Newcastle United beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at the Reebok Stadium after two second half goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba were enough to separate the two teams.
The result sees Newcastle go up to 7th in the league and end a run of games in which the Magpies haven’t won in their last six fixtures, picking up only two points from their last six games before today.
Bolton were not able to capitalise on their bottom of the table win over Blackburn last week and the Trotters stay in 19th position after Rovers picked up a morale boosting point against Liverpool at Anfield, which leaves them just one point behind Bolton.
The first half was a lacklustre affair by both sides but Newcastle were clearly the better team as Bolton manager Owen Coyle started the match with Kevin Davies, Tuncay Sanli and Chris Eagles on the bench.
Ireland international Leon Best had a chance in the 2nd minute when he was played through by Demba Ba but the striker pulled his shot across the face of the goal.
Ryan Taylor came close in the 14th minute when his shot from a free kick was pushed clear by Jussi Jaaskelainen but the majority of play and chances in the first half fell to the away side.
It took Bolton until just five minutes before half time before they really troubled Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal, when Martin Petrov’s dangerous free kick was brilliantly saved by the Dutch ‘keeper.
Bolton seemed to come alive in the few minutes before half time as their best move of the game in an exchange between Klasnic and Petrov saw the latter’s low cross find nobody in the Newcastle box.
The second half got underway and Petrov was once again at the centre of a dangerous move for Bolton when his cross from the wing nearly found Klasnic deep inside the Newcastle box but Krul bravely punched the ball clear.
Bolton’s lack of a cutting edge up front was evident for all to see and second half substitute Ben Arfa made an immediate impact on the game in the 69th minute with a goal.
Bolton substitute Chris Eagles allowed Ryan Taylor away down the left wing and his cross was met superbly by Ben Arfa, whose volley found the back of the net from 15 yards.
Just two minutes later, the visitors had doubled their lead after Gabriel Obertan beat Paul Robinson on the right wing and sent a cross in to Demba Ba, who made no mistake from close range.
Owen Coyle reacted by throwing on Kevin Davies and Tuncay but it was too little too late for Bolton as Newcastle ended the game as comfortable winners.
Bolton are still one of the favourites to go down at the end of the season, and on this display, it’s hard to argue; Betfair.com have the Trotters on 1.77 to get relegated at the end of the season.