HT: Newcastle United 2, Wigan Athletic 0

Stu Forster

Demba Ba has a brace and Wigan are down to 10 men.

Newcastle United lead Wigan Athletic 2-0 at halftime in what many have already called a relegation 6 pointer in the Premier League. Demba has scored twice, once on a penalty kick and then again on a deflection off goaltender Ali Al-Habsi.

The penalty came in the 13th minute after Maynor Figueroa bowled over Papiss Cisse, denying him a clear goalscoring chance. Figueroa was sent off for his efforts, and Ba coolly deposited the PK in the bottom left corner. Newcastle already looked to have a decent handle on the game, but the sending off seemed to break Wigan's will, allowing the Magpies to do pretty much anything they wanted. It hasn't been all warm fuzzies for the home team, though. Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson flubbed an exchange in the back that should have been punished with a goal. They were lucky to escape with only a tongue-lashing from Alan Pardew. Still, strong performances from (among others) Vurnon Anita, Davide Santon, and Sylvain Marveaux have the Toon Army feeling pretty good about Newcastle's chances moving forward in the second half.

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