Demba Ba scores a hat-trick as Newcastle win 3-1 at Stoke on Monday
The result lifts Newcastle up to third position in the English Premier League
Newcastle remain unbeaten after 10 matches, their best start in 15 years
Demba Ba scored a superb hat-trick to help Newcastle United win 3-1 at Stoke City on Monday, a result that lifts the unbeaten Magpies up to third place in the English Premier League.
Ba had been a target for Stoke manager Tony Pulis last season, but the Senegal international failed a medical when on the verge of joining the club and instead moved to West Ham, before joining Newcastle in the close season.
And Pulis will have looked on in envy as Ba proved the star of the show in another impressive display from Alan Pardew’s side.
Newcastle went ahead in the 12th minute when Ba was left unmarked to head home Gabriel Obertan’s cross from the right, and the same player doubled the visitors’ advantage when netting from close range after Leon Best’s mis-hit shot fell perfectly into his path.
Stoke were handed a lifeline with 15 minutes remaining when Jonathan Walters scored from the penalty spot after Ba was adjudged to have pushed Peter Crouch in the area.
But, just six minutes later, Newcastle themselves were awarded a spot-kick after a similar push by Robert Huth on Best, allowing Ba to confidently fire home for his hat-trick goal.
The result continues Newcastle’s remarkable start to the season, their best in 15 years. They now lie six points off leaders Manchester City, and just one point behind second-placed Manchester United, after climbing above Chelsea into third position.
With 10 games gone, leaders City and Newcastle remain the only two unbeaten teams, while Newcastle have conceded just seven goals, the lowest in the division.
Meanwhile, there was a surprise in the Spanish La Liga match on Monday, when Granada scored twice in the last 10 minutes to win 2-1 at Sevilla – the home side’s first defeat of the season.
Manu Del Moral gave Sevilla a dream start when netting from close range after just 38 seconds, but Alexandre Geijo headed home an equalizer after Odion Igalho’s shot struck the crossbar.
And, in the final minute, Mikel Rico’s left-foot strike handed the visitors only their second win of the season, taking them off the foot of the table in the process.
Granada now lie on eight points, one point above bottom side Getafe, while Sevilla remain fifth on 17 points, eight points behind leaders Real Madrid and seven off second-placed Barcelona.