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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 22 September 2020


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Full-Time: Newcastle 3-0 Wigan

Things really are not going Newcastle’s way – four straight defeats, and they’ve lost their best two creative players in Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.

Sylvain Marveaux and Vurnon Anita are both named in Alan Pardew’s line-up.

As for Wigan, Franco di Santo and Arouna Kone will hope that they can make the most of Newcastle’s poor run of form.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Marveaux, Tiote, Anita, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse
Subs: Harper, Bigirimana, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi, Ranger, Ferguson, Tavernier

Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, Gomez, Jones, McCarthy, Beausejour, Di Santo, Kone
Subs: Pollitt, McManaman, McArthur, Boselli, Fyvie, Lopez, Golobart

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

Cheick Tiote has a very early go for Newcastle – inside the opening 30 seconds indeed – but the ball flies wide of Al Habsi’s goal.

Tiote is lucky to escape a yellow card for a late challenge on Jordi Gomez. Fairly typical of the midfielder, who was sent off in the game against Sunderland.

From the resulting free-kick, Wigan work the ball to di Santo, who long range curler is batted away by Tim Krul.

Ronnie Stam has another long range effort for the Latics.

Newcastle have started cagily, they can’t seem to get any rhythm into their game. A Magpies free-kick is well defended by Wigan.

Meanwhile, news comes through that James McCarthy injured himself in the warm-up but he’s out there and seeming to move freely enough.

Penalty to Newcastle, sending off for Wigan!

Ba sends strike partner Cissé through but the Senegalese is bundled over by Maynor Figueroa. The defender is sent off for a professional foul, and Ba steps up to send the penalty past Ali Al Habsi.

In the afters, Jean Beausejour is booked for mouthing off to the linesman.

Ba gets free again – checking his run beautifully – but his shot is woeful with his left foot.

Imagine how good Newcastle could be if he and Cissé hit form at the same time…

Anyway, back on the pitch, Coloccini and Mike Williamson do their best reproduction of little seen ’50s stageplay ‘The Two Eejits,’ but Wigan can’t take advantage.

The consensus on Twitter is that the penalty decision was harsh against Figueroa, the decision to send him off the field of play worse again.

James McArthur is ready to come on and it looks like Gomez will be the man replaced.

Matt Le Tissier, commentating for Sky, says that Gomez always looks around to see if he’ll be replaced when Wigan have a man sent off.

“That was always me at Southampton. If we had a player sent off I’d usually just start walking with him…”

Demba Ba makes it 2-0 to Newcastle!

Wigan completely lose their shape after going down to ten man, so Davide Santon is allowed the freedom of St James’ Park to advance and thump a shot that Al Habsi can only parry.

Ba is the first man to react, and he’s already on a hat-trick.

Stupid by Gary Caldwell. The Wigan skipper goes into the back of Ba and earns himself a booking, which means both he and Figueroa will miss the clash with Queens Park Rangers next weekend.

Marveaux, still to score in the Premier League, goes on a run and his shot is tipped away by Al-Habsi.

Marveaux involved again – this time his swerving free-kick sails just wide of the Wigan upright.

In the next wave, Tiote lashes a 35-yard effort JUST over the Wigan bar. He doesn’t score often, but when he does… etc etc…

The match has gone so flat that I was able to go off and put together a non-story about Cesc Fabregas becoming a daddy.

The whistle blows for half-time, as Tiote takes his third long-range shot of the evening.

We’re back for the second half. Stam gets free down the right for Wigan and crosses. Newcastle tie themselves in knots but still manage to clear the ball.

Santon, meanwhile, is injured. He’s the only ever-present in the Newcastle team, but he won’t be coming back on.

Northern Ireland youngster Shane Ferguson comes on in the Italian’s place.

Chance for Newcastle!

Marveaux does his best Hatem ben Arfa impression, wriggling between two or three Wigan players, but his shot is weak and straight at Al Habsi.

His finishing aside, Marveaux is, well, marveaux (if that were a word). He slaloms through the Wigan defence again and has the presence of mind to find Gael Bigirimana, but the youngster’s is off target.

Anita finds Cissé with a fine ball. The striker took it well enough but shot far too quickly. He snatched at it, definitely a marker of the player’s lack of confidence.

Just four goals so far this season.

Nothing to see here.

Any craic with yourselves?

Here, is that Love/Hate lark any good? Never seen it.

Wigan haven’t really tested Tim Krul, and this match is Krul.

I’m delirious. I have resorted to wordplay.

What a goal by Gael Bigirimana!

It’s the first ever goal for Newcastle by the man who signed from Coventry City in the summer. Bigirimana cuts inside from about 25 yards out and unleashes an absolute screamer that flies past Al Habsi.


Sometimes, good things happen to bad football matches.

Sammy Ameobi comes on for Jonas Gutierrez, who is well deserving of a rest.

James McCarthy goes in hard on Anita but avoids a booking. That was just late, the Ireland midfielder’s been very quiet.

Stupid… Stupid… Stupid… Newcastle break with Demba Ba and he looks for his strike partner Cissé. Ba can clearly see that the No.9 is ahead of the play and offside is called.

Update: It transpires that Ba injured himself and was clearly just trying to get rid of the ball.

A massive worry for Newcastle as both Ba and Tiote are injured tonight. That being said, they’ll be relieved at these three points.

That’s full-time – Newcastle arrest their slide and are now in 14th, with Wigan two places below them in the table.

A dull enough match that wasn’t helped by Maynor Figueroa’s early sending off, but Gael Bigirimana lit it up with a stunning goal in the second half, adding to Demba Ba’s earlier brace.

Thanks for keeping up…

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