Swans heap more misery on Magpies

Croydon Guardian: Michu, left, hit the winner to send Swansea into the top half of the table Michu, left, hit the winner to send Swansea into the top half of the table

Miguel Michu set Swansea on the road to a 2-1 victory at Newcastle as the misfiring Magpies slipped to a second home defeat in seven days.

Newcastle had chances - Hatem Ben Arfa was denied a spectacular first-half opener by Swans goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel - and Demba Ba, who struck in injury time, was guilty of a series of costly earlier misses.

However, the visitors were more than a match for their hosts and were good value for their win, which was secured by Michu's 58th-minute header and a second from Jonathan de Guzman three minutes from time.

There were boos on the final whistle from some home fans amid a run of seven Barclays Premier League games which has brought just one victory. Papiss Cisse, who scored both goals in a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium last season, was conspicuous by his absence after Senegal carried through their threat to invoke FIFA's five-day rule following his failure to report for international duty because of injury.

The visitors might have struck the first blow when Nathan Dyer scuffed a sixth-minute shot across the face of goal, and Tim Krul was relieved to clutch Pablo Hernandez's long-range effort to his midriff four minutes later. Michu tested the Dutchman from distance with a curling left-footed effort with the Magpies short of inspiration.

However, as Ben Arfa picked up the baton, they gradually started to force their way into the game. The Frenchman blasted a right-footed effort into the side-netting and delivered a 27th-minute cross which Ba glanced just wide.

But it took a fine one-handed save by Gerhard Tremmel to keep out Ben Arfa's fizzing left-footed strike after he cut inside 12 minutes before the break. As Newcastle pressed forward, the Swans took advantage of the space they left behind them and Krul had to save twice from Itay Shechter in quick succession with his defence in disarray.

The chances came thick and fast in the second half and Ba might have scored twice inside a minute, first sidefooting wastefully wide from Sammy Ameobi's driven cross and then shooting straight at Tremmel after being played in by Ben Arfa.

Krul had to dive to his right 12 minutes into the second half to turn away Hernandez's strike, but there was nothing he could do seconds later when the same man latched onto his poor clearance and crossed for Michu to head firmly into the bottom corner.

The Magpies were demonstrating little composure in front of goal, and were grateful to see Michu uncharacteristically do the same to miscue Hernandez's 76th-minute cross wide. But the sting in the tail arrived three minutes from time when Krul could only parry substitute Danny Graham's shot and De Guzman smashed home the rebound from a tight angle, making Ba's late header practically irrelevant.

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