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Season 2011-12
Bolton (h) Premier League

In association 

Monday 9th April 2012, 3pm

Venue: St. James' Park




Newcastle United


2 - 0



Half time: Magpies 0 Trotters 0

73 mins 
Tim Krul bowled the ball out to Yohan Cabaye, who pushed it forward to Hatem Ben Arfa, who was lurking in his own half. Leaving Ricketts on his backside with a quick turn, he then sped off down the middle of the pitch with Bolton players mesmerised by his progress - four left in his wake before he made it into the box and found the back of the net. Now that's what I call route one. 1-0

83 mins
 Cabaye again played what proved to be the crucial pass, hoisting the ball forward down the United right over halfway in the direction of Shola Ameobi. With his back to goal, the substitute spun his marker Ream (who made a comedy dive to unsuccessfully claim a foul) and chugged forward.

Reaching the right hand side of the Bolton area, Shola swung over a centre just before Wheater arrived and the ball curled beyond the backtracking Steinsson and nicely on to the toes of Papiss Cisse, who looked offside as he tapped the ball past the flailing Bodgan from barely a yard 2-0

Full time:
Magpies 2 Trotters 0

We Said

Alan Pardew commented:

"Ive never ruled the Champions League out, Ive just talked about trying to win the next game. This weekend will be important for us because if the semi-final results go our way, we could be in Europe. If that works in favour, then really there is nothing else to go for but the Champions League.

"The semi-finals will be important to us and well be looking at them closely. If the results go against us, well be up against Chelsea for a European place and that will be tough on us. It would be tough to take if we finished with this points total but didnt make Europe. Were not giving up on anything, apart from winning it.

"I said all along if we can get to the last six games and be in and around (the top six) we'll just give it a go and that's what our fans want to see us do. Having an honest commitment to winning the game has got us where we are now. We've got Stoke at home next - a very difficult game - and we'll try and win that.

"It was a special, special goal from Ben Arfa and we needed that today. He can make the difference in tight games and not many players are blessed with the talent he has. It was a fantastic goal. He did it in the FA Cup against Blackburn this year. He will probably get the coverage he deserves for that goal. His goal, his performance and his work rate were magnificent.

"You don't see many like it. Hatem's ability to manoeuvre the ball at speed took him past a few defenders then, the cleverest part was, that at the end, he just lifted the ball a bit so the centre-half couldn't make a tackle. Not many players can do that.

"Bolton had stopped us playing - they'd doubled up on Hatem and we hadn't taken advantage of the extra space that created.

"Demba (Ba) was frustrated with me because I'd just had a go at him in an attempt to get a reaction. I brought him off because I thought Shola would go on and win us the game but Demba is big and strong enough to cope. I hope he gets the winner in our next game against Stoke."

They Said

Owen Coyle said:

"It was a big ask because we had one day's preparation, but our performance was miles better than our game against Fulham. From start to finish it would be fair to say there wasn't too much difference between the sides, and for large periods of the game it would be fair to say that we were the better side.

"We came here knowing that we faced a team riding high in the Barclays Premier League, with a good squad and having Champions League aspirations, as they fight it out at the top end of the table. We put in a battling performance and pushed them all the way.

"There is no doubt that it was a wonderful finish by Ben Arfa for his goal but we are disappointed that we didn't deal with the run. I think Sam Ricketts slipped in the centre and that allowed him to get away. Saying that, we were still very much in the game. We made some changes and brought on Ivan Klasnic and David Ngog and pushed forward. Ultimately we were undone by the second goal, but that was clearly offside.

"Despite the result, our performance was terrific today. We created a number of chances - Chris Eagles and Mark Davies made the Newcastle goalkeeper work hard and Darren Pratley was just a whisker away from converting too. It is a difficult result to take because for large periods of the game we stood toe-to-toe with Newcastle, but we leave disappointed.

"Our fate and our destiny is in our own hands. We showed last month that when we bring it all together we can secure back-to-back wins. I said to the players after the game that if we bring that level of performance and quality to our next six matches we have enough to ensure that we pick up points and we stay in the Barclays Premier League."


United have now won five successive top flight matches, a feat last accomplished in April 2006. That run then ended with a 0-0 draw at Birmingham City (the Championship season of 2009/10 saw them notch up two separate runs of seven straight league victories).

The Magpies completed their second win double of the season, having also recorded a 2-0 win at the Reebok Stadium. The first came against Blackburn Rovers and the chance to register three more (Stoke, Wigan & Everton) remains.

It's now 308 minutes since we conceded a goal, when Shane Long profited from some defensive uncertainty early in the second half of our win at West Brom.

Papiss Cisse has scored ten goals in nine games since joining the club (eight starts) and has now netted in five consecutive top-flight matches. The last player we can find doing that was Alan Shearer in December 2001 and January 2002 (also matching it in the closing four games of that season and the opening fixture of 2002/03).

And Cisse's tenth goal of the season was also our 50th in the Premier League in this campaign. We ended last season with a tally of 56, but that was the first time Newcastle had reached the half century since the 52 recorded in 2003/04.

50 goals: Ba 16, Cisse 10, Ben Arfa 5, Best 4, OG 4, Cabaye 2, Gutierrez 2, Shola Ameobi 2, Ryan Taylor 2, Gosling 1, Obertan 1, Guthrie 1.    

The sixth Premier League goal of Hatem Ben Arfa's career meant that he'd accumulated more top-flight goals for his current club than a certain 35m signing of Liverpool - until a late winner at Ewood on Tuesday evening drew Carroll back level on half a dozen. 

This was our number 10's first strike in the Premier League at SJP - the previous five all coming away from home (at Everton, Bolton, Fulham, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion).

Trotters on Tyne - Premier League visits:

2011/12: Won 2-0 Ben Arfa, Cisse
2010/11: Drew 1-1 Nolan
2008/09: Won 1-0 Owen
2007/08: Drew 0-0
2006/07: Lost 1-2 Ameobi
2005/06: Won 3-1 Solano, Shearer, Ameobi
2004/05: Won 2-1 Bowyer, Dyer
2003/04: Drew 0-0
2002/03: Won 1-0 Jenas
2001/02: Won 3-2 Shearer 2, Bellamy
1997/98: Won 2-1 Barnes, Ketsbaia
1995/96: Won 2-1 Kitson, Beardsley

With two games remaining on home soil, we've won ten, drawn five and lost just twice in the Premier League here this season

Full record against Bolton:

  P W D L F A
SJP 56 37 7 12 113 53
BP/RS 56 15 12 29 82 92
League 112 52 19 41 195 145
SJP(FA) 3 1 1 1 4 4
BP/RS 3 2 1 0 7 4
SJP(LC) 0 0 0 0 0 0
BP/RS 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cup 6 3 2 1 11 8
Tot 118 55 21 42 206 153



Goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse maintained Newcastle's European charge at St.James' Park on Monday afternoon as they made it five victories in succession. The win took us up a place into fifth and Chelsea's 1-1 at Fulham enough to see us remain there, a Norwich victory at Spurs meaning that we're level on points with 'Arry Redknapp's side, who sit fourth on goal difference.

A close-fought affair with little goalmouth action worthy of note was graced by an astonishing solo strike from Ben Arfa with seventeen second half minutes left to play. The win was then secured when Shola Ameobi set up Cisse for a close-range finish - his tenth goal in just nine games.

Alan Pardew's side welcomed back Fabricio Coloccini after a two game absence but were without Cheick Tiote - the versatile James Perch relocating from central defence to a midfield berth alongside Yohan Cabaye, who was passed fit after picking up a knock against Swansea on Friday.

The Magpies boss had witnessed Fulham's 3-0 romp at the Reebok on Saturday, but that could at least been partly due to the Manager of the Month "curse" falling on Owen Coyle - having claimed the March award after his team racked up three successive Premier League victories.

In front of a virtual full house, United struggled to make any headway against a solid Trotters side and too often were reduced to retaining possession via a succession of sideways and backwards passes - shades of Swansea's Good Friday frustration against us.

A long-ranger from Coloccini was United's sole effort on target, with centres and set pieces routinely gathered by Adam Bogdan. The exception to that was a dangerous Ben Arfa free kick that the Trotters 'keeper reached before a clutch of United players and punched clear - only for the ball to rebound off defender Ricketts and deflect wide.

With Jonas Gutierrez reverting to a central midfield spot after the break, Shane Ferguson was introduced to play down the left. Bolton began the brighter though and Tim Krul blocked one Chris Eagles effort before a Martin Petrov cross whistled across his six yard box.

United began pushing Bolton back closer to their own goal, with usual suspects David Wheater and Nigel Reo-Coker both prominent as some rugged and illegal defending was ignored by referee Mike Jones, to the annoyance of the crowd in general and Cabaye in particular.

Having struggled to pose a threat himself or link up with strike partner Cisse, Ba's frustration at giving way to Shola Ameobi just after the hour saw him apparently avoid a handshake offered by his manager as he left the field.

That change though proved to be pivotal, with Shola better equipped to withstand the defensive pressure of Wanderers and possessing of a long-standing Wheater intolerance - tangling with him as far back as December 2004, when the defender was in the smoggy stiffs.

The noise levels were cranked back up when Ben Arfa launched a free kick just wide of the Gallowgate goal, but the Frenchman soon had 50,000 fans on their feet to acclaim a goal that was at least the equal of his solo effort against Blackburn here back in January.

Having done his best to act as a target man against taller opponents (and routinely found himself fouled in the process), Cisse then came to prominence in the closing stages of the game as he finally gained some support.

Invigorated by the presence of Shola, the number 9 shot narrowly over and struck the goal frame from close range - straying offside during both moves. In between though, Cisse was in the right place to net from point-blank range after Ameobi broke into the box from the United right. That accomplished the remarkable feat of scoring ten goals in nine games, but was almost a sideshow in the wake of the goal that had come ten minutes earlier.

While United were winning, the mackems were going down 0-4 at Everton and now lie seventeen points behind us ensuring that we'll finish the season above them and retake possession of the mythical top dogs/bragging rights plaudits. They should have stuck with the Geordie....

Our lowest possible finishing position is now eighth, although defeat for Liverpool on Tuesday would mean we would at least equal the seventh place of 2005/06, with our fifth in 2003/04 now looking distinctly achievable. A runners-up spot is still mathematically possible. Wow.

The next chapter of the story comes this weekend, when Liverpool and Everton do battle at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup Semi Final, before Spurs and Chelsea clash there the following day. Were Everton to make it through, then they could be in line for a place in Europe regardless of whether they went on to win the trophy or not - but with multiple scenarios still possible, that's not a given.

Never mind messrs Bellamy, Carroll and Enrique - if miserable Kenny would like to belatedly atone for the moribund performance of his Newcastle team at Wembley in 1998, then unwrapping the Toffees would do for starters. 


Page last updated 24 January, 2013