Ba nets brace in Newcastle's defeat against Norwich

Ahram Online & AFP, Saturday 10 Dec 2011

Senegal and Newcastle striker Demba Ba maintains scoring form with another double but the Magpies lost to Norwich 4-2

Senegal and Newcastle striker Demba Ba

Norwich captain Grant Holt bagged a brace to inspire a 4-2 win over 10-man Newcastle at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Paul Lambert's side punished injury-hit Newcastle's defensive frailties as Holt's double and strikes from Wes Hoolahan and Steve Morison clinched Norwich's fifth Premier League victory since last season's promotion from the Championship.

Senegalstriker Demba Ba kept Newcastle in the match with a goal in each half to raise his tally of goals to 11 in 14 matches since the beginning of the season, but Magpies midfielder Dan Gosling ruined his team's hopes of a comeback when he was sent off in the second half.

The Canaries moved up to ninth place, while Newcastle drop to seventh after their second successive league defeat.

The loss of central defenders Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini after injuries against Chelsea last weekend had taken its toll as the inexperienced centre-back pairing of James Perch and Danny Simpson failed to handle Holt and Morison.

A superb diving save from John Ruddy stopped Yohan Cabaye from giving Newcastle the lead.

But it was Norwich who opened the scoring six minutes before half-time in controversial circumstances.

The assistant referee ruled that Tim Krul had carried the ball out for a corner from a looping shot despite the goalkeeper insisting he had kept the ball in play.

Krul then palmed away Andrew Crofts' powerful header from the resulting corner, but the ball rebounded in off Hoolahan to give Norwich the opener.

Replays appeared to show that the corner should not have been given as Krul had kept the ball in play and the Newcastle players were furious that Atkinson had allowed the corner to take place.

Their anger lasted barely five minutes as Ba latched on to Cabaye's excellent through-ball before prodding past Ruddy to make it 1-1 in stoppage time.

Norwichregained the lead just before the hour when Krul parried Holt's header with his feet before the striker powered home the rebound off the bar.

That was Holt's fifth goal of the season and his strike-partner Morison added their third four minutes later.

Gosling dallied on the edged of his own box, allowing Crofts to race down the flank and cross towards Wales international Morison, who headed in his seventh of the season.

Gosling's afternoon went from bad to worse two minutes later when he was given a straight red for a dangerous late tackle on Russell Martin.

Newcastlegot their second when Ba sprinted clear of Norwich defender Zak Whitbreak to drill past Ruddy with 20 minutes to go.

But Holt eased the tension in the 82nd minute as he took advantage of slack marking to head home Bradley Johnson's cross.

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