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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
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

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York