Newcastle United 1 Leicester City 0: Obertan the unlikely hero at St James’s Park

NET GAIN ... Newcastle's Gabriel Obertan.
NET GAIN ... Newcastle's Gabriel Obertan.

NEWCASTLE United got a Premier League win at the eighth time of asking – thanks to forgotten man Gabriel Obertan.

Obertan scored the only goal of this afternoon’s game at St James’s Park.

Leicester City's Kevin Phillips with Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew during the Barclays Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 18, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle. Photo credit should read Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Leicester City's Kevin Phillips with Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew during the Barclays Premier League match at St. James' Park, Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday October 18, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Newcastle. Photo credit should read Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

The strike was the winger’s first for the club in almost two years.

But United’s first league win of the campaign wasn’t enough to lift the club out of the relegation zone.

Newcastle remain in 18th place, a point behind rivals Sunderland, who lost 8-0 at Southampton.

The game kicked off an hour late because of safety concerns after a panel surrounding St James’s Park’s new 60m TV screen at the Leazes End came loose.

It had to be secured before the turnstiles could eventually be opened at 3.15pm.

United manager Alan Pardew, pictured, made one change for the fixture, which was attended by owner Mike Ashley and London-based PR guru Keith Bishop.

With defender Mike Williamson sidelined with an injury, Steven Taylor made his first league start of the season.

Pardew also lost midfielder Cheik Tiote to injury in the warm-up, and Vurnon Anita replaced him in the starting XI.

Newcastle started well, and Fabricio Coloccini should have done better from a pull-back from Moussa Sissoko. Coloccini’s eighth-minute shot rolled just wide of Kasper Schmeichel’s goal.

Coloccini’s defensive colleague Paul Dummett struck a fierce drive into the arms of Schmeichel’s in the 20th minute.

United, however, lost their early momentum, and too often Papiss Demba Cisse, up front on his own, was chasing lost causes or hopeful balls upfield.

A deflected shot from Sissoko bounced wide of Schmeichel’s goal early in the second half, and Cisse put the ball into the side netting after latching on to a dreadful backpass and rounding the goalkeeper.

Pardew replaced Anita with forward Ayoze Perez as the hour-mark approached.

Newcastle’s breakthrough came in the 71st minute after a Leicester attack broke down. United quickly broke upfield, and Cisse played in Obertan.

The winger carried the ball into the box and cut inside from the left before beating Schmeichel with a right-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net.

United survived a nervy finale to claim all three points ahead of next Sunday’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur.

Twitter: @milesstarforth

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, S Taylor, Dummett (Haidara, 72); Sissoko, Colback, Anita (Perez, 59); Obertan, Cisse, Gouffran (Cabella, 90). Subs not used: Elliot, Ferreyra, Abeid, Armstrong.

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater, Morgan, James, Albrighton (Vardy, 56), Schlupp (Nugent, 56), Moore, Cambiasso (Knockaert, 79), Ulloa. Subs not used: Hamer, Hammond, King, Wasilewski.

Goals: Obertan 71

Bookings: Moore 22, De Laat 28, Ulloa 34

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 51,866