Demba Ba came to Newcastle’s rescue to pull their team level twice last night in an edgy affair at Goodison Park. With the home team dominating the first half, whatever was said in the dressing room did the trick for Alan Pardew’s men, and a strong second half performance from the Toon allowed them to depart with a well-earned point.
Disallowed goals aside – of which there were two by Everton, and both arguably acceptable claims for goals – Demba Ba’s double salvaged a point in a match where Everton were the first to pull the strings.
Newcastle’s second draw on the trot pushed them up to 11th in the Premier League, but the more veteran fans may have been aware that Ba’s first goal was the clubs 1,000th since their entrance into the League.
They are just the sixth team to reach quadruple figures in the Premier League, alongside Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. They also boast the all-time Premier League goal scorer in Alan Shearer, scoring 148 of these goals as well as the 400th and 600th for the club.
Their very first Premier League goal came in 1993 – unimpressively an own goal by Coventry City defender Peter Atherton. More remarkably, their second goal of the Premier League was scored by a one Andrew Cole, taking the plaudits more fittingly against Manchester United, in a season where he would score 41 goals in all competitions.
Like Cole, Ba is sure to be a favourite at the Sports Direct Arena and once having a release clause of £7m in his contract it is perhaps a surprise that more interest in the Senegalese striker hasn’t emerged.
Whilst Cole can be proud of scoring the most goals per game since the introduction of the Premier League, at a staggering 0.79 goal/game ratio, Ba isn’t far behind. Scoring almost one goal in every two starts, he has adapted well since his move to the Toon, and can be one of the driving forces if Newcastle want to push for European qualification at the end of the season.
With players like Demba Ba, Papisse Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and playmaker Yohan Cabaye, can Newcastle deliver once more this season?
image: © mickyb59