Monday 9 April 2012 3pm

Newcastle United 2 (Ben Arfa 73, Cisse 83)
Bolton 0

Seventy terrible minutes of mundane football broken by a goal to grace any football stadium…..anywhere.

Hatem Ben Arfa picking the ball up some seventy yards from goal, resisting at least two chances to go down, before sliding it into the net.

A lovely reminder of exactly why we call it ‘The Beautiful Game’.

I wasn’t too upset by what I’d seen go before, I’ve seen far too many rubbish matches to go over the top.

Football is often a war of attrition and patience is often a virtue, so after sitting through an hour plus of desperate play, we got more than our reward.

Tim Krul had paved the way with a couple of routine (for him) saves which meant that we could get back on track whenever the team got going, which eventually we did.

Tiote had clearly been missed as  Newcastle struggled to get going in the first half and Perch made way for Ferguson after half-time, with Gutierrez moving inside.

Coloccini was giving his usual master class in defending and it was a case of sticking in there and doing nothing stupid.

Ben Arfa made the breakthrough and then ten minutes later a rejuvenated Shola cleverly turned his man and put the second on a plate for Cisse, game over.

Newcastle United may not be the finished article but what they are is a team/squad with hidden depths, hidden depths that may yet see us in the Champions League.

That sometimes is where victories over Bolton will get you.


Newcastle United: Tim Krul,  Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye, James Perch (Shane Ferguson 46), Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa (Ryan Taylor 85), Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba (Shola Ameobi 64)

Subs not used: Rob Elliot, James Tavernier, Mehdi Abeid, Dan Gosling

Bolton Wanderers: Adam Bogdan, Gretar Steinsson, David Wheater, Tim Ream, Sam Ricketts, Chris Eagles (Ryo Miyaichi 78), Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Davies, Darren Pratley (Ivan Klasnic 82), Martin Petrov, Kevin Davies (c) (David Ngog 78)

Subs not used: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Marcos Alonso, Zat Knight, Marvin Sordell

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 52,264

  • grumpyoldmag

    i have seen tony green, i have seen the lord beardsley, i have seen ginola, nothing will ever top the lord’s goal against brighton but even he never scored two in one season from 70 yards out- this bloke is super super special

  • Lupamac

    fantastic goal  had hardly done a thing before he decided it was time to shake things up a bit
    disappointment was Demba Ba,s attitude at being subbed which at full time proved to be a good decision. Cisses goal looked to yard offside  but great ball by Shola

  • PeteG

    Please please please, in future when this genius gives the ball away, don’t Boo, don’t groan, don’t sigh, coz if you do I’ll find the biggest bloke I can to come and give you a smack. I first went to St James’ in 1961 and nothing (even Pedro) compares to this.That’s twice in the space of 8 or 9 weeks he’s done this. Godlike.

  • lee dixon

    class by HBA, just worry that other teams will realise what we have in him, which for me, after following his path for some years (due to football manager-official scouting tool ) is and will be amazing better than nasri et al.
    PeteG I dont boo but i sigh at times and maybe groan, as i do at your comments and im sure im afraid of your smack.
    On another note it seemed to me  we reverted to 442 with HBA thru the middle and shola and cisse up top when Demba went off? changed the game for me like.

    • Peterg24

      I was kind of joking and I’m sure you were as well. Agree about the tactical change though. The key for me was the intro of Fergie that gave us the energy pick up we (very badly) needed.

  • Tone Army

    Dropped points for chelski & tottingham today makes this result even better, throw in a wonder goal, 5th cosec win, 3rd clean sheet, 9 in 10  for our No9, 4th place in grasp, makems & liverpool out of sight… quality.

    slightly dissapointed at Ba’s attitude but I am sure its just frustration, maybe he should play him alongside Cisse in a 442 more often, not that I am doubting Pardew;s tactics as for me today he was spot on, fergie looked electric down the left at times, very posotive play, see we never needed to replace Jose :D

    Exciting times atm, long may it continue…

  • Anonymous

    Well worth listening to the BBC5 Live commentary on:
    at 1:30:00 and 1:39:00………beautiful goal, we are in dreamland.

    • glasshalfempty

      …better if you listen from 1:29:00 where they predict we’ll be last on MOTD.  Then within a minute we jump to 2nd on TV – no guesses why, just one moment of brilliance!!

      Good link Lintonlad!!!!