Newcastle United: Player Ratings vs Wigan

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Newcastle United: Player Ratings vs Wigan
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It was a much-needed three points for Newcastle, after a terrible run of three defeats to arguably inferior opposition. But Alan Pardew breathed a sigh of relief at the final whistle, thanks to two goals from Demba Ba and a Gael Bigirimana stunner.

Maynor Figueroa's early sending off played a huge part in the game, and when the Senegalese international duly converted the resulting spot-kick, there was only going to be one winner.

Despite a plethora of injuries, Newcastle will have gained much-needed confidence after some demoralising losses in recent weeks.

Here's how they rated...

Tim Krul: 6.5

Very much a spectator until the second half, where Wigan looked to be more aggressive through Arouna Kone, despite being down to 10. But the Dutchman is hugely improved and a rock at the back. First clean sheet of the season. 

Danny Simpson: 7

Didn't put a foot wrong and has made the right-back slot his own. Consistently overlapped down the wing and provided ample support going forward.  

Mike Williamson: 5.5

Still looks shaky at the back and will probably be the fall guy once Steven Taylor returns to fitness. Got away with a horrible back pass in the second half, but a clean sheet will give the youngster plenty of confidence going into the Fulham game.

Fabricio Coloccini: 6.5

A welcome return to the team and Newcastle definitely look better with him marshaling the back four, although it was a gentle introduction defending against 10. Nevertheless, a positive performance.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Davide Santon: 6

Did OK without making a huge impression on the game, although Anita didn't give him much to work with on the overlap. Picked up leg injury early into the second half and was taken off for precautionary reasons.

Sylvain Marveaux: 9  Man of the Match

Should have been in the starting lineup way before this home game and more than proved his worth with an outstanding attacking display. Wanted the ball and made some fantastic runs through the heart of the Wigan defence. Lovely assist for Bigirimana's third, deserved a goal himself.

Cheick Tiote: 7.5

Another huge plus to have the inspirational Tiote back in the side. The captain gave the forward line plenty of impetus as they virtually won the game in the first half. Still showed signs of naivety going in hard to plenty of tackles when a booking away from suspension, but that's what makes him a fan's favourite. Worryingly taken off at half time with unknown injury.

Vurnon Anita: 6

Passive performance from the Dutch midfielder who struggled to make a significant impact on the game despite having plenty of possession.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Jonas Gutierrez: 7

Good solid game from the Argentinean international who constantly linked up well with Cisse and Ba. Gave the ball away a little to cheaply at times, but still offered plenty to the winning effort.

Demba Ba: 8.5

Has been bubbling under recently and cut a frustrated figure in plenty of games, but more than delivered in this one. Took excellent penalty with plenty of confidence and was back to being the poacher that he is with a well-timed second.

Gave Gary Caldwell such a torrid 45 minutes that he has to be subbed at half time. Pardew will be looking for Ba to step up in the coming weeks. Despite having a quiet season to date, Ba joined Robin van Persie at the top of the goalscoring charts. Worryingly subbed at the end with apparent hamstring injury.

Papiss Cisse: 6.5

Still struggling for confidence after his breakout season and looks to be snatching at the ball when chances present themselves. But it will be a matter of time until he gets back to the form that made him such a huge part of Newcastle's highest ever EPL finish.

Gael Bigirimana (for Tiote): 8

Will remember his first ever goal for a long time to come. Arguably the goal of the weekend after finding space on the right hand side.

Shane Ferguson (for Santon): 7

Typical no-nonsense performance from the youngster who tackles hard and gets forward whenever possible. Continues to be integrated into the first team and looks a fantastic prospect for the future.

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