Football: Solano warms to the task

Newcastle United 2

Dabizas 13, Glass 17

Derby County 1

Burton 73

Attendance: 36,750

WHATEVER Alan Shearer said to Glenn Hoddle in the aftermath of the national team's midweek malaise, the statement made with the loudest clarity on the pitch at St James' Park yesterday did not come from the England captain. The man who may, or may not, have taken exception to the managerial hand of Hodd had a quiet game as Newcastle were guided to victory by a Peruvian whose former mentor was allegedly helped by the hand of God. Nolberto Solano, nurtured at Boca Juniors alongside Diego Maradona, announced his arrival as a player of substance on the Premiership stage, setting up the two goals that took his team to victory with some vintage wing-play for Ruud Gullit's Magpies.

Solano, Kenny Dalglish's last signing for Newcastle, is not quite the finished article. Twice in the second half he was guilty of freezing when presented with clear scoring chances himself in front of the Derby goal. But the first-half trickery the South American conjured was altogether too hot for Derby to handle. It also warmed the cockles of the Toon Army on a bitterly cold Tyneside afternoon. And it may have given Shearer food for thought as he ponders his future at club level. Newcastle may be far from the trophy-winning material the pounds 15m man wants to see at St James' Park, as their less than sparkling second-half confirmed yesterday, but in the 23-year-old Solano he has a winger capable of supplying him with goalscoring ammunition.

Solano, signed by Dalglish for pounds 1.2m, can certainly feel safe from the "battering ram" Gullit has promised to take to his team. Steve Watson has already been shunted out of St James' Park, possibly to make way for Christian Ziege, whom Gullit hopes to prise from Milan. The Newcastle manager has yet to enter the transfer market but can expect a little more spending money than the pounds 1.4m Jim Smith was granted in the three years he spent in charge at Newcastle. The Bald Eagle returned to the Magpies' nest yesterday and he might have enjoyed a happy return on the occasion of his 58th birthday had Dean Sturridge not wasted the gift of a chance presented to him by Nikolaos Dabizas in the fourth minute.

It was not Smith's day on the pitch as his Rams took a first-half battering. Robert Lee held sway in midfield, but it was Solano who did the most direct damage. The right-winger supplied two goals in a dazzling five-minute spell and only the woodwork prevented a third. The cross he whipped in from the right, after a short corner by Stephen Glass, was an invitation for Dabizas to head his third goal of the season and the Greek defender duly obliged as he soared above the Derby defence on the six-yard line. That, however, was nothing compared with the sublime cross-field pass Solano delivered four minutes later, leaving Glass free to flick a goalscoring shot over Russel Hoult from the left angle of the Derby penalty area.

Smith's players could have been excused for thinking the South American might not relish the wintery north-east conditions when he appeared for the pre-match warm-up wearing mittens. But, unlike the last Peruvian of note to make the trip from Lima to England, the scarf-wrapped Paddington Bear, Solano is seemingly made of sterner stuff - if not stuffing. His gloves were off when kick-off time came round and, within a minute of his second assist, he ripped through the Derby defence again. From the right by-line, he teed the ball on to the head of Paul Dalglish but the young Scot's effort was tipped on to the post by Hoult.

Derby made it into the second half without any further damage, but they ought to have been finished off in the 68th minute, when Andy Griffin found Solano unmarked on the six-yard-box. Newcastle's new hero shot wide, however, and his team endured a nervy final 17 minutes after Paulo Wanchope headed down a Lee Carsley free-kick and Deon Burton bundled in a goal that gave his manager a small birthday consolation.

Gullit praised Newcastle's performance as their best since his arrival two months ago. What Shearer made of it all was unclear. He left without passing comment, keeping his thoughts securely to himself.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
news
Life and Style
love + sex
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United 1 player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
News
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
people
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th-century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Support Analyst

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a career in custome...

Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, PHP, HTML, JavaScript, CSS

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: C#.Net Developer - C#, ASP.Net, HTML...

Recruitment Genius: 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Engineer - Managed Services Provider

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 2nd / 3rd Line IT Support Eng...

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot