Newcastle United continued their incredible start to the season with a well deserved 3-1 victory against Stoke City on Monday night. The victory at the Britannia stadium has moved the Tyneside club above Chelsea into third.
Many expected Alan Pardew’s men to finally lose their unbeaten record away at Stoke, but they continued to defy the odds with a fantastic win at one of the league’s toughest grounds.
Demba Ba was the hero on the night as he bagged his second hat-trick of the season, but it was a victory that once again, also owed much to Newcastle’s resilient backline.
There were a number of stand out performers for the toon army, who have now gone 10 Premier League games without defeat and along with Manchester City, are the only unbeaten team in the league.
Newcastle United Player Ratings:
Tim Krul 7 – Continued his impressive start to the season as he dealt with the aerial bombardment from Stoke very well, despite a few nervy moments. He commanded his area for much of the game and took the pressure off his defenders with some very important catches from Stoke’s set pieces.
Danny Simpson 7 – Didn’t get forward as much as he would’ve liked, due to his defensive commitments on the night and the pressure Stoke put on the Newcastle defence, but he defended excellently against Matthew Etherington all night and the winger didn’t get much out of him at all.
Steven Taylor 8 – A brilliant defensive performance as, along with his partner Coloccini, he won numerous headers from the crosses and throw-ins Stoke continuously threw into the Newcastle penalty area. He managed to do all this despite sporting a face mask to protect his broken nose.
Fabricio Coloccini (C) 8 – He is repaying Alan Pardew’s decision to make him captain with excellent performances week in week out and this match was no different. He won almost every header he challenged for and was very composed in possession. Arguably the best defender in the league so far this season.
Ryan Taylor 7 – He continues to play as if he’s been a natural left-back all his life and he has filled the void left by Jose Enrique’s departure to Liverpool, very well indeed. Like the rest of his fellow backline, he defended well and he coped with the threat of Jermaine Pennant with ease.
Gabriel Obertan 8 – Probably the Frenchman’s best performance for Newcastle and he was unlucky not to cap it with his first goal late on. He played a delightful cross in for Demba Ba’s opnening goal and as well as his attacking duties he did an excellent job defensively helping out Simpson.
Yohann Cabaye 6 – The Frenchman has been one of Newcastle’s best players this season but he didn’t have much of an impact on this match. He struggled a bit with the physicality of Stoke and he uncharacteristically gave the ball away too often.
Danny Guthrie 7 – He made his first league start of the season filling in for the injured Cheik Tiote and he produced a very good performance at the heart of the Newcastle midfield. His passing was accurate and he kept things ticking over for his side as he was very assured in possession.
Jonas Gutierrez 8 – The tireless Argentinean didn’t offer as much going forward as he usually does, but he did a fantastic job for his side defensively. He never left Ryan Taylor isolated one on one with Pennant at all during the entire 90 minutes, as he was always offering cover for his full-back and doubling up on the winger. His work-rate was second to none and epitomised this Newcastle side at the moment.
Leon Best 6 – His scuffed shot across goal in the first half led to Demba Ba’s second goal, but apart from that he didn’t have anywhere near the kind of game his strike partner did. But to be fair to Best, Newcastle didn’t enjoy much possession and once they had the lead they were intent on defending it and he was largely feeding off scraps in the second half.
Demba Ba 9 (MAN OF THE MATCH) – The Senegales forward took his tally to 8 for the season with an impressive hat-trick in this match. His finishes were relatively simple but he took them well and proved a point to Stoke, the team he had failed a medical with in January. The Stoke medical team claimed his knee wasn’t up to the job, but Ba had the last laugh at the Britannia by proving his knee is fine and Newcastle are reaping the benefits.
James Perch 6 – Brought on late in the match to help the side hang on for the win when Stoke pulled a goal back. He received what could be one of the quickest booking ever, after a lunge on Glenn Whelan, despite only being on the pitch for just 14 seconds.
Sammy Ameobi 5 – The young striker wasn’t on the pitch long enough to make a significant impact.
Dan Gosling N/A