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FULL-TIME: Newcastle United 3 Blackburn Rovers 1
4:49pm Saturday 24th September 2011 in Blackburn Rovers match reports
A DIABOLICAL defensive display by Blackburn Rovers saw them comfortably beaten 3-1 at Newcastle United this afternoon.
Demba Ba's hat trick was the least the hosts deserved as Rovers' misery was compounded late on by Martin Olsson's sending off for a second bookable offence.
A static Rovers defence allowed Best to fire the Magpies into a 2-0 lead within the half hour mark and, despite Junior Hoilett's 37th minute giving hope, Ba completed his treble after the break.
Hoilett's strike was Rovers' only meaningful shot on target all match while Newcastle spurned countless opportunities to make the defeat even heavier.
Newcastle United started brightly and fashioned the first chance of the game on 6 minutes when Demba Ba brushed aside Chris Samba before firing over the bar from 25 yards.
The hosts continued to control the opening exchanges, with Gabriel Obertan looking dangerous on Rovers' left, and his pull back was fired over from 12 yards by Leon Best on 12 minutes.
Rovers were struggling to create too much themselves although a penetrating run and cross on left was inches away from finding the unmarked Junior Hoilett at the far post midway through the half.
While Newcastle were enjoying the majority of the possession they were struggling to create too many clear cut chances, with Paul Robinson a spectator.
That changed on 26 minutes though as the Magpies took the lead in too easy a fashion.
Leon Best's low cross from the right was collected by Demba Ba with his back to goal but, despite being marked by Scott Dann, he turned and fired the ball past Robinson.
The hosts' lead was doubled four minutes later as Rovers' defence gave Newcastle all the freedom of the park, for Ba to score his second.
Danny Simpson's speculative long ball was headed across goal by Stephen Taylor for the unmarked Ba to head home from yards out.
Junior Hoilett's brilliant 37th minute striker got Rovers back into the game though, out of the blue, as he volleyed home from the edge of the area after Martin Olsson's run and cross on the left.
Rovers started the second half a bit brighter and hit the bar through Olsson on 50 when he prodded Salgado's cross over goalkeeper Tim Krul.
The visitors suddenly had a mountain to climb though on 55 when Ba completed his hat trick in controversial circumstances.
Cheik Tiote's cross was headed over the flailing Paul Robinson but Scott Dann appeared to be bundled out of the way as Ba's header bounced in.
Newcastle pressed forward in search for more and the dangerous Obertan almost obliged with a shot from 20 yards that went inches wide after a driving run.
It got worse for Rovers as Olsson was sent off after getting his second yellow card for a trip on Best having previously been cautioned for dissent about Newcastle's third goal.
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