short at the back with quick breakaways.
After 30 minutes Newcastle went ahead with a good opportunist goal from Demba Ba.
The ball cam into the box and Ryan Taylor’s shot was blocked but the ball went to Ba, who controlled it with his right foot and then blasted the ball past goalkeeper Shay Given for his 16th league goal of the season.
But Ryan Taylor had been injured and there was a long delay during which Ryan’s right leg was put into a brace before he was stretchered off and it didn’t look good.
So two Newcastle played were taken off injured in the first 30 minutes of the game.
Gabriel Obertan came ion the right wing, after his decent showing on Wednesday night at Blackburn.
And the game continued to be even as Aston Villa were having their fair share of this game, and then in the fifth minute of injury time in the first half Newcastle conceded.
Charles N’Zogbia went down the left wing and crossed to Robbie Keane who put the ball home from within the six yard box.
It was a terrible time for Newcastle to concede a goal, but Villa had been threatening with their counter attacks in the first half.
It was 1-1 at the half in a fairly even game.
Newcastle went into a higher gear in the second half after the disappointment of conceding just before the break and Danny Guthrie started to take control of the midfield.
James Perch was having a no-nonsense game in central defensive midfield, and was doing what he had top do to protect the back four.
On 55 minutes Obertan had a decent chance when he took the ball inside but he shot high and wide from a decent position, and then after 62 minutes Cisse headed over the bar when he really should have done better.
But then a wonderful first goal for Papiss Cisse as Ba headed the ball on and the lad took the ball on his chest and as it dropped he hit the ball brilliantly first time into Given’s top right hand corner – a terrific goal from the 26 year-old on his debut and the fans went wild.
And then it was James Perch – who had another good game, who went close on 80 minutes when he hit his shot just wide of the post.
But Newcastle saw this game out and it was two opportunist goals from the Senegal boys who saw Newcastle home today.