Newcastle vs Leicester City match report: Gabriel Obertan ensures Newcastle pass their screen test

Newcastle 1 Leicester City 0: Obertan's first Premier League goal in nearly two years relieves manager Alan Pardew of some of the pressure on him to turnaround their form

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The Independent Football

Steve Stone, the Newcastle coach, will vouch for the importance of the first winning goal a Newcastle player has scored in the Premier League this season.

Stone was grabbed in a headlock by the Newcastle manager Alan Pardew when Gabriel Obertan cracked in a 71st minute winner and buried, at least for now, much of the misery that has surrounded a battered football club.

Scoring own goals has become more common practice for Newcastle United. Their giant television screen, fixed up at the top of Level Seven at the Leazes End, broke before kick-off, dangerously so as it transpired.

At three o’clock, the streets and pubs around St James’ Park were flooded with fans. The ground, however, stood empty. The screen was eventually fixed. The ground filled and despite everything Newcastle managed to get the match started within 10 minutes of its scheduled kick-off.


Obertan’s work on the left found Moussa Sissoko. He charged through and crossed to the central defender Fabricio Coloccini, who had joined the break, but the Newcastle captain slotted a left foot shot wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s far post. In the 20th minute, Paul Dummett shot straight into the Leicester goalkeeper’s hands from 20 yards as the home side continued to make chances.

Gabriel Obertan slots the ball home to win Newcastle the three points

They should have been costly misses. Coloccini lost out in a tackle to Leonardo Ulloa in his own half, and from there, Newcastle were in trouble. Ulloa crossed to the heart of the him penalty area, Matty James was all alone but his finish was weak and low and simple for Tim Krul to take, low to his left.

Leicester went closer to a lead five minutes before half time. Marc Albrighton’s cross from the left seemed to catch the same wind that had done for the television screen. That carried it over Krul’s head and it crashed off the far post with the Dutch goalkeeper beaten.

Gabriel Obertan celebrates with his team-mates

Papiss Cissé looked to have spurned Newcastle’s chance of victory, early in the second half. He rounded Schmeichel and had the goal at his mercy following a poor Paul Konchesky back pass. Somehow he hit the side netting. Pardew could not look, covering his face with his hands.

Alan Pardew salutes the Newcastle fans

He had recovered when Obertan took a pass from Cissé, cut in from the Newcastle left and drilled a right footed shot into the corner of Schmeichel’s goal. Pardew’s joy was undeniable. By then, even the television was working. They may prove small mercies – Newcastle are still in a relegation place – but they did for a manager living dangerously close to the edge. At least for now.

Ulloa and Jamie Vardy could have grabbed a late equaliser for the visitors. It did not come.


Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Krul; Janmaat, Taylor, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara, 72); Anita (Perez, 59), Colback; Obertan, Sissoko, Cisse; Gouffran (Cabella 90).

Leicester(4-1-4-1): Schmeichel; de Laet, Morgan, Moore, Konchesky; Cambiossa (Knockaert, 79); Albrighton (Vardy, 56), Drinkwater, James, Schlupp (Nugent, 56); Ulloa.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Man of the match: Colback (Newcastle).

Match rating: 7/10