Senegalese international hits treble as Magpies extend unbeaten start to the season at St James' Park to increase the pressure on Steve Kean as Martin Olsson sees red for Rovers
Demba Ba hit a hat-trick as Newcastle United cruised to a 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at St James’ Park to extend their unbeaten start to the season and to increase the pressure on away boss Steve Kean.
The Magpies got off to a good start as Steven Taylor’s half volley went just wide of Paul Robinson’s post following a dangerous corner from Yohan Cabaye which Rovers failed to clear at the first attempt.
Alan Pardew’s side were having the better of the early minutes and nearly capitalised on this when Ba found space in the Blackburn half and rifled a shot towards goal, but it flew just over the bar as the visitors failed to settle.
Leon Best has been in great form for the Magpies this season, but he was guilty of missing a glorious chance to put them in the lead as he blazed his shot over the bar when unmarked on the edge of the box.
Rovers' were playing on the counter-attack as they struggled to see much of the ball as Pardew’s team were dominating possession.
David Hoilett’s pace was Blackburn’s main threat to Newcastle as he danced his way through a few challenges before being expertly challenged by Fabricio Coloccini, who showcased why the Magpies have only conceded two goals this season.
The Magpies finally made their pressure count when Ba opened the scoring in the 27th minute, volleying past Robinson from close range after receiving the ball from a good cross from his strike partner Best.
Newcastle made it two shortly after, with Ba again finding the net, this time after some horrendous defending from the visitors as they failed to the clear their lines following a Magpies free-kick.
The Senegalese international latched onto Steven N’Zonzi’s failed clearance and nodded past Robinson to give his side a deserved second.
Blackburn responded to this set-back straight away as Hoilett got them back into the game when he volleyed past Tim Krul following a mistake by the Magpies, as they carelessly lost possession.
Ober-the-moon | Obertan helps Newcastle maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign
Gabriel Obertan could have ended the half on a high note for the Magpies after latching onto Krul’s clearance, with the Frenchman running at the Rovers defence but his shot flew just over the bar with Robinson well and truly beaten.
Blackburn came out in the second half and tried to find an equaliser which they ever so nearly found through Martin Olsson, who gave Newcastle a massive let off as he failed to find the target when well placed in the six yard box.
The Magpies then punished Rovers, and went up the field with Gutierrez who crossed towards the back-post for Ba who looped his headed over Robinson into the net to complete his hat-trick.
Newcastle continued to attack despite their two goal cushion and could have added more goals as Best, Cabaye and Ba all threatened with good efforts, however this time Robinson was equal to them.
Rovers' woes were increased when Olsson was sent-off for two bookable offences by referee Martin Atkinson after bringing down Best in the Newcastle half.
Youngster Jason Lowe then made a crucial interception on the goal-line to stop Best from adding to the scoring, as the Newcastle striker did everything but find the net as he spurned several chances, as the game finished 3-1.
Newcastle maintained their unbeaten start to the season, a run which now stretches to eight games in all competitions, whilst for Steve Kean and Blackburn the hard work done last week against Arsenal seems like a life-time away. The Scot may soon be feeling the heat once again.
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