Ba boom boom boom – Demba’s hat-trick finishes off Blackburn. Match report.

Posted on September 24th, 2011 | 25 Comments |

Demba Ba hat-trick sees Newcastle beat Blackburn 3-1.
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A Demba Ba hat-trick sees Newcastle United cruise to a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers and maintain their 4th place in the Premier League.

On paper we should be the better team this season, but Blackburn have a record at St James’ Park second only to Manchester United in the Premier League, so the superstitious amongst us might have had cause for concern.

A disclaimer before I start: I watched the match on a very shaky internet feed and missed bits of it here and there, so if my match report contains glaring holes, you know why.

The Toon analysts in the dressing room had clearly been doing their homework as they appeared to have identified Givet as the weakest link at left-back in Blackburn’s defence and almost from the off we started attacking down the right, which was to become a familiar pattern for a lot of the game with Obertan making a lot of the running.

We dominated well for 25 minutes before the first goal, with Ba, Best and Gutierrez having chances on goal only to put them over the bar. Blackburn’s David Hoilett was the only player to give us any real signs of trouble when he dribbled easily past Gutierrez into the box and it took a great piece of defending by Coloccini to counter the danger.

At around the 25 minute mark, Coloccini put in a long pass to Best on the left. Best crossed to Ba in the centre who executed a fine turn and planted the ball in the net at pace. 1-0.

Less than 5 minutes later Demba Ba had his second goal of the day. In move that started from a free kick after Gutierrez was tripped just outside the box, Steven Taylor headed the ball across the box and Demba Ba pounced to head it into the goal. 2-0.

Obertan was still making most of the running up the right and he managed to play in Ba again who could have taken a shot but instead laid it off to Best who fluffed it. Gutierrez had a chance too after being played in by Ba but a Blackburn defender got a foot to his on-goal shot.

We looked fairly dominant but then when Ryan Taylor gave the ball away in Blackburn’s half, Martin Olssen crossed to David Hoillet who took the chance to smash the ball into the top of the goal. 2-1.

Both best and Obertan has chances before the half was out but the first 45 minutes was to end at 2-1. Newcastle had much the better of the half and were probably feeling somewhat miffed to have to have conceded a goal.

The second half started much the same as the first with Obertan and Simpson continually getting the better of Blackburn up the right, but it was Blackburn who had the first real chance of the half when Olssen’s sliding shot bounced off the top of the crossbar and behind the goal much to Tim Krul’s relief.

On about 54 minutes we more or less put the game to bed. Tiote drifted a cross into the area, Ba headed it towards goal and Best charged forward to see it into the net. It took the replay to ascertain whose goal it was and it turned out that Best hadn’t touched it so it was a hat-trick for Demba Ba. 3-1.

Blackburn were furious that the goal stood but for a while I couldn’t understand why. I thought they were originally claiming that Robinson was fouled but they were actually complaining that Dann was fouled by Best, but the referee was having none of it and booked Olssen for his persistent complaints. Looking at the replay, I personally thought it was a lot of fuss about nothing – Best may have laid a hand on Dann but it was trivial.

The decision put the Blackburn players in a grumpy mood anyway and they then proceeded to foul their way into the referee’s book with Olsson, Lowe and Nzonzi picking up yellow cards in quick succession for cynical fouls.

Obertan was still finding a lot of space down the right and he managed to cut in for another shot but missed. When Obertan starts finding the net I’m sure he will chalk up a few goals himself this season – he manages to carve out plenty chances for himself.

At close to 70 minutes Blackburn made our job even easier when Olssen received his second yellow card for a foul on Best and was sent off.

Obertan and Simpson contrived to get a cross into Demba Ba but he couldn’t finish it and a few minutes later Yohan Cabaye hit a cracker, although unfortunately he hit it directly at Paul Robinson in the Blackburn goal.

In the 74th minute we brought off Ba and brought on Ben Arfa for his first Premier League appearance for nigh on a year. Immediately he was in the mix and crossed a ball to Best that he probably should have taken a shot at himself.

Gutierrez scuffed a shot wide and then Best made a great run, found himself in a good position, took the ball, turned and shot … only to miss.

On the 84th minute we substituted Gutierrez for Marveaux and him, Ben Arfa, Best and Obertan had more chances but we couldn’t make it four.

3-1 was the result and, despite Blackburn’s protestations over the third goal, I think we looked solid and dominant enough to be worth of the result. Blackburn boss Steve Kean doesn’t agree with me though and said:

The third goal was a big turning point. We felt there was a foul on Scott Dann in the goal.

Olsson tells the referee that there was a foul on the defender and gets booked. Salgado and Givet were both injured but had to stay on the pitch.

If that decision had gone the other way, we could have got something from the game.

Whereas our own Alana Pardew had this to say:

We controlled the game and I think they fact they went down to 10 men doesn’t do us justice. We were magnificent all day. We could have won by more than three.

Leon Best was as good as Demba Ba and he could have scored two goals.

With Ramadan, Ba had a difficult, slow start and he had a couple of cameos to get him up to speed. But he helped us control midfield today.

Peter Lovenkrands should have come on but it was a good game for Ben Arfa, the crowd were in good voice. He deserves that. He’s got some work to do to get back into the team.

We have spent a lot of money on our squad. I wanted to change our style of play – I thought our passing and movement was excellent.

Overall, a good day out for the Toon. Onwards and upwards I say.

Match highlights, facts, stats and interviews >>


NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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25 Responses

  1. I read Kean’s expanded comments on the BBC and think he is delusional. Someone said they hope he is sacked before we play them in the Carling Cup – I don’t.

  2. Worky>

    Glad that Firstrow stream link switched from Spanish to English at the beginning like. Was a canny decent stream as lon gas you refreshed it every 15 minutes or so.

    Bit of a pain in the arse but its better than listening on the wireless lyk.

  3. Very strong performance from the lads, particularly Obertan, looked very good today, was extremely impressed, he seems to be finding his feet after a couple of lacklustre performances, think he will be a big player for us this season.

    Was also great to see Demba Ba get himself up and running for the season, he had his doubters early on, me included, but i think he needed that, hopefully that kicks off a flurry of goals for the big man.

    I cant see Shola getting in the team if Best and Ba keep performing the way they are, which is great news for us.

  4. Taxi for Kean? Moaning about the third goal being crucial – actually I suspect the figures showing the amount of possession and number of chances will show what was really crucial!
    And did you hear the Blackburn fans chanting “You don’t know what you’re doing?”
    I was puzzled at first as the ref hadn’t just made any sort of controversial decision – then I realised it was aimed at Kean for taking Yakubu off and putting Grella on.

  5. Nice one Hugh! Good to see Tiote back up to snuff. There is a pleasing look and feel to the side which seems not to miss one Joey Barton or another Jose Enrique at all.

  6. Kean’s words are falling on deaf ears. I have read a few Lancashire match reports and they all agree we should have won by more. The fans aren’t buying it either, with most demanding he is sacked.

    Turn the lights out Keano

  7. workyticket says:

    “Match highlights, facts and stats on the way BTW”

    Dont wanna appear to be brown nosing but thanks to WT and Hugh and the rest of the fellas who contribute towards an almost professional site ! I did say almost :)

    BTW Worky you can get some interesting stats from the Guardian’s chalk board site (as you prolly noticed on Leazes site) but then I spose you knew that already you clever sh….

  8. AndyMac says:
    September 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    “BTW Worky you can get some interesting stats from the Guardian’s chalk board site (as you prolly noticed on Leazes site) but then I spose you knew that already you clever sh….”

    Just spent lots of time writing up my own report because I was at cross purposes with Hugh before I got on to the other thing so divven’t push it Andy! ;-)

    I may update some stuff later mind.

    It’s amazing how much stats differ depending on where you look.

  9. according to the Barclay’s official site, we had 59% possession and 19 shots (8 on). Rovers had 4 shots total, one one being on target (and it was a cracker, sadly). Given that, don’t see how anyone could think it was a close match, which is the way it should be. Two solid games in the league now and we finally beat Rovers at home.

  10. I’ve just post the highlights, stats, post match interview videos and such.

    Sorry about the slight delay but I just thought I’d give Hugh’s escellent match report a little time to percolate before I hoyed it oot there!

  11. Tripp says:
    September 24, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    “according to the Barclay’s official site, we had 59% possession and 19 shots (8 on). Rovers had 4 shots total, one one being on target (and it was a cracker, sadly).”

    Tripp, this is what I ended up gannin’ with:

    Goals: Newcastle 3 (Demba Ba 26, 30, 54), Bkackburn 1 (Junior Hoilett 37)
    Possession: Newcastle United 59%, Blackburn Rovers 41%
    Shots on target: Newcastle United 8, Blackburn Rovers 1
    Shots off target: Newcastle United 11, Blackburn Rovers 3
    Yellow Cards: Jason Lowe, Steven N’Zonzi, Martin Olsson, Michel Salgado (all Blackburn).
    Red Cards: Martin Olsson (two yellows).

  12. Ah but did you know that Obertan completed 19 successful and 9 unsuccessful passes against Villa but against Blackburn it was 30 and 14 ?

    Not sure if that’s better or worse :)

  13. GS says:
    September 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm


    You know it will be Ferguson.”

    Mancini’s level with old whiskynose now though GS, except for a small goal difference.

    You’re probably right though.

  14. Fantastic match keane talks absolute Bo%%&ks embarrassing to listen to him clutching at straws

    Need a new song for Demba……

    Demab ba let me hear you say hay ho… hay ho!

  15. I was at the match and everyone was singing ‘b-ba b-ba b-ba b-ba ba ba baaaa, Demba Demba Ba Demba Ba, Demba Demba Baaa’. To the tune of ‘Baby give it up – give it up, Baby give it uuuup’

  16. I believe that is the official Demba Ba chat, I love it. Singing it to myself over MOTD last night. Does anyone know what Leon Best’s preferred chant is though?

  17. Can I just say well done to Alan Pardew, I know he was never our choice as manager but the man has done one hell of a job! Our best start for donkeys years, Think of the pap managers we have had thrust on us over the years, Joe Kinear, Aladice,souness,Daglish need I say more.
    For me personally I am backing the team and the manager 100% the fat man still neeeds to go but I view him as a minor irritant now.


    Not knocking the current team nor the recent performances but I wonder how we’d have fared if we’d had Bolton’s opening six fixtures ?

    QPR a, Citeh h, Red BD’s a, Mancs h, Norwich h and Gooners a