Ba's brace leads Newcastle past 10-man Wigan
Newcastle, England (Sports Network) - Demba Ba bagged a first-half brace and Gael Bigirimana added his first Premier League goal in the second half to see Newcastle claim a 3-0 win over Wigan at Sports Direct Arena on Monday.
The Magpies looked destined to snap a four-game losing streak from early on when Wigan was reduced to 10 men.
Maynor Figueroa was sent off in the 11th minute for a barrelling challenge into Ba to deny the striker a scoring opporunity. The Latics received a "double punishment" with Ba converting the ensuing penalty.
Newcastle made the most of the extra man by doubling its advantage in the 20th minute. Ali Al Habsi parried a shot from distance into Ba's path and the Newcastle striker calmly slotted the ball into the empty net for his 10th goal of the season.
Alan Pardew's men were bossing the game with a two-goal lead and a one-man advantage, but Bigirimana put the winning result beyond any remaining doubt by curling a beautiful left-footed effort into the upper corner from outside the penalty area in the 71st minute.
The win helps Newcastle improve to 17 points, going five points clear of the relegation zone.
Wigan suffers its ninth loss of the season, remaining on 14 points.