West Bromwich Albion (h) Premier League
20 mins There
was much to admire about Chris Brunt's inch-perfect pass to Peter Odemwingie but to see
Fabricio Coloccini outpaced and then try and fail to grab the striker was alarming.
The left-footed finish in off Tim Krul's right post was expertly done.
81 mins Just when it looked like an equaliser wasn't going to materialise Ba and Ben Arfa combined on the edge of the box, with Hatem Ben Arfa's misplaced pass actually helping Ba find the space to hit another unstoppable missile past Foster. 2-2
85 mins Long took on Coloccini and beat him easily down the right nbefore floating over a hopeful ball that shouldn't have caused any great danger. Odemwingie was able to head it back to Scharner and a prodded half-volley flew just inside the post to stun the home crowd. 2-3
Full time: Magpies 2 Throstles 3
Alan Pardew commented: "Of course it (the winless run) is a concern. I thought that
was evident too. The crowd were a little bit desperate for it, we were a bit
desperate for it too. But you can't win Premier League games unless you're
disciplined and controlled. At points we weren't - even though you couldn't
fault their commitment to get back into it.
"Of course it (the winless run) is a concern. I thought that was evident too. The crowd were a little bit desperate for it, we were a bit desperate for it too. But you can't win Premier League games unless you're disciplined and controlled. At points we weren't - even though you couldn't fault their commitment to get back into it.
"Mainly because we were so desperate to win I thought we lacked a bit of control of the game. Our discipline wasn't where it was normally and that worried me a bit. We need to make sure that's right. We turned the ball over and were exposed, which isn't like us.
"The third goal just caught us on the break. there was a bit of fortune in the goal - more or less one of their first attacks of the second half.
“But the first half was where we got ourselves in trouble. We didn't play well enough in the first half and were caught at times by their front two. Their front two made us edgy, I thought.
"I felt sorry for Haris. He was terrific. He had two terrific efforts and I think he showed everybody here that he's going to be a player for us for sure.
"It's an upsetting game for us to lose because we are at home. The first half I didn't think we played anywhere near to our ability.
"Second half we did. We came back from a goal down. We was bossing proceedings, looking like we were going to get back into it, and when we got the second goal it set us up for a grand stand finish.
"But then to get done on the counter attack because of us looking for the win, maybe we were a little bit too desperate tonight. We would have had 30 points if we won tonight and maybe we wanted it too much, and didn't play as controlled as we usually do.
"We were creating chance after chance before we scored and then when we did we thought there we go, we can win it, but the front two for West Brom were a threat all night. They got down the side and had a bit of fortune for the goal I thought.
"He's (Demba Ba) been brilliant this year and probably the pick of our bunch tonight. His all-round play was terrific.
"We just need to get back to what we were doing at the start of the season. Tonight we were good in patches, but patches aren't good enough. We need to get that win under our belt otherwise we are going to put ourselves under pressure. The longer you go without a win the more unsettling it can be for the group."
"All the teams who are up there can [finish in the top half of there table], and
they can all slip again - when I say all, let's forget the big-money teams we
are talking about who are fighting for the top four spots.
first 11 games of the season really did have me scratching my head in total
disbelief. I simply couldn't fathom how what I thought was one of our thinnest
squads in 20 years had managed to amass 25 points from less than a dozen games.
Ba supplied a well-taken brace for the second time in a fortnight, but again ended up on the losing side as our winless run lengthened to six matches. Without the banned Cabaye and with Dan Gosling also suspended, Alan Pardew opted to hand Haris Vuckic his first top-flight start and leave Hatem Ben Arfa and Mehdi Abeid in reserve on the substitutes bench.
Newcastle fell behind after 20 minutes when Chris Brunt's fabulous pass set Peter Odemwingie away to outpace a sluggish-looking Fabricio Coloccini and convert via a post with a low left footed effort in front of the Gallowgate End.
There was almost an immediate response from the home side, but the linesman in front of the East Stand correctly adjudged Leon Best to be offside as his strike partner Ba swung his foot and found the net.
Our number 19 though wasn't to be denied and after Jerome Thomas had illegally halted Gabriel Obertan's progress on the edge of the Baggies box, Ba unleashed a majestic right-footed free kick to restore parity - United's first goal on home soil in over four and a half hours.
Back came the visitors though, with Ba's push on Mulumbu down the Albion right allowing Brunt to flight a free kick towards the far post. Paul Scharner didn't give it up as a lost cause and was able to nod back for the unattended Gareth McAuley to finish with ease.
There was still time for Newcastle to reply and Vuckic advanced before unleashing a left-footed piledriver that bounced down off the corner of the goal frame but was just too lively for Ba to get his header on target.
Losing his eve-present tag last Saturday due to a minor injury, Ryan Taylor returned at left back for the second half in place of Santon. The Italian was later confirmed to have gone off with a knee problem - severity uncertain.
However it was West Brom who came close to adding a third after another precise counter-attack; Shane Long beating Tim Krul only to seeing his angled effort rattle the Leazes crossbar.
Frustrated at a lack of creativity and a build up that was often laboured and too often ended with a hopeful ball forward, the home fans sang the name of Ben Arfa and the Frenchman duly appeared to replace Best - who again did little to enhance his reputation.
post-festive season but a strong dose of reality
has had to be swallowed recently and as the credibility of the club is being
steadily eroded off the pitch, the severe cracks that have been papered over
this season are starting to show through.