Dazzling December For Magpies'
It was a busy month for Newcastle as they played nine games in all competitions, They played six league games against Crystal Palace, Wigan, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. They played their final two Europa League Group K games against Sporting Lisbon and Dinamo Tbilisi. The other competition they played in was the Capital One Cup quarter-final against Npower Championship leaders Blackburn Rovers.
: Tom Cleverley
High-flying Newcastle hosted bottom side Crystal Palace as they looked to continue their impressive run of results. The Magpies' took the lead when Tom Cleverley volleyed in Davide Santon's cross. They doubled their lead after half time when substitute Gabby Agbonlahor tapped in Santon's cross. They got their third when Alessandro Matri reacted first to a loose ball in the penalty area and smashed the ball into the net. The match finished 4-0 when Tom Cleverley picked up Agbonlahor's through ball and slotted the ball past the keeper to score his second. Attendance: 42,048.
: Iván Ramis
After their confident 4-0 win over Crystal Palace, Newcastle looked to use the result to build from as they visited Wigan. However, Wigan held them to a draw as neither side could create enough chances to score from, and in the end failed to get a single shot on goal. An impressive display from Wigan defender Iván Ramis helped Wigan to hold Newcastle to the draw. Attendance: 21,316.
: Alessandro Matri
Newcastle performed exceptionally well as they beat Diego Simeone's Manchester United 2-0 at St James's Park. In the first half, there were a host of chances for both sides. As the game neared the end, Alessandro Matri picked up substitute Gabby Agbonlahor's through ball and slotted the ball in at the near post with the keeper not reacting in time to get down to it. Matri doubled the lead when ex-Manchester United player Tom Cleverley tackled former teammate Nemanja Vidic on the halfway line. With Vidic left stunned on the halfway line, there was only one defender left. However, Alessandro Matri was there for support for Cleverley and Cleverley superbly squared the ball to Matri. Matri fired the ball past the oncoming David De Gea to round off an impressive victory. After the match, Diego Simeone was sacked by Manchester United, with Chelsea manager taking over at Old Trafford a few weeks later. Attendance: 52,405 (sellout)
: Moussa Sissoko
Looking to build on their 2-0 victory over Manchester United, Newcastle visited The Hawthorns where they came up against West Brom. West Brom took the lead when James Morrison tapped in Nicolas Anelka's cross. Newcastle equalized when Moussa Sissoko smashed in fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa's low cross to make it 1-1. Newcastle took the lead when Ben Arfa whipped in a corner which found Dutchman Vurnon Anita, who passed the ball past the keeper. They rounded off their victory when Mathieu Debuchy's cross found Moussa Sissoko and took the ball round the goalkeeper before passing the ball into the net. Attendance: 25,097.
: John Terry
Newcastle, who had already had some magnificent results already this month hosted Chelsea, who at this point still had the services of José Mourinho, who has since left for Manchester United. Newcastle took the lead when Alessandro Matri who looked set to score, instead selflessly squared the ball to Tom Cleverley who passed the ball past Petr Čech. Chelsea equalized before half time when English legend Frank Lampard hammered Rafael's cross past Tim Krul. The match finished 1-1 but Newcastle will not be too disappointed by the scoreline having held a strong Chelsea side to a draw. Attendance: 51,741.
: Davide Astori
Newcastle visited London, where they played Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Newcastle got off to a great start when Tottenham defender Gary Medel attempted to head a dangerous ball back to keeper Hugo Lloris. However, he didn't get enough on the header and Newcastle striker Demba Ba intercepted the back-pass and smashed the ball into the net. The match stayed 1-0 for the entire match with the help of a Man Of The Match performance from towering center back Davide Astori. Attendance: 36,284.
Europa League Group K Results: VS Dinamo Tbilisi & Sporting Lisbon
: Tom Cleverley
Having already qualified for the next round, Newcastle turned their attentions to winning the group. They hosted Georgian side Dinamo Tbisili as they hoped to keep their 100% record in the group. Newcastle took the lead when Alessandro Matri passed the ball to Tom Cleverley. Cleverley took the ball inside the penalty area before firing across goal and into the net. Dinamo Tbilisi equalized when Tom Cleverley fouled Mikel Alvaro in the area. Bakur Kakabadze converted the resulting penalty. After half time, Cleverley scored his second when he picked up Gaël Bigirimana's short pass on the edge of the area before firing at the goalkeeper. However the shot was too powerful to keep out and all he could do was push the ball into the net. Late into the game, Demba Ba scored a fantastic goal to make it 2-1. He ran on to Bigirimana's lofted ball before curling the ball into the top corner from 25 yards out. With Sporting Lisbon losing in the other game to RC Genk, this meant that Newcastle had won the group with one game in hand. Attendance: 41,420.
: Alessandro Matri
In what was the last game in Group K, Newcastle traveled to Portugal where they hoped to maintain their 100% record in the group. The visitors took the lead when Alessandro Matri picked up Demba Ba's fabulous through ball before firing past the goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Sporting Lisbon equalized when Franco Jara crossed the ball to Diego Rubio who smashed the ball past Tim Krul. The game remained 1-1 until late in second half stoppage time when André Santos fouled Gabby Agbonlahor in the penalty area. Matri converted the penalty to score his second of the game and ensure that Newcastle rounded off their Group K stage with maximum points. Attendance: 39,342.
Capital One Cup Quarter Final Result: VS Blackburn Rovers
: Matthew Kilgallon
Newcastle, having already beaten West Ham and Wolverhampton, they made a trip to Ewood Park where they played Blackburn. Blackburn took the lead when Scotsman David Goodwillie scored before half time. Goodwillie tackled young defender Kevin Mbabu, who was covering for the injured Davide Astori. Goodwillie went clean through on goal and fired past goalkeepr Tim Krul. The score remained 1-0 and Blackburn won the tie, setting up a semi-final clash between them and fellow Npower Championship side Reading. Attendance: 15,863.
Demba Ba wins The Player Of The Month award after finally making the performances that were expected of him on his return to The Magpies'. He scored twice this month from the wingers' position and also put in some very consistent performances with an average rating of 7.04.
The award for The Young Player Of The Month goes to Davide Santon, who turned in some very impressive defensive performances but also joined the attack where possible, making some great runs from the left flank.