Premier League - Ben Arfa and Ba down Bolton

Mon, 26 Dec 16:53:00 2011

Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba scored two minutes apart as Newcastle won 2-0 at the Reebok Stadium to condemn Bolton to yet another Premier League defeat.

Miss a Match? We didn't

Bolton 0 Newcastle 2

Newcastle were superior throughout but had to wait until the 69th minute before taking the lead.

Ben Arfa came off the bench to make an immediate impression, finishing a slick move with an accomplished first-time finish.

Ba added a second with a close-range finish two minutes later to put the shine on a defeat that leaves Bolton in deep trouble.

Newcastle had not won since changing the name of their stadium last month but Ryan Taylor, who scored the winner in that game against Everton, came closest for the visitors in the 14th minute.

Nonchalantly curling a free-kick over the Bolton wall, Taylor was denied only by Jussi Jaaskelainen’s superb one-handed stop low to his left.

Bolton saw plenty of the ball but painfully lacked inspiration in attack, so it was predictable that their best chance of the half also came from a set-piece. This time Tim Krul was on hand to make an even better save from Martin Petrov’s dead ball effort.

Scoring opportunities were at a premium throughout and it was only after the introduction of Ben Arfa that Newcastle started to create chances of genuine quality.

Ben Arfa played off Ba and Newcastle instantly benefited from the Frenchman’s guise and attacking class. So it was appropriate that his strike gave Alan Pardew’s side the lead.

Chris Eagles lost the ball to Jonas Gutierrez, who supplied a pass to Taylor wide on the left. The left-back picked out Ben Arfa, who lashed the ball past the helpless Jaaskelainen with a superb first-time finish.

Bolton barely had time to dust themselves down before Ba continued his extraordinary scoring run with his 21st goal in 25 Premier League starts.

Darting ahead of Gary Cahill, who is believed to be in talks with Chelsea over a possible January move, Ba steered Gabriel Obertan’s low cross from the right just under the bar.

It was a killer double-blow to Bolton, who saw the ball for long periods but lacked the confidence to convert that possession into clear chances.

Bolton struggled to wrestle control of the midfield from the dominant duo of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye, with the latter particularly impressive.

Owen Coyle introduced Kevin Davies and Tuncay Sanli late on, but the pair could do little to alter the outcome.

Bolton have now lost eight of their nine home games and sit three points away from safety. With games against Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal awaiting in January, the winter continues to look bleak for Coyle's men.

Michael Da Silva - on Twitter @mjdasilva / Eurosport

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