Newcastle United v Stoke City – Match Report
Newcastle United 2 Stoke City 1
Sunday 10 March 3pm
Watch Video Highlights Here
Maybe the biggest tribute you can pay to Stoke City was perhaps that made by their own fans, possibly the lowest Premier League travelling support we’d ever seen.
The less than gracious comments by Stoke’s anti-football manager afterwards were just music to the ears, Pulis not giving any credit and instead talking about Cisse should have been sent off and not getting decisions.
If you were really generous you would say that Stoke made it difficult for Newcastle but even their own fans are losing patience with their ‘style’.
Newcastle didn’t play well by any stretch of the imagination but Tony Pulis’ team and strategy is just painful to watch, especially when you end up gifting them the lead…
The visitors never looked like scoring until Tiote fell right into the trap and on his backside as his sliding tackle gave Walters the chance to make sure he went down.
With hindsight you can say their spot-kick did Newcastle a favour because at that stage Newcastle had appeared to run out of both energy and ideas, the visitors’ goal waking up both crowd and players.
Only six minutes after Stoke’s 67th minute opener and Sissoko cleverly surged forward only to be brought down right on the edge of the box. With their giant wall I gave no hope of a clip over the wall but that is what Yohan Cabaye beautifully delivered, game on.
This might not have been Sissoko’s best game so far for Newcastle but even in the final minutes he was willing to get his head down and run with the ball, trying to make something happen, as much by sheer will as by ability.
Haidara and Marveaux straight away replaced Santon and Tiote, which gave initial impetus to United going forward but slightly more vulnerable at the back as tired legs meant more space around the midfield area.
Haidara did well going forward and helped us win even more corners, fourteen in total, for all the good they did with Cabaye’s poor delivery and their tall defenders and very competent keeper. In all other areas our captain was excellent but surely we have to come up with a different free-kick plan.
For the third time since the January transfer window we have come back to win from a losing position in a Premier League match, I don’t think I need to tell you how many points we’d have got from these three matches without the new signings.
With seconds left of injury time left, Newcastle had great possession around the box and when Marveaux slotted it through to Papiss Cisse in acres of space, most of the crowd looked towards the linesman but no flag and our Senegalese striker put it away.
Today proved that spirit can take you a long way.
For the opposition, Walters is a handful but you wouldn’t want him playing for you, while easily their best player was Nzonzi
We’ll leave the last word to Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan;
“Obviously I want to apologise to all the supporters too, especially those who travelled all the way up here – it is a hard one to take, especially for myself”.
I’m sure Whelan will have plenty time tonight to pop round all the travelling supporters’ houses and personally apologise, he should be back in time for Eastenders!
Newcastle: Elliot, Debuchy, Taylor, Mapou, Santon (Haidara 74), Tiote (Marveaux 74), Cabaye, Gutierrez, Gouffran (Campbell 86), Cisse
Unused Subs: Harper, Perch, Anita, Obertan
Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Wilkinson, Shotton, Nzonzi, Whelan, Walters, Jerome (Whitehead 88), Crouch (Jones 84)
Ref: Andre Marriner
As an added bonus, here is a ‘From The Terraces’ view of Cabaye’s free-kick, listen out for the patter from the East Stand ‘commentators!
[youtube_sc url=”http://youtu.be/yU_OTc8uCx0″ rel=”0″ showinfo=”0″]
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