Newcastle United 2 Stoke City 1 match report: Alan Pardew's relegation fears fade but Stoke face fight to death

 

St James' Park

Two minutes of injury-time had been played and two remained when Papiss Cissé produced his one meaningful contribution of the afternoon. Typically, his first touch, inside the Stoke City penalty area, looped the ball into the air. His second was more telling, striking a shot past Asmir Begovic.

Watch the highlights of the match here

That goal meant Newcastle United and Stoke ended the day level on points, but their respective graphs offer a different story. Stoke are moving downwards; Newcastle are moving up. Stoke have the worst record of a Premier League team in 2013. Stoke have won one game in their last 10. Stoke have scored nine goals away from home all season. Stoke have lost seven of their last nine games. Stoke have won only one of their last 24 away from the Britannia Stadium. It is an easy message to get. With 33 points already, they probably have enough not to worry about what is happening beneath them in the league table. Probably, but not definitely.

Tony Pulis spoke of being "absolutely distraught" after this latest defeat, an emotion brought on both by the loss and the nature of it, which was self-inflicted. He also thought Cissé was lucky still to be on the field of play, and he had a point. The Newcastle forward clashed with Marc Wilson in the 64th minute. In the ensuing coming-together, Cissé appeared to aim a kick at the Stoke defender, who had gone in strongly with a challenge. As Ryan Shawcross, the Stoke captain, stepped in between the pair, Cissé's arm seemed to strike him.

"On another day he might not have been on the pitch," added Pulis. "The referee deemed it was fine and he was still on the pitch; we should have defended it better."

Pulis was prickly in his match assessment. There had been a fractious feel to the game and the two benches had come together in the 71st minute. Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, had gone nose to nose with a member of the Stoke backroom staff. It was a key moment. At that point Stoke led. In the 67th minute, Cameron Jerome broke and played a pass to his left, to find Jonathan Walters, who in turn cut into the Newcastle penalty area, where a reckless challenge from Cheick Tioté flattened the Stoke forward. Give Walters his due, despite missing his two previous penalties, he stepped forward, and gave his side the lead in a pretty grim game.

Then Stoke really were the architects of their own downfall. The ball went from Begovic to Steven N'Zonzi to Glenn Whelan and then weakly back to Begovic. The Stoke goalkeeper, under pressure from Yoan Gouffran, parried the ball into the path of Moussa Sissoko, who bore down on goal. Whelan capped off a disastrous moment by clipping the Frenchman's heels. In the following melee, Steven Taylor tried to grab the ball from Begovic as the coaching staff of both sides began arguing with each other.

They at least had correctly read the importance of the situation. From just outside the penalty area, Yohan Cabaye curled a delightful, delicate free-kick off the underside of the crossbar and into the Stoke goal. That changed everything.

Newcastle had belief. In their previous two home games after their January spending, they had come from behind to win, against Southampton and Chelsea. Now they did it again, Sylvain Marveaux providing a moment of real quality to find Cissé, who had been played onside by Wilson, of all people.

"Papiss will be the first to tell you that he was awful today," said Pardew. "He didn't do anything really to influence the game other than do well on some defensive issues for us, but then the moment comes. It is an eye-of-the-needle pass from Marveaux. The ball pops up and most strikers would snatch at that but he let it come all the way down and finished it, in the 92nd minute, and that is not easy to do, trust me.

"To be honest, I think we're done. You've got to get 40 points, of course. We're now seven points away from that with nine games left and you would expect this team to follow through, with the standard now to be able to do that. The bigger picture is to finish strong.

"We can now look forward to Thursday [for the Europa League match against Anzhi Makhachkala] because we could have a really special night here now."

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
A Rutherford Raiders shirt with the PornHub sponsorship
football

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser

Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe gives a strong performance in Horns
film

Review: Alexandre Aja's film is a Twin Peaks-style mystery

News
Apple CEO Timothy Cook
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes