DEMBA Ba’s hat-trick sent Newcastle United third in the Premier League after becoming the first team to win at Stoke City in this season’s Premier League.
Ba’s goals took him to eight for the campaign, all scored in the last eight matches, and showed manager Alan Pardew had learned the lessons of last year’s 4-0 defeat on this ground.
Ba would have joined the Potters in January had he not failed a medical, joining West Ham instead – and leaving the Magpies to nip in to buy the Senegal international in the summer.
And he has repaid them with a superb start to the season with last night’s efforts taking him to eight goals in five games.
Of the Potters fans who made their displeasure known, Ba said: “If they want to boo they should boo their board.
“I am very happy to score a hat-trick here because it is a place you come and struggle.
“It’s very important when you have strikers who can run and defend.
“We did our best but the team at the back were very strong.”
Ba refused to look too far ahead despite Newcastle’s position in the table, adding: “We are just in the first 10 games so it’s a long way to go.”
All night Newcastle showed the necessary resolve in the face of Stoke’s predictable but hard-to-combat tactics. The victory takes Newcastle back to within a point of second-placed Manchester United ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime clash with Everton.