Newcastle 3 Cardiff City 0 match report: Toon Army force Alan Pardew to take cover

Home fans’ anger bemuses travelling support  as Cardiff are relegated after one season at top

St James' Park

When it came to the 69th minute in the former Sports Direct Arena yesterday, the mass walk-out added up to 2,000 at most. All afternoon the Toon Army had been singing songs of mutiny but when the appointed time arrived – to mark the last time any silverware of worth was deposited in the cobwebbed trophy cabinet at St James’, the European Fairs’ Cup back in 1969 – the vast majority of the 50,239 crowd remained in situ to see Newcastle end their six-game losing streak with a victory that cements their position in ninth place in the Premier League table.

Amid this latest episode in the perennial soap opera of Newcastle United, it passed barely without notice – certainly by the locals – that their opponents had something tangible to mourn. The defeat, combined with Sunderland’s first victory at Old Trafford since 1968, consigned Cardiff to relegation after one season back in the sun.

Their poor supporters looked bemused by the seething discontent expressed by the Newcastle fans – and must have felt like the Yorkshiremen in that Monty Python sketch, fighting about who had it the worst. They can only dream of their beloved red-shirted Bluebirds finishing in the top half of the  top-flight. It has not happened since 1954.

The harsh reality for them, beyond the visit of Chelsea a week today, is second-class Championship fare. “The realisation that we’re down is very disappointing,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reflected. “It’s the hardest moment in many of the players’ careers, and in mine as well.”

 

Asked whether he would be staying, Cardiff’s manager of five months replied: “Definitely. We’ve taken a step backwards. It’s about showing character and bouncing back. I’ve got a contract. I’m planning for the Chelsea match next week and for going forward.”

As for Alan Pardew, if he is to have a future with Newcastle United beyond their last-day trip to Liverpool, perhaps he should invest in a flak jacket to wear over his match day suit.  The Newcastle manager returned to home dug-out duty for the first time since his pitch-side ban to be greeted by a banner in the East Stand opposite that implored ‘Pardew Out, Ashley Out.’

The vocalised disaffection that followed was directed at both manager and owner. There were chants of “We want Pardew out” and, for the benefit of Mike Ashley, “You fat Cockney bastard, get out of our club.”

Twice in the opening quarter of an hour Pardew ventured out into his technical area but backtracked as the boos grew louder. It was all very pantomimic, although his players managed to maintain their composure and snatch the lead, Shola Ameobi heading home a right-wing cross from Moussa Sissoko in the 18th minute.

Sissoko also drove a low shot against the left-hand post but the jeers intensified when Pardew next appeared. By the midway point in the first-half, the manager’s assistant, John Carver, was despatched to relay instructions.

All the while, Solskjaer stood helpless alongside, watching his red-shirted charges struggle to turn the tide. Only when he switched Wilfried Zaha from wide on the right to the opposite flank did they spark to life, the Manchester United loanee wrong-footing Mathieu Debuchy on the left side of the penalty area and firing a low drive that Tim Krul saved with his outstretched right foot.

Ten minutes into the second half there were loud cheers at the sight of a banner depicting Pardew, Ashley and Joe Kinnear with a big red cross over the face of the departed director of football. Those holding the artwork were ejected and were cheered on their way – as were those who left in the 69th minute.

Those who remained saw a belated raging at the dying of the light by the visitors – Fabricio Coloccini making a goal-line clearance to deny Aron Gunnarsson – before Loïc Rémy side-footed a second goal for Newcastle in the 87th minute and then substitute Steven Taylor poked in a third in injury time.

Even then, the pantomime was not over. At the final whistle, Pardew swiftly shook hands with Solskjaer and disappeared down the tunnel. He did not come back when his players and support staff returned for an embarrassing mass acknowledgement to a near-empty stadium.

“I gave a quick clap before I went off,” Pardew said. “I didn’t want to make an issue or a problem. It was difficult today; I’ll make no bones about it. The most important thing was to get a victory for the fans.

“They’re obviously upset and angry about our recent run. I understand that … I apologise to them.”

Line-ups:

Newcastle (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara, 69); Sissoko, Anita, Tiote,  Gouffran (Gosling, 69); Shola Ameobi (S Taylor 78), Remy.

Cardiff (4-4-2): Marshall; John, Caulker, Turner, Da Silva (Eikrem, 86); Zaha, Mutch,  Whittingham, Kim (Bellamy, ht); Gunnarsson, Campbell (Jones, 73).

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Krul (Newcastle)

Match rating: 5/10

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions