Match Analysis: Newcastle United 1-0 Leicester City

Sports Mole takes a closer look at Newcastle United's vital 1-0 win over Leicester City as the Magpies kickstarted their Premier League season.

Newcastle United registered their first Premier League win of the season by beating Leicester City 1-0 at St James' Park this evening.

Kickoff was delayed by an hour after an LED screen inside the stadium prompted health and safety concerns, yet the first half did not prove worth the wait as both sides cancelled each other out.

Newcastle looked the more dangerous of both sides in the second half and finally took the lead on 71 minutes through Gabriel Obertan.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at how the match was won in the North East this evening.

Newcastle player Gabriel Obertan celebrates his goal with team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Leicester City at St James' Park on October 18, 2014© Getty Images

Match statistics

Shots: 12
On target: 6
Possession: 50%
Corners: 10
Fouls: 14

Shots: 3
On target: 2
Possession: 50%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 12

Was the result fair?

Just about, yes. Newcastle fashioned the better of the chances and deservedly won their first Premier League game of the season. It was one-way traffic for much of the second half but Leicester, despite having their moments, lacked the personnel in the final third to make the most of their brief attacking spells.

Newcastle's performance

Anything but a victory might have cost manager Alan Pardew his job at St James' Park and, to his credit, his players looked more than willing to fight for his retention. The Magpies were the better side throughout the contest and, if not for one or two dreadful misses, would have been comfortably ahead prior to Obertan's winner.

The overall performance was not overwhelming or particularly inspiring, but it was the result that ranked of the utmost importance this afternoon and this victory buys Pardew a little more time to make amends. Newcastle's season starts now.

Leicester's performance

The honeymoon period is well and truly over for Leicester who, since announcing themselves to the Premier League with a 5-3 win over Manchester United, have now lost twice and drawn once. Having gone down to Crystal Palace and drawn with Burnley, Nigel Pearson's side were not good enough yet again this afternoon as the Foxes looked devoid of creativity in the final third and lacked the ruthlessness to take any chances that did come their way.

Pearson added plenty of attacking options into the melting pot but even the arrivals of Jamie Vardy, David Nugent and Anthony Knockaert never looked like producing the moment of brilliance needed to salvage something from this game. It is back to the drawing board for Leicester, who look a different team unless striker Leonardo Ulloa is firing on all cylinders.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gabriel Obertan: He spent much of the first half on the periphery, yet gradually grew into the clash and scored the goal that might just prove a watershed moment in Newcastle's season. After collecting a pass from Papiss Cisse, Obertan evaded a few challenges on the edge of the box before taking aim and beating Kasper Schmeichel. Good goal to match a good overall performance from the former Manchester United winger.

Biggest gaffe

You don't expect a striker of Cisse's calibre to miss an open goal, but that is just what the Senegalese did early in the second half. He capitalised on a loose back pass from Paul Konchesky before rounding Schmeichel but, rather than tapping it home, he went for power and struck against the sidenetting in an incident which seemed to sum up Newcastle's early-season woes. Fortunately for him, it did not prove a decisive moment.

Referee performance

Having refereed and ultimately postponed Serbia's feisty Euro 2016 qualifier with Albania in midweek, Martin Atkinson would have relished a quiet day at the office to bookend a frantic week - and he got his wish today. Atkinson rightly booked three Leicester players - Liam Moore, Richie de Laet and Ulloa - and had no major decisions to make.

What next?

Newcastle: The Magpies look to build on this win by travelling away to Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday.

Leicester: Leicester are back on the road and travel to South Wales to face Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.

Newcastle player Papiss Cisse celebrates after scoring the first Newcastle goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Newcastle United at Liberty Stadium on October 4, 2014
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