Newcastle have Demba Ba to thank for all three points against Norwich City yesterday, and some brilliance again from Hatem Ben Arfa, as Newcastle beat Norwich 1-0, which was the same result of the same fixture last season, when it was Papiss Cisse who scored the winning goal.
Demba Ba brilliantly slots the ball home yesterday
It was the French International who put Demba Ba through with a terrific defense splitting pass, and Demba Ba showed all his technical skills by controlling the ball and sweeping it into the net with his right foot, in one flowing sequence – a classic goal made to look easy by the Newcastle striker.
But Papiss Cisse cannot score for love nor money these days, and after a decent enough first half, Papiss blazed Newcastle’s penalty kick way over the bar, after Mike Williamson had been brought down in the box.
That would have given Newcastle a comfortable lead at the half, but with the miss the opposite happened, just as in last season’s game – and Norwich came right back at Newcastle in that second half.
But our lads hung on, and it’s very important when you are not playing well to still get the points, and that’s what Newcastle did yesterday, but it was not pretty.
When the final whistle went – Alan Pardew raised both his arms in a winning gesture from the stands (phew – that was close), where he was serving the second game of his two game touch-line ban.
It was a terrific 3 points for us and we now have 8 points from our 5 league games, and Demba Ba has four goals.
This is what Alan said immediately after the game:
“It was a big, big win for us, but not the performance that we wanted.” “The penalty miss definitely hurt us mentally, as to be 2-0 up (at half-time) we would have come into the dressing room in a different frame of mind.”
“We were a little disappointed, knew we now had a battle on our hands and took that into the second half. We got a bit deep, a bit nervous at times and lacked a bit of ambition, but we will learn from that.” “It was a great goal though and a great first 40 minutes – we really played well then.”
“There were some good performances in a kind of disjointed display.” “We are lacking a bit of training ground time. We are going from warm-down to warm-up to a game, and we are lacking a bit of fluency in our game.”
“But the two centre-halves were terrific, Jonas was terrific as captain, Demba and Hatem were brilliant, and Harps didn’t have a lot to do but made a great save.” “There are signs there but we can’t really bring it all together. There were a lot of good things today though.”
The performance was only mediocre yesterday but the result was terrific, and with Cheick Tiote returning to the side in the second half yesterday, and Coloccini returning to training today, and Danny Simpson maybe only a week away – things are looking up on the injury front too.
Yes – we want to see great performances as well as the wins, but Manchester United have won their last two games, but had to scrape together the points, and like Newcastle, they too are nowhere near their best form.
That’s where the lads are headed on Wednesday night in the Capital One Cup, and Alan will probably play one or two of the top youngsters, but we need to give the League Cup a real go this season.
Things hopefully are starting to look up for Newcastle now.