Demba raises the Ba! Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn

Pulling out the stops for Ba

Demba does the damage.
Newcastle maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a well deserved 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at St James’ Park yesterday afternoon.

The win means that we maintain our top four status and are now unbeaten in six league games this season, eight if you count league cups, eleven if you count the back end of last season aswell. We won’t go unbeaten forever, and we probably won’t maintain our top four status, but my word it’s great at the moment.

Alan Pardew stuck with the same side that drew with Aston Villa last weekend at the expense of the team who played in the Carling Cup at midweek. The headlines will say that there was nine changes to the team, but in truth it was expected. The only real change was the inclusion of Hatem Ben Arfa who had to settle for space on the bench.

The home side started brightly and forced a succession of early corners although, unfortunately, nothing came of them to anything although Cheik Tiote fired wide from one of Yohan Cabaye’s corners. Gabriel Obertan then swung a cross in from the the right which Leon Best swung over the bar. For all the hosts dominance the need for a goal was apparent. Blackburn rarely threatened but you got the sense that the longer the game stayed at 0-0 the more the away side would fancy their chances.

Fortunately it was the home side who found the breakthrough. Much has been made of Leon Best and his poacher instincts, but most people have also seen the all round play from Best improve over recent weeks. He set up Demba Ba for his first goal on 27 minutes when he fired in a low cross which Ba trapped before turning and firing home past Paul Robinson. It was a smart finish and the relief on the face of Ba was clear for all to see as he dropped to his knees and kissed the St James’ Park pitch.

Ba managed to double his tally just three minutes later. Danny Simpson swung a cross in from the right which Steven Taylor headed back across goal for Demba Ba who was left with the simple task of nodding past Paul Robinson from close range. Two for Newcastle, two for Ba.

From then on the home side should have pushed on. Blackburn were wobbling and could have been there for the taking but stand in left-back Ryan Taylor gifted Steve Kean’s men a way back into the match. Taylor gifted the away side possession and Martin Olsson flew down the wing crossing for David Hoilett who smashed the ball past Tim Krul from the edge of the penalty area.

That goal should have given Blackburn the impetus to attack but it was Newcastle who continued to press. Leon Best headed over from a Ryan Taylor cross while Gabriel Obertan also managed to convert over the bar after a nice piece of play from Yohan Cabaye. That was just about it for the first-half.

Half time: Newcastle 2-1 Blackburn

Any lingering doubts about the direction the match would take were soon dispelled just ten minutes into the second half when Demba Ba completed his hat-trick. Cheik Tiote curled in a delicious ball to the back post for Demba Ba who looped his header back across goal beyond Paul Robinson and into the back of the Gallowgate net.

It should have been more than 3-1 however as Leon Best spurned a succession of good chances, which is unusual for a striker who has proven to be so clinical. That combined with the fact that Martin Olsson saw red for picking up two yellow cards – one for protesting about the third goal and one for a rather cynical challenge on Best who had beaten him with skill – ensured that the game was pretty much over.

Demba Ba was substituted for Hatem Ben Arfa and both received fantastic receptions from the home crowd. The departure of Ba allowed Ben Arfa a brief cameo, and he very nearly set up a goal for Leon Best although unfortunately his effort on goal was blocked.

Full-time: Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn

All in all it was a very good performance from our lads. Are they finally starting to gel together? The introduction of some great passing and movement would seem to suggest so although it’s still early days.

It was nice to see Demba Ba get his goals. I’ve said all along that he has the potential to become prolific for us but after a slow start some fans had started to question him. Again it’s early days for Ba but it would be nice to think that he can replicate the goal every two game form that he has demonstrated throughout his career.

So here we are at the end of September, unbeaten, in all competitions. I can’t quite believe it myself. Whilst I never really subscribed to the doom and gloom that the pundits spouted I also never though it would be October before we had a chance of losing our first game!

Enjoy it whilst you can.

Click here for match highlights and managerial interviews.

Newcastle: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Gabriel Obertan, Yohan Cabaye, Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Leon Best, Demba Ba

Subs: Stave Harper, James Perch, Danny Guthrie, Sylvain Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa, Peter Lovenkrands

Blackburn: Paul Robinson, Michel Salgado, Christopher Samba, 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

Attendance: 46,236

Referee: Martin Atkinson

36 thoughts on “Demba raises the Ba! Newcastle 3-1 Blackburn

  1. It’s looking like a decent partnership up front, 6 goals in 6 league games, if they can keep that up between them I’ll be well happy. I thought Best had a good game apart from not wearing his shooting boots but good display all round.


  2. We have some tough games ahead, Toonsy. Though I am more confident now knowing at least we can play some decent stuff when on form.


  3. Can definitely see the partnership between the two developing game by game.

    It’s hard to grasp exactly what formation we played yesterday, the midfield was definitely a diamond formation with Cabaye at the top of it but then Demba was dropping deep effectively as well.. but what ever it was it worked and long may it continue!

    By the way what a moment this is and credit for Pardew for bringing him on in these circumstances! Most fans had their eyes glued on him everyt ime he went to warm up and I probably spent more time watching and waiting for him to come to on then I did the actual game 😆


  4. Brilliant performance. Wasn’t kissing the hallowed turf though. He was praying, to Allah presumably. Wonder if he got the direction right….which way is Mecca if you’re where he was?


  5. It’s not even a suprise to see Demba scoring, remember seeing people on here after the Arsenal game saying all sorts of stupid things about him like he’s the next Shola…

    He has a class record for West Ham last season and i’m positive he will have a great goal scoring record for us.


  6. AndrewNUFC

    He has a superb record wherever he has been. The doubters needed their heads testing. His first goal yesterday summed him up. Most strikers wouldn’t have been able to work a space to shoot, let alone get it on target. Superb finish from a natural goalscorer.


  7. Andrew – I agree. I had thought that with the way Colo, Jose, Barton, Nolan etc took time to settle that perhaps it may something click with some of our fans and that the result would be that any new players would get time before people write them off.

    Apparently not.


  8. Dan – Don’t forget that hat-tricks distorts that, unless you are called Andy Carroll…

    Not saying that stats can’t distort facts. Im merely arguing the case that it should apply for everyone 😉


  9. I think Ba is going to be great for us and yesterday he showed that he can score. I think the fact that ramadan is over has helped because both him and Tiote have looked a lot better in the last couple of games


  10. Toonsy, yeah it used to be head in when people used to moan about Best record because of his goals vs Westham.

    It doesn’t matter when you score for me, if it’s a goal it’s a goal and stats will reflect that.

    It’s a little bit like when Ferguson said yesterday the tackle Hernandez wasn’t a pen because it was too early in the game. How can it be too, a pens a pen.


  11. I think there’s something in the Ramadan argument. Both Ba and Tiote have drastically and visibly improved over the last several games.

    By the way, I don’t remember Tiote being a big assists provider before, but didn’t he set up Best last week and Ba this week?


  12. “Don’t forget that hat-tricks distorts that, unless you are called Andy Carroll…”
    Or Adebayor

    ….or Nolan…..


  13. That’s the Demba Ba who wowed me for West Ham and who I was so excited to get 😀
    Never worried about him, or Best either, even though it would’ve been nice to get another.


  14. How many times did we have to watch the Loven-Shola partnership last year? Best and Ba are like a revelation. Agree that Ben Arfa and Marv, as good as they have looked, aren’t walking into this team at the moment


  15. Fair play to Pardew though. I was intrigued when he started saying about the passing game and so but I didn’t if we would actually end up seeing it. \well we are so hats off to Pardew and the coaches for actually looking like they are starting to implement it

    Is he better than Hughton?


  16. HBA will probably gradually exert his influence. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting after 4-5 more games. Just not sure how we’ll line up.

    Marveaux seems like the classic “competition in the team” provider, nipping at the heels of Jonas & Obertan. If one of them gets injured or drops off, I imagine Marveaux will take that spot and the others will have to earn it back or wait their turn.

    On Best: I’ve been a pretty consistent supporter of giving him a chance and letting him earn a starting role (which, I think, he has done).

    Now, as a defender of his, how seriously should a fan take that string of glaring-ish misses yesterday? I was sitting on my couch going “Oh, fuck, Leon, how did you miss that?” and hoping for him to put one away.

    Was it just a bad day for his shooting? Does his all-around play yesterday excuse those kinds of misses?

    Honest question, and still believe Best has earned his starting role, but not sure how to how to think about how long he should keep it.


  17. I wouldn’t say he’s necessarily been telling him to get forward more because the one against Villa he was there because we had a throw in, just out usual set up for a throw and yesterday he was doing when he does best being aggressive be fair and winning the ball back.


  18. Best and Ba are getting most of the plaudits, but we have strong partnerships developing all across the field. Staylor and Colo look completely transformed, Cabaye and Tiote are working much better than Nolan ever did and even Simpson and Obertan seem to be working well.


  19. Also, re Bests shooting display, every striker has bad days. I think people have conveiniently forgotten about some of Carroll’s shots which ended up outside St James’ because it “bobbled awkwardly” for him.

    If we’d lost it would have got a lot more attention though, he can’t be missing them every week, but I really don’t think he will.


  20. Newkie, what if, say, his poor shooting continues for 3-4 games and but his all-around contributions continue?

    Before I get slated for turning my back on poor old Besty, that’s not what I’m doing–I’m asking as a hypothetical, how long do people give a striker–any striker–before they start getting antsy?


  21. Newkie – The ball never bobbled for Carroll. He was just momentarily blinded by the sun shining out of his own arse for a few months. It was the same when Hughton lost a game in charge. It wasn’t the tactics or anything like that. It was the sun from his rear end stopping the players from seeing the tactical masterstrokes he was trying to communicate.


  22. FSOTC-Its a really good question to be honest, but the best answer I can give would be-are we winning or not? If Best missed sitters like that every week but then say set up Demba for two goals and contributed to all round play-and we were winning matches or drawing tough fixtures then I can’t see why you’d want to change it.

    If his performances are simply good and he’s not scoring or creating effectively-well its fortunate we have Ben Arfa to take his place in a couple of weeks isn’t it :p

    It is hard to see who Ben Arfa will replace, you’d assume Best but I wouldn’t drop him on current form even after yesterday.


  23. The positives are there for all to see.. amazing stuff in midfield. Ba was transformed yesterday; such a talented player – perfect for this system.

    The one quibble I have is Best.. I admire his work rate, strut and total persistence over 90 min’s, but that’s two games on the trot where he has missed a fair few chances – even though he scored in the villa game.

    I still think there is room for another more ruthless and technical striker in this side – to do justice to the incredible midfield creativity and domination we are enjoying.


  24. Lace… Guess I am fairly positive and optimistic these days… believe it or not used to be much more from the Troy or Pootle mould… nothing wrong with that, the lads have some good insight, just personally lost the love for it a bit, became very cynical, not how I wanted to support the club… rather pick the positives and admit i`m wrong if it goes tits up… its working out for me so far ha

    Shamrock… Would disagree that Simpson doesnt have competition for his place, maybe to date… but with Santon back over the next week or so and Raylor endearing himself to the fans think he will be under pressure.. Ferguson wont get a look in at LW with Marveaux in now so I think he will become a back up LB if he is to get near the first team.. that means it`s between Raylor and Simpson for RB, and with Dannys performances he is far from the obvious choice.. I think anyway

    Geordie… Agree completely on November being the real test, few bad results will be coming our way over the next couple of months, will be a real indicator of strength of character then

    Dave… Not negative at all, just not getting carried away… as Liam said Wolves next week, but mainly Spurs will be the first real tough test we will come up against… you`re probably right to hold your breath to see how we handle a bad run… that said I think its very advantageous to go into something like that with the apparent spirit we have now rather than how it could have been… very negative vibes post transfer window


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