Saturday 10 December 2016

Too easy for Newcastle

Damian Spellman

Published 25/09/2011 | 05:00

Demba Ba opened his Newcastle account with a hat-trick as they brushed Blackburn aside to extend their unbeaten start to the season.

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The Senegal international scored twice inside three first-half minutes to give his side a commanding lead, and then after Junior Hoilett had pulled one back for the visitors, who had Martin Olsson sent off, headed home a third with 54 minutes gone.

Alan Pardew's men might have won more comfortably with Leon Best passing up two late opportunities to add to his three goals for the season, but they were good value for a win which took them to 12 points from a possible 18 and stretched their run to eight games without defeat in all competitions.

They ended Blackburn's remarkable run of five successive Premier League victories at St James' Park on an afternoon when they never looked like adding to it in front of a crowd of 46,236. The two sides will meet again in the Carling Cup fourth round at Ewood Park next month, but the Magpies will head to Lancashire brimming with confidence after cementing their place in the upper ranks of the league table.

There was much anger and frustration on Tyneside when the summer transfer window closed with the club having failed to land the high-profile striker for whom they had been searching since Andy Carroll's departure in January. Amid the fall-out, however, Ba's arrival had gone largely unnoticed after an uncertain start to his career at St James'. But the 26-year-old announced himself in style with a treble which reminded the locals of the seven goals in just 12 Premier League appearances for West Ham last season.

Ba's first goal was the pick of the bunch on the 27th minute -- he controlled superbly to turn Scott Dann and smash a right-foot shot past Paul Robinson.

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