Newcastle ends winless run with 3-0 win over Wigan

Newcastle recorded its first Premier League win in six matches

by beating 10-man Wigan 3-0 on Monday after two goals by Demba Ba

and another from Gael Bigirimana.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had been under pressure with his

injury-hit team winning only one league match since he signed an

eight-year contract extension in late September to sit just two

points above the relegation zone.

But his players responded to the 12th-minute dismissal of Wigan

defender Maynor Figueroa for fouling Papiss Cisse in the box in a

contentious decision with the players appearing to be shoulder to


”It was nice to get a break – and I think it was a break, I’m

not a great lover of that rule with the penalty and the sending

off,” Pardew said. ”But at the time I thought it was a penalty,

the defender lifts his arm at the end of the challenge. The referee

had a tough decision to make, but I think it was a penalty and

obviously it put us in a great position.”

Ba converted the resulting penalty, and scored again in the 21st

minute from an error by goalkeeper Al Habsi at St. James Park.

Those strikes took Ba to 10 league goals for the season, drawing

level with Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, Liverpool

forward Luis Suarez and Swansea attacker Michu at the top of the

scoring chart.

Bigirimana, a second-half substitute, struck a left-footed

curving shot into the net in the 71st for his first goal for the


Wigan kept its shape in the second half despite the numerical

disadvantage but never threatened to get back in the match.

Unsurprisingly, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez thought the result

pivoted on the opening 45 minutes.

”It became a very, very difficult game in 10 minutes, giving up

a two-goal cushion and a man down,” he said. ”But you will get

adversity in football and I’m proud of our reaction in the second

half, we never gave up or felt sorry for ourselves.

”(The sending off) was a big decision, I think he needed to be

certain about a decision like that. The ball was between the two

players, Maynor Figueroa is entitled to challenge for that ball and

I thought it was shoulder-to-shoulder. It was a fair race and both

players challenged for the ball.”

Newcastle stayed in 14th place but is five points above the drop

zone. Wigan fell one spot to 16th and has two points more than

18th-place Southampton.

The biggest concern on the night for Pardew was Ba’s sparkling

form attracting clubs aware of the Senegal international’s release

clause in his contract that could hasten his departure.

”We’ve tried to do a deal and take the clause out,” Pardew

said. ”We’ve not managed it yet, so it’s always there hanging over

us and that makes it difficult for me, for Demba and the