PREMIER LEAGUE: Newcastle overcome tardy start to down Bolton
Newcastle United have triumphed for the fifth successive match by recording a 2-0 win over Bolton at home today.
Alan Pardew's men looked extremely sluggish during the early stages of the contest but rallied in the second half to score twice through Hatem Ben Arfa - whose goal was quite superb - and Papiss Cisse who managed to get his name on the scoresheet for the fifth game in a row.
Newcastle had stuttered their way through the match until just over 15 minutes from time when Ben Arfa produced a magical goal with a dazzling run from midfield, skipping past a couple of Bolton defenders before slotting past an advancing Adam Bogdan from inside the area to get the Toon Army rocking.
The Magpies had improved dramatically in the second half and managed to go two ahead with seven minutes remaining when substitute Shola Ameobi worked his man under the ball before taking it down the right flank and then chipping into the path of Cisse who volleyed home from close range with a simple side-footer for his tenth goal in nine games.
In the 38th minute, Bolton escaped danger when Bogdan attempted to punch clear Ben Arfa's swinging free-kick only to see the ball ricochet off the face of teammate Samuel Ricketts and just clear of the goal.
Ten minutes later, Magpies keeper Tim Krul was at the top of his game when he denied Chris Eagles from point blank range with a brilliant save just before Martin Petrov's dangerous cross from the left only needed tapping in but Darren Pratley was inches away.
Mark Davies had a great chance to put Bolton ahead but scuffed his attempt from inside the box with Krul again coming up with the goods just before Ben Arfa's 68th minute curling free-kick from a central position wasn't far off.
It was from then that Newcastle really picked up their game and they were able to edge in front before Cisse wrapped it up to send the winners equal on points with fourth-placed Tottenham, but behind on goal difference, whilst Bolton remained 16th with a second defeat on the trot.
TRIBAL ASKS: Can Newcastle still sneak a Champions League spot with the current form they are in?
Sports Direct Arena, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - 52,000
Yellow cards:NEW - Jonas Gutierrez 62' BOL - Nigel Reo-Coker 68'