Newcastle United 1-0 Norwich City – Match Review
Hughton was afforded warm reception from the Magpies fans prior to kick-off as they showed their appreciation to the man that lead them to promotion before being cruelly sacked in December 2010.
His replacement, Alan Pardew, guided the club back into Europe last season and will have been relieved that his side came away from a tricky fixture with all three points in the bag.
The Canaries started brightly but suffered a blow in the sixth minute as ex-Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong was forced off with a hamstring injury. Michael Turner, formerly of Sunderland, came on in his place but couldn’t prevent Ba from giving the home side the lead after 19 minutes.
The Senegalese striker showed excellent control to trap Hatem Ben Arfa’s fizzed through ball before racing beyond Turner and cooly finishing past John Ruddy at the Gallowgate End to record his third goal in two games. Ben Arfa was causing the visitors no end of problems but was denied the chance to put his own name on the scoresheet after Newcastle were awarded a penalty.
A shove from Steve Morison on Mike Wiliamson in the box saw referee Neil Swarbrick point to the spot but Cisse, handed the duties by stand-in skipper Jonas Gutierrez at the expense of Ben Arfa, blazed well over from 12-yards as he made it eight goals without a game, a record stretching back to last season.
There were few clear cut opportunities for either side after the break although Andrew Surman was denied by a superb save from Steve Harper just three minutes after the restart as Newcastle held on for a morale boosting win.