Shape of things to come for Magpies

IN GOOD SHAPE ... Alan Pardew, Demba Ba and Fabricio Coloccini.
IN GOOD SHAPE ... Alan Pardew, Demba Ba and Fabricio Coloccini.

DEMBA Ba says Newcastle United’s attitude was spot on at Old Trafford.

The striker scored his ninth goal of the season from the penalty spot in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Ba cooly rolled the ball past David De Gea to cancel out Javier Hernandez’s 49th-minute opener after Manchester United’s furious protests over the controversial kick had been quelled.

Rio Ferdinand was wrongly penalised for fouling Hatem Ben Arfa in the box by referee Mike Jones on the instruction of his linesman, Mike Flynn.

The decision dominated the post-match headlines, and Sir Alex Ferguson could be reprimanded by the Football Association for his critical comments after the game.

However, Ba felt Newcastle – who had edged the first half, and had Jonas Gutierrez sent off 11 minutes from time for a second bookable offence – had earned their slice of luck.

“We’re very happy, even if we didn’t win,” Ba told the Gazette.

“We were playing with one man, and we still kept out shape and got a result. We’re very happy.”

The previous weekend, Newcastle had been beaten a few miles away by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

And the performance owed everything to the frustration felt that afternoon when they lost their unbeaten record.

Ba added: “I think we were the better team in the first half. We went on the pitch with a different attitude to last week. This week we said ‘let’s chase them, let’s play and do the job’.

“That’s what we did. We deserved the draw at half time.

“My thoughts when we got the penalty was that after the lucky goal they got, we needed to have a lucky goal as well. We got it.

“I just took the ball and looked at the net – I just wanted the ball to hit the net. That’s it.

“That was only the second penalty of my whole career – the first one was in Stoke.

“It was very important – more for the team than for me.

“We’re just continuing on our way, and it’s a great result to get 1-1 before playing Chelsea (on Saturday).”