Belfast Telegraph

Quickfire double seals Magpies win

Two goals in as many minutes from Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba earned Newcastle their first win in seven Barclays Premier League games 2-0 against struggling Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.

The Magpies had taken only two points from their previous six games while Bolton's victory over Blackburn in midweek ended a run of five straight defeats, and in the first half it appeared very much a battle between two struggling sides.

But the deadlock was broken in the 69th minute when Ben Arfa netted his first goal in more than a year and the prolific Ba doubled the lead soon after.

Newcastle started well and, in the 14th minute, Ryan Taylor drew a good diving save from Jussi Jaaskelainen with a 25-yard free-kick after Fabrice Muamba fouled Yohan Cabaye.

But Bolton were close to taking the lead six minutes before half-time when Cabaye was harshly penalised for a nudge on Nigel Reo-Coker and Martin Petrov's free-kick was well saved by Tim Krul.

Bolton's season was summed up in the 55th minute when Ivan Klasnic tripped himself up as he looked to get a shot away.

Jaaskelainen blocked Gabriel Obertan's shot before Ben Arfa replaced Leon Best.

Petrov fired just wide but Bolton went behind as Newcastle at last put together a move of real quality, ending with Taylor crossing for Ben Arfa to volley only his second goal for the club and his first since suffering a broken leg against Manchester City last season.

And two minutes later the game was all but over as Paul Robinson let in Obertan and his cross was clipped in by Ba despite Gary Cahill's efforts.

Ba almost added another moments later but Jaaskelainen was quickly off his line to block, before Taylor fired a free-kick well over the bar.


From Belfast Telegraph