LONDON: Demba Ba wasted no time making a mark for Chelsea, scoring twice as the FA Cup holders hit back from a goal down to win 5-1 away to Premier strugglers Southampton at the start of their trophy defence in their third-round tie.
His role is to ease the match-by-match pressure on Fernando Torres but not at the sort of cost which would prevent Chelsea selling him on again at the end of the season if their next manager – owner Roman Abramovich wants that to be Pep Guardiola – does not want him.
Ba, who moved to Newcastle from West Ham in June 2011, replaces Daniel Sturridge, who left Stamford Bridge for Liverpool. Chelsea made money on the swap. They received £12.5m for Sturridge but paid ‘only’ the £7.5m ‘trigger’ stipulated in Ba’s contract with struggling Newcastle.
Victor Moses, Brane Ivanovic and Frank Lampard (penalty) scored Chelsea’s other goals against Southampton.
Giant-killing day in the FA Cup saw second division Brighton live up to the occasion by repeating last season’s dismissal of Premier strugglers Newcastle by 2-0.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, already without Chelsea-bound Demba Ba, rested too many of his other senior players and the Seagulls snatched a first-half lead through Andrea Orlandi on an assist from ex-England leftback Wayne Bridge.
Substitute Will Hoskins scored the second against a Newcastle side further weakened by the expulsion of captain Shola Ameobi for a second yellow card. He will miss Saturday’s important Premier League match against Norwich.
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