St. James' Park
Barclays Premier League
By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Newcastle United 1 (Ba 90+3)
Swansea City 2 (Michu 58, De Guzman 87)
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90+4mins: It's finished Newcastle 1 Swansea 2 despite Demba Ba's late consolation. That's two defeats in a row for the Magpies - both at home - and there's no doubt about it: Newcastle are currently struggling to repeat last season's fine form. Swansea were excellent, it must be said, but it's still disappointing to suffer back-to-back defeats at St. James' Park - the first time that's happened under Alan Pardew.
90+3mins - NEWCASTLE GOAL (1-2): A glimmer of hope for Newcastle as Ba finally beats Tremmel after Marveaux's effort had crashed back off the bar. A Swans defender tried his best to get Ba's follow-up away from the line but he couldn't and the fans at least have a little something to cheer.
90+2mins: Ben Arfa blazes a long-range strike way over the bar - that sums up United's lack of real ideas and creativity today, even though Ben Arfa has offered more than most.
90mins: There will be four minutes of stoppage time but it would take a brave man to bet on United to salvage this now.
87mins - SWANSEA GOAL (0-2): It's going to be two home defeats in a row for Newcastle United. With the hosts trying to force an equaliser, Swansea broke and found Graham in the box; Krul made a superb stop to keep out his low shot but De Guzman was lurking at the far post to gobble up the rebound and surely wrap up the points for the visitors, who have delivered a fantastic away performance.
86mins: Marveaux pokes the ball to Ben Arfa, who drops a shoulder and shoots from the edge of the box but there's not much power behind it and it's easy for Tremmel. Ben Arfa looks the man most likely for Newcastle but even he is struggling to find a breakthrough.
83mins: Shola Ameobi turns onto Ba's pass and lets fly from 22 yards - Tremmel is unconvincing in keeping out but just about manages to pat it away from danger.
82mins: Boyhood Newcastle fan Danny Graham comes on in place of the goalscorer Michu for the final eight minutes as Laudrup makes his third change.
76mins: United's attacking switch almost costs them a second goal as Swansea break in numbers once again and Michu scuffs his shot from Hernandez's pull-back when he was 12 yards out.
75mins: It more or less seems to be a case of three at the back for Newcastle, with Anita playing somewhere in between left-back and left midfield and tasked with getting up and down that flank.
72mins: Ben Arfa takes the match by the scruff of the neck as he embarks upon a run similar to the one which turned the game against Bolton last season but there's no goal at the end of this one - instead, he lays off to Shola Ameobi whose low cross from the right is scrambled clear.
66mins: The dangerous Shechter is off for Kemy Agustien right after Angel Rangel is booked for a foul on Sammy Ameobi, who was in full flight and has ghosted past two men.
64mins: Ben Arfa lays the ball off for Tiote to cross from the right and Ba peels off at the far post to get a head to it, but although he tries to send it back across Tremmel, the keeper is able to get down well to hold.
62mins: Swansea make their first substitution and it's former Newcastle winger Wayne Routledge who comes on for Dyer. Pleasingly, he gets a spontaneous round of applause from the home fans who recognise his sparkling contribution to the Championship title-winning season of 2009/10.
58mins - SWANSEA GOAL (0-1): A hero one minute, a villain the next - Krul's awful clearance has led to Michu giving Swansea the lead. Williamson passed the ball back to him but the keeper shanked his kick straight to Hernandez 25 yards from goal and he got down the left and crossed perfectly for the big striker to head home. Krul has won Newcastle so many points over the last couple of years but that was a costly error from the Dutchman.
57mins: Krul turns a shot around the post after Hernandez jinked inside Tiote 16 yards from goal and sent an effort which was arrowing in until Krul got a hand to it.
55mins: For all of Newcastle's pressure, they are almost undone by a goal on the break. An attack broke down in their own half and within a flash the ball was with Hernandez and then Shechter, who was 14 yards out and looked a sure scorer but blazed over the bar.
53mins: Good football from the hosts ends in Anita sliding in Ba and the striker's low shot is just too close to Tremmel. Newcastle have started the second half really well.
52mins: Brilliant strength and skill from Ben Arfa leads to another opportunity. The Frenchman shrugged Ben Davies off the ball then advanced and played the ball out to Sammy Ameobi, whose low cross was side-footed just wide by Ba who was flagged offside.
50mins: The atmosphere had been a little flat in the first half but it's improved since the restart and that seems to be spurring United on. Santon's cross from the left is controlled by Ba, who then slightly mishits his attempted shot on the turn, then as United come again Shola Ameobi tees up Anita whose drive was just over the bar.
47mins: Ben Arfa's left-wing corner is semi-cleared as far as Simpson, who sizes up a shot from 22 yards but fires over the bar.
FIRST HALF HALF UPDATES
45+1mins: Ferguson's left-wing flag-kick is delivered well for Ba to attack, but he heads over the bar and referee Phil Dowd's whistle blows after Tremmel's resulting goal-kick.
45mins: There will be just the one minute of added on time at the end of the half as United win a corner.
43mins: Jonathan de Guzman's right-wing corner is headed goalwards by Garry Monk and it may have been going in but for a vital block from Ba and then Williamson, who both did their jobs well in defending that set-piece.
41mins: The Swans break so quickly and in numbers, and that nearly leads to a goal as Schechter plays in Hernandez on the left and his cross is headed over by Michu. It's not just about keeping the ball under Michael Laudrup - it's about using it quickly and cleverly when there's the chance to counter-attack.
37mins: Shechter is causing problems for Newcastle and for Williamson in particular as he again races past the centre-back and into the box before going for an unusual chipped shot from a narrow angle which Krul is able to push strongly away. The momentum is presently with the Welsh outfit.
34mins: As the crowd is announced as 49,403 (with 1,000 visitors) Swansea come close as a long ball catches out Mike Williamson and Shechter nips in only for Krul to block at his feet and keep the scores level.
33mins: Newcastle's tactics at the moment seem to be to get the ball out to Ben Arfa on the right as often as possible, and that approach almost pays off. Taylor goes on a strong run upfield - his second of the game - before finding Simpson, who in turn feeds the Frenchman and lets him do the rest. He cuts inside and hits a venomous strike from just outside the box and Tremmel makes a fine save to push it behind. The corner is cleared as far as Tiote, whose shot flies over.
31mins: Ferguson's diagonal ball from the left is superbly taken down by Ba, who then shoots but Williams blocks and Anita is foiled as he tries to run onto the loose ball. United are on top now but still not at their free-flowing best.
27mins: The closest we've come to a goal yet, and it's Ba who almost gives Newcastle the lead. Ben Arfa's superb drilled cross from the right was perfect for the striker, who ran onto it without breaking stride but headed agonisingly wide from ten yards. Tremmel was at full stretch but that would surely have beaten him had it been on target.
26mins: Leon Britton tries to take on the Ivorian enforcer and loses hands down. The little midfielder tries to trick his way past Cheick Tiote, who wins the ball and then saunters forward with the Swansea man resorting to tripping him from behind and he is rightly booked. Ben Arfa's free-kick from nearly 30 yards is blocked.
23mins: Shane Ferguson crosses well from the left but Ba and Sammy Ameobi get in each others way as they go for it and in the end the ball hits one of their heads and loops into the arms of Gerard Tremmel. Then Ben Arfa, who is driving Newcastle forward whenever he can, dribbles upfield and makes room for a shot from the edge of the box which goes narrowly wide of Tremmel's near post.
19mins: Vurnon Anita's left-wing corner is met by the head of Taylor but although he gets good power behind it, he can only nod off target.
17mins: Michu, who is Swansea's top scorer this season, almost adds another to his collection as he strikes from 22 yards and has Krul flying to his left to parry. It was a good strike and a good save and it's been quite a lively opening to this match.
12mins: Hatem Ben Arfa and Danny Simpson link up well on the right to allow the Frenchman to jink into the box and drive a shot into the side-netting. It looked for a second like it had flown into the top corner and made the net bulge, and some fans in the Leazes were on their feet, but it was just off target.
10mins: Swansea break with two men onto one as Santon is left exposed and United are fortunate that Michu's ball towards Shechter is a poor one. It still falls for Pablo Hernandez but his shot is straight at Tim Krul when a better pass in the build-up would surely have carved Newcastle open.
9mins: Shechter is booked for a late attempt to win the ball from Davide Santon - he'd let the ball get away from him and was late as he stretched to win it back.
8mins: Ba's shot is well blocked by Ashley Williams as the ball drops kindly for the Senegalese striker, who of course is without his compatriot Papiss Cisse this afternoon. It was a half-chance for the Magpies, but good defending from the away side.
6mins: The first chance falls to the Swans as Itay Shechter's delightful first-time pass sets Dyer up to run through on goal with Steven Taylor trying his best to keep up. The Newcastle defender can't catch the pacy wideman but is able to do enough to make him rush his shot, which he drags across goal from 12 yards. Until that point, the visitors had, as expected, tried to keep possession for long spells but United have done well to disrupt them so far.
1min: With Newcastle in their home kits and Swansea wearing a very Welsh strip of red shirts, white shorts and green socks, the match has started. The visitors shared a pre-match huddle before Newcastle kicked the match off, kicking towards the Leazes end in the first half.
Newcastle United (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Gael Bigirimana 74), Mike Williamson, Steven Taylor (c), Davide Santon; Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita, Shane Ferguson (Shola Ameobi 46); Sammy Ameobi (Sylvain Marveaux 80), Demba Ba
Swansea City (4-3-3): Gerhard Tremmel; Angel Rangel, Garry Monk (c), Ashley Williams, Ben Davies; Jonathan De Guzman, Leon Britton, Itay Shechter (Kemy Agustien 66); Pablo Hernandez, Michu (Danny Graham 82), Nathan Dyer (Wayne Routledge 62)
Subs not used: David Cornell, Chico Flores, Dwight Tiendalli, Luke Moore
Referee: Phil Dowd