Saturday 10 December 2016

Best helps the Magpies soar

Birmingham City 0
Newcastle Utd 2

Published 16/02/2011 | 05:00

Newcastle United's Leon Best (R) scores against Birmingham City. Photo: Getty Images
Newcastle United's Leon Best (R) scores against Birmingham City. Photo: Getty Images

THEY will probably never cost £35m but Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best last night helped to indicate that, for Newcastle United, there is life after Andy Carroll.

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Alan Pardew's team won for the first time since the England striker left for Liverpool, climbing to ninth place in the league and, more significantly, to the 35-point mark that means retaining their status now appears a formality.

Lovenkrands, a free transfer from Schalke, and Best, a £1m signing from Coventry City 12 months ago, scored the goals -- both teed up by the impressive Jonas Gutierrez -- as Birmingham City gave a performance that suggested their minds are wandering to Wembley and their forthcoming Carling Cup final date with Arsenal.

Lovenkrands gave the visitors a dream start when he converted a cross from Gutierrez after two minutes. And Gutierrez was the provider again after 50 minutes when his cross was nodded home by Ireland international Best.

Nicola Zigic missed a great chance to get the home side back into it when he headed over from eight yards after a Liam Ridgewell cross as Newcastle's defence stood firm to end the Blues' five-match unbeaten run.

Irish Independent

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