Demba Ba’s Hat Trick Lifts Newcastle Into Third Place in Premier League
Demba Ba scored three goals as Newcastle won 3-1 at Stoke to continue its unbeaten start in English soccer’s Premier League and move up to third place.
Ba, who was set to join Stoke in January before failing a medical, scored two first-half goals and converted a second-half penalty after his foul on Peter Crouch led to Jon Walters’s 75th-minute penalty for the home team last night.
Newcastle’s sixth victory of the season lifted it above Chelsea into third place with 22 points, one fewer than second- place Manchester United and six behind leader Manchester City. Newcastle and City are the only teams yet to lose a match.
“We are just in the first 10 games so it’s a long way to go,” Ba told Sky Sports. “I am very happy to score a hat trick here because it is a place you come and struggle.”
Stoke’s first home defeat in five Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium this season left the Potters in 11th place with 12 points. Stoke had only lost once before at home in the league in 2011.
“If you give a side a two goal start, it is always going to be an uphill struggle, especially against a side playing as well and with as much confidence as Newcastle,” Stoke manager Tony Pulis told his team’s website.
Ba headed in Gabriel Obertan’s cross to put Newcastle ahead in the 12th minute and doubled the lead with a close-range finish five minutes before half time.
Walters drove his penalty kick down the middle of the goal to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining after Ba had knocked Crouch over in the area.
Ba, whom Newcastle signed from relegated West Ham in June, sent goalkeeper Asmir Begovic the wrong way to complete his second hat trick of the season and take his tally to eight goals in England’s elite division this campaign.
“Demba has played like that all year,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports. “I knew of him because of my connections at West Ham, I was very confident of bringing him here.”
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