Newcastle United stopped the rot last night with a comfortable 3-0 win over 10 man Wigan Athletic at St James’ Park. Demba Ba delivered a brace, whilst Gael Bigiramana allayed any doubt with a 20-yard stunner 5 minutes from time.
Wigan were reduced to 10 men with a harsh penalty decision in 13th minute which saw Maynor Figueroa use his strength too excessively in the box and promptly receive his marching orders from referee Mike Jones. Ba converted from the spot. Before Wigan manager Roberto Martinez could react Davide Santon had cut inside following a strong run down the left wing and fired a stinging shot which Ali Al-Habsi palmed into Demba Ba’s path who cooly slotted homet. Although the Latic’s started the 2nd half strongly, it was a relatively comfortable 3 points for United with the away team failing to manufacture any clear-cut chances.
It was only Newcastle’s 2nd clean sheet of season and, aside from that, what were the other bits of news to come out of St James’s Park last night?
6. Anita’s Best Performance
Although he was helped by Newcastle’s extra man there is no doubt that Vurnon Anita is acclimatising himself to English football and starting to look worth the outlay the club paid for him in the summer. Last night was the Dutchman’s most accomplished performance in a black and white shirt. He completed 90% of his passes and helped Newcastle win the battle in midfield. Some of Anita’s key skills are his calmness under pressure and his ability with a first time pass. His delivery to the feet of both Ba and Cisse gave Gary Caldwell a torrid time in the first half and the former Newcastle United man was lucky not to be sent off. Along with Tiote, Anita often came deep to give the centre backs an outlet besides punting up to Ba or Cisse (something Newcastle definitely struggled with in their last 4 games). He also chased after the ball tirelessly, pressuring Wigan into surrendering possession up until the 90th minute.
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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012