Blackburn`s undefeated 3 game streak came to an abrupt end at St James Park, as the home outfit, cruised into a 3-1 victory, with Demba Ba, a one time Rovers target picking up a hat trick.
Ruben Rochina made way for Martin Olsson whilst Salgado was ruled fit to start at right back.
It was the home outfit who took it to the visitors from the start. Gabriel Obertan looked to be finding his feet on the right of midfield, surging forward at every opportunity, whilst Gael Givet more then happy to allow him to dominate the flank. An early set of corners was extinguished; however signs of poor Rovers defending started to show. Demba Ba was given all the freedom in the world, picking up a loose ball in midfield and running 30 meters unmarked before blasting over from distance.
On the other end, Blackburn had little to show. The only threat of any attack was through the counter via Olsson or Hoillet, but even then, Collocini was on hand to shut down any break away.
Whilst Gabriel Obertan was torturing Gael Givet down the right flank, a spate of missed opportunities for the Toon was put behind them, as Newcastle opened the scoring via the left flank. Leon Best found himself unmarked out wide, with a near cross dropping at the feet of Demba Ba. The striker held off Scott Dann, before turning and blasting past the outstretched arms of Paul Robinson, 1-0 Newcastle.
The suffering had just begun for Blackburn, as Newcastle doubled their lead within minutes. A long ball by former Rovers loanee, Danny Simpson, was flicked on by an unmarked Stephen Taylor, 6 yards out, into the path of Demba Ba who was left with the easiest of headers, 2-0 Newcastle
Blackburn looked frustrated at the lack of possession, however where not doing themselves any favours through some dreadful defending. Chris Samba looked like he was not interested, whilst Scott Dann just was not on. Blackburn though did have a reprieve, against the run of play. Martin Olsson found some space down the left flank, skipping past his man. With Yakubu on his own up front and Mauro Formica nowhere to be seen, Olsson played the deftest of crosses back to the 18 Yard box, Hoillet controlling then smashing through on the half volley, 2-1 Newcastle.
A sense of urgency creeped into the Rovers game, with the blues finally finding some field possession and stringing a few passes. Newcastle did hold out until the break, 2-1 to the home side.
Whatever Steve Kean says at half time, has Blackburn working, as Rovers turned up the heat after the break. Whilst it was 45 minutes too late, it gave Rovers a sniff, and parity was almost restored via Martin Olsson, whose flick on lobbed over Tim Krul, but struck the top of the woodwork and went over. Blackburn continued to maintain the pressure, but could not gain that equalizer, and were made to pay for it.
Demba Ba was in dreamland as Cheike Tiote, who had made his presence felt on the game, lobbed in a cross from 40 yards. The ball was headed back across goals, with Robinson making an absolute howler of the attempted save, flapping at thin air, Demba Ba getting the faintest of touches as the ball appeared to be on route to goal. 3-1 Newcastle. Their was a protest from the Rovers end though, as Scott Dann appeared to be fouled in the process of the goal, but when you defend as poor as that, you deserve the ultimate punishment.
Ruben Rochina and Jason Roberts came onto the pitch in an attempt to claw a goal back, but the early dismissal of Martin Olsson after picking up his second yellow card ended any dream come back, despite a late effort by Steve Nzonzi flying over the bar.
Newcastle continued their unbeaten run, whilst pressure will surely mount on struggling Blackburn manager Steve Kean.
Paul Robinson 5
Another 3 goals shipped in, whilst the first he couldnt do much, positioning on the second was poor, and the third, well, lets just put that behind him
Gael Givet 4
Getting caught out, week, after week on the left edge. Some might argue it is because our wingers are not helping, however he is still going man to man on his target, and is losing every time
Scott Dann 3
Very weak performance from Dann. Easily outmuscled and positioned on all 3 goals, especially the first where he really should not have let Demba Ba spin and shoot, back to goal, 10 yards out
Chris Samba 5
A touch better then his centre half partner, but even then, Samba does not look up for it. Whether he is dissapointed about not moving on or not, on these performances, Arsenal and Co had a right not to make a bid for the big man.
Michel Salgado 5
Looking like a lost soldier out on the flank. Cant seem to find the right mix between giving his man some space to make up for his lack of pace, or sticking like glue to his man and not fouling him
Steve Nzonzi 6
A lone ranger in midfield. Did his best to keep things moving whilst in possession, and shut down play when he could
Jason Lowe 3
Did not touch the ball for 90 minutes. Looked extremely promising at right back last week, just could not get involved this week, the first time I actually saw him in the game, he picked up a yellow after 65 odd minutes
Junior Hoillet 6
A frustrating performance from Junior. Superbly taken shot gave us some home, but apart from that, lost the ball too many times and left Salgado stranded
Martin Olsson 6
Looked our main threat, managing to get past his man on a few occasions and set up our goal. However a yellow for descent followed by an obstruction sent him to the showers nice and early
Mauro Formica 2
A run of games for the Argentine, and nothing to show for it. Would love to see the stats for touches on the ball, he never looked like getting involved and was rightfully taken off
Little to do for him apart from run for lost causes. Never recieved the ball, and was stuck on his lonesome for 90 minutes