For the best photos from before and during the match, scroll to 'Photostream' on the box above left
Demba Ba’s fourth goal of the season fired Newcastle United to a narrow victory over Norwich City in the Barclays Premier League.
On a day when strike-partner Papiss Cisse squandered a penalty chance, Ba produced a finish worthy of Hatem Ben Arfa's slide-rule pass to allow Newcastle to claim a second league win of the season, but it took a fine 47th-minute save by Steve Harper to deny Andrew Surman an equaliser and former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton a point on his return to Tyneside.
The home side started slowly and City might have been ahead within five minutes had Wes Hoolahan not headed straight at defender Steven Taylor after full-back Javier Garrido had played a one-two with Surman on the left and crossed.
Norwich continued to threaten down the flanks but as the game wore on, the home side found their feet and with Ben Arfa causing problems for Garrido and Davide Santon stretching Russell Martin, they began to create chances.
United might have taken the lead after 19 minutes had Cisse connected well with Yohan Cabaye's free-kick at the near post. However, they were in front seconds. Ben Arfa cut inside from the left before sliding a pass into the path of Ba, who calmly slotted past the advancing John Ruddy.
Norwich refused to fold and Mike Williamson had to clear Richard Snodgrass's header off the line after good work by Hoolahan.
Cisse passed up another good opportunity 13 minutes before the break when he missed his kick from Santon's near-post cross, and Cabaye smashed the loose ball just wide, while Ba failed to make the most of more good work from Ben Arfa when he miscontrolled his pass in front of goal.
United had a chance to extend their lead in first-half injury-time when, after striker Steve Morison had fouled Williamson inside the Norwich penalty area, referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot. Ben Arfa looked to take the spot-kick but was persuaded to hand it over to Cisse. But the Senegal forward put his effort over the bar.
The miss might have proved more costly two minutes of the restart when Hoolahan turned the ball into Surman's path to put him through on goal. Harper was quickly off his line and the 37-year-old got down superbly to make a vital block as the midfielder attempted to lift a shot over him with the outside of his left foot.
Norwich continued to threaten and Jonas Gutierrez had to block a 53rd-minute Snodgrass effort with Santon also clearing Morison's header at the far post from the resulting corner.
Ben Arfa prompted a fine diving save by Ruddy three minutes later as the Magpies stepped up a gear with Taylor and Cabaye going close in quick succession.
Williamson headed a Cabaye corner straight at Ruddy five minutes later as Newcastle negotiated their way nervously to the final whistle.
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|11 Nov 2012||v West Ham (H)|