Stoke City 1 Newcastle United 0 match report: Erik Pieters consigns Magpies to another defeat


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The Independent Football

Alan Pardew was subjected to more hostile chanting from Newcastle fans as his side slid to a fourth consecutive defeat with a toothless performance against an opponent they had beaten 5-1 on Boxing Day.

It took a freak goal to give the home side the points but Newcastle, who have conceded 12 unanswered goals in their latest losing streak, did not force a save from Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Pardew, still banned from the dug-out for head-butting Hull’s David Meyler last month, watched from the stands as Newcastle’s 2,900 travelling fans called repeatedly for his removal, as well as urging owner Mike Ashley to leave.

“When you lose four games in a row as Newcastle manager you expect the fans’ frustrations to boil over and we need to settle that down,” Pardew said. “But the only way you do that is with a win, the only way to win the fans back is by getting a performance that gives us a chance of winning and unfortunately it did not come today.”

Stoke avenged their hammering at St James’ Park – where their manager Mark Hughes was sent to the stands after two of his players were shown red cards – after full-back Erik Pieters embarrassed his Dutch international team-mate Tim Krul with what was intended as a cross three minutes before half-time.

The Stoke left-back, trying to pick out the tall figures of Peter Crouch and Steven Nzonzi, instead landed the ball in the Newcastle net after Krul came off his line and misjudged its flight, although a gust of wind may not have helped.

It was his first goal in senior club football since April 2008, when he scored for Utrecht against Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie. He failed to find the net in 93 appearances for PSV Eindhoven, from whom he joined Stoke for £3 million last summer.

Newcastle had a reasonable claim for a penalty when Geoff Cameron brought down Papiss Cisse after 25 minutes but referee Mike Jones was unimpressed. In any case, Stoke created the better chances, most of them from the impressive Austrian winger Marko Arnautovic, the best of which saw a Crouch header bounce away off the foot of a post.

Stoke City (4-1-4-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Whelan; Odemwingie (Walters, 87), Ireland (Adam, 66), Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Crouch.

Newcastle United (3-4-1-2): Krul; Taylor (Yanga-Mbiwa, 61), Williamson, Coloccini; Anita, Tiote, Gouffran, Dummett; Gosling (Ben Arfa, 73); Ameobi, Cisse (Armstrong, 74).

Referee: Mike Jones.

Man of the match: Arnautovic (Stoke)

Match rating: 5/10