thumbnail Hello,

Premier League

  • October 31, 2011
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 26564

Stoke City 1-3 Newcastle: Demba Ba bags hat-trick as former transfer target comes back to haunt Tony Pulis on Halloween

Stoke City 1-3 Newcastle: Demba Ba bags hat-trick as former transfer target comes back to haunt Tony Pulis on Halloween

The Magpies remain unbeaten in the league and move into third after Demba Ba's hat-trick or treat. Walters pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining but it wasn't enough.

Newcastle United impressively beat Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium 3-1 after Demba Ba came back to haunt Tony Pulis on Halloween night as his hat-trick saw the Magpies go third in the Premier League.

The Senegalese striker failed a medical for the Potters in January, as there were worries about his knees, and instead joined Newcastle in the summer at the end of his contract with West Ham.

It was his contribution as well as the Magpies' brilliant display of defending against Stoke's style of play which saw them leapfrog Chelsea in the league.

The opening stages of the match saw more long balls to either goalkeeper more than anything else as both sides tried to test the resolve of each other’s back four in the air, and it was a long ball that produced the first goal of the game.

Newcastle’s Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul pumped the ball into the opposition’s half, striker Leon Best flicked it on to winger Gabriel Obertan before his nicely measured cross found Ba in the box. The ball was slightly behind the striker but he adjusted his body shape well before guiding his header the left of Begovic, who was diving to his right, and into the bottom of the corner.

The goalkeeper was in a personal battle with Ba all night, and Yohan Cabaye’s ball in behind the defence caused Stoke problems but Begovic ran out and just cleared in time.

But the Senegalese striker got the better of him in moments later as Best’s low cross-cum-shot fell at his feet as he ghosted into the area, and he tapped home beyond the despairing goalkeeper.

After a strong first half from Newcastle, the second would be defined by two spot kicks and some excellent defending from the visitors.

Hero of the hour Demba Ba brought down Peter Crouch in the box after a clumsy challenge following a spell of head tennis in the penalty area. Jonathan Walters thundered home the resulting spot kick which set up a fascinating last 10 minutes.

Any hopes of a comeback for the home side were over as Robert Huth leaned into Best in the box, and referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot immediately.

The Irishman didn’t go down but the shove was enough and Ba duly obliged to score a perfect hat-trick – scoring with his left, right and head – which was also his second three-goal feast this season and the second consecutive hat-trick to be scored by Newcastle on Halloween after Kevin Nolan’s goal frenzy against Sunderland last season.

Gabriel Obertan went close to increasing the lead but his shot just fizzled past the post as Newcastle held on to what eventually turned out to be a well-earned three points to remain unbeaten in the league.