Papiss Cisse’s late winning goal gave Newcastle United a 2-1 win over Stoke City and covered the cracks over a poor performance at St. James Park.
The game was an uneventful one with both sides failing to entertain the fans inside the staidum, but it was Stoke who took the lead through a Jonathan Walters penalty on the 67th minute.
Yohan Cabaye equalised with a top-drawer free-kick before Cisse popped up to grab the winner two minutes into injury time and take attention away from a poor game.
The game had a slow start, with only Cabaye’s long range effort that flew inches wide being a chance of note. Just after, Jonas Gutierrez curled just wide following a mazy run as Newcastle started to gain momentum. Just before half-time, they had one of the best chances of the entire game.
Cabaye’s stunning lofted pass picked out the run of Yoan Gouffran, but the French striker failed to hit the target as he carelessly poked the ball over the crossbar from just six yards out. It was a brilliant chance in a game that lacked the quality to create many opportunities, so Alan Pardew was regretful at half-time.
It got worse for Pardew after the break as Stoke were awarded a penalty. Walters led a counter-attack before cutting inside onto his right foot, into the penalty area. Cheick Tiote slid in with a clumsy tackle that took Walters off his feet, leavig the referee, Andre Marriner, no choice but to award a spot-kick.
Stoke’s Republic of Ireland international has missed his last two penalties against both Chelsea and Fulham respectively, but showed no signs of nervousness as he smashed the ball into the bottom corner to give Stoke an unlikely lead.
However, that lead could only last five minutes as a piece of magic dragged Newcastle back level. After a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the Stoke penalty area, Cabaye stepped up to brilliantly curl the ball over the wall and manage to dip back down into the top corner, via a hit off the crossbar. It truly was a stunning goal, and the momentum shifted in Newcastle’s favour.
Stoke were not completely out of it though, and could have retaken the lead when Peter Crouch found space on the edge of the box. Unfortunately, the former Liverpool striker failed to connect properly with his shot and the ball trickled into the grateful arms of Tim Krul.
Pardew tried to change the game by bringing on the influential midfielder, Sylvan Marveux, and the substitution worked as the Frenchman provided the assist for the winning goal. He picked the ball up from 25 yards out and threaded a delightful pass towards Cisse, and the prolific striker made no mistake in slamming past Begovic and gave the Magpies all three points.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Kyle Dixon