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3 May 2014
• St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 50239
Shola Ameobi 18'
L. Rémy 87'
S. Taylor 90'+
That's all from me, then, from our live coverage of NEWCASTLE UNITED 3-0 CARDIFF CITY. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. See you again soon.
Cardiff return to the Championship at the first time of asking, which is a shame, but they just have not been good enough at this level. For them, the rebuilding begins. For Newcastle, there are similar questions but, for now, the players are enjoying a little farewell wander round the pitch.
For Cardiff, tears and what-might-have-beens. Their strong second half efforts were not enough, and the substitution of Campbell was mystifying. Two excellent chances, firstly from Jones and then from Gunnarsson, could have been the turning point, but in their effort to push on, Cardiff left themselves too open.
Newcastle are slightly flattered by the final score, but, against a backdrop of fan unrest and walk-outs, the team should be commended for a decent victory in their final home game of the season.
Having said that, for the whole of the first half, Cardiff looked every inch the relegation certainties, bereft of ideas and reduced to chucking long passes forwards and hoping that the industry of Campbell or the pace of Zaha would be enough.
Well, well. In the end it looks like a comfortable score-line for Newcastle but, in truth, Alan Pardew's men were under the cosh for long periods of the second half.
90' + 3'
AND THAT IS IT! 3-0 to Newcastle, and Cardiff look shattered and down.
90' + 2'
Sissoko fires in a shot when he could have crossed, Marshall saves well.
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
STEPHEN TAYLOR SCORES TO HAMMER IN THE FINAL NAIL
90' + 1'
Taylor nearly turns the ball into his own net from a Zaha cross!
Taylor collects a downward header from a corner off his chin and chest and knocks it in. That obviously settles it, and Pardew's defensive substitute grabs the goal. It was inevitable that Cardiff would concede from a set-play; the only surprise is that it took so long.
Sissoko surges forwards and wins a corner from a deflected shot. Alan Pardew looks strangely subdued for a manager who is wining.
Barring a miracle, friends, CARDIFF ARE RELEGATED.
REMY GOAL! The ball comes to the Frenchman just on the edge of the six yard box, who calmly slots it home under the advancing, star-fish-shaped Marshall. 2-0 to the Magpies.
Fabio Da Silva
Cardiff throw it forwards but Ameobi challenges Jones well, and Haidara scoops it forwards. Cardiff gather and look to attack again, but lose out. Sissoko and Tiote combine to set up...
Bellamy sends in a great ball but Jones gambled and stayed central when he could have had a chance at the back post. Wolff Eikrem has come on for Fabio, as Cardiff also go to a back three.
Newcastle are basically giving up the ball now and Cardiff have pretty much all the possession. Gosling does release Sissoko on a rare foray but Marsahll gathers and Cardiff have it again.
Cardiff are less lethargic now. Newcastle are just stepping up when they can to squeeze or try to win the ball, but without over-committing forwards. Gunnarsson overruns a header from Jones. Fabio collects it wide left and Zaha swings in a cross. Jones goes down in the area, but nothing doing.
The resulting free-kick is too deep and Cardiff push forwards again now. Bellamy and Zaha combine. Newcastle have everyone back and Bellamy runs the ball out of play.
Haidara wins it from Jones, and Tiote collects and keeps the ball with Newcastle. They are doing their best not to lose the ball now, but eventually Haidara bursts forwards on the left. He is fouled, and Newcastle gather themselves.
The corner is weak, but Newcastle had no-one in there anyway. This is intriguingly poised now, because Newcastle will sit and defend, but that will invite a desperate Cardiff onto them. I think Newcastle should be looking to push foward, but I can't see it. Newcastle have gone to a 3-5-2 as well.
REMY! In acres of space after a long ball, Remy hammers a shot from the left. As Marshall dives, Caulker sticks out a leg and deflects it wide anyway. Anita comes off for Taylor before the corner is taken.
A fabulous sliding challenge there from Coloccini in the centre of the park. Zaha and Debuchy then tangle too. Those Cardiff chances have upped the energy in this game one hundredfold.
OH MY! Not sure how Coloccini has managed to keep that out from Gunnarsson either. Krul was stranded. Cardiff are laying some siege here.
KRUL! Cracking low save from the Dutchman. Zaha swings in a cross and it finds its way to Jones whose shot is saved.
Lovely sliding challenge from Turner sets Mutch off on a long, direct run. His left-footed effort is wasteful again though. All this possession is not, yet, doing Cardiff much good. They have been vastly better this half, but it's not yet been enough.
One ex-Sunderland striker comes on for another, then. Kenwyne Jones has not scored since his debut, so now would be a good time to rectify that.
It looks like Jones is coming on for Campbell, which is odd because he has been Cardiff's best player, Zaha maybe aside. Zaha tries to get onto the end of a ball from Mutch but it is too long.
Some fans have left on the 69th minute as planned. Now back to the football.
Yellow CardMathieu Debuchy
A reckless foul there from Debuchy resuilts in a yellow card. Can Cardiff do something with the resulting free kick?
Cardiff, who must win to have any hope of avoiding the drop, are working hard here, but need to do something far more inventive than lumping forward the ball. The game feels oddly flat at the moment. Zaha runs it out again, but he does look like the best outlet for Cardiff at the moment.
Haidara is off-side after an angled through-ball from Ameobi, but his shot was too high anyway.
Zaha is fouled by Anita. Whittingham will play it in. The header out comes to Mutch, who volleys it first time, angling out to the left. A wasted effort that, as he had time to take a touch.
The move peters out and Cardiff run it fowards through Campbell. He tangles with Debuchy and the ball runs out for a Cardiff throw-in. The Blues retain possession but Caulker's long ball forward is easily dealt with. Newcastle don't get to the second ball, but Whittingham's shot is cleared easily.
As Newcastle defend another Cardiff sally into their half, some of their fans are leaving. There are two protest times, 60mins and 69mins. Not sure why they cannot agree on one time, but there you go. Haidara, who has got forward well, makes another run.
Cardiff try to play it long again, but the Newcastle defence hold firm. Zaha dribbles it deep into the box and wins a corner, firing a shot into a Newcastle defender. The corner is cleared and Gouffran whizzes foward. The run ends in a free-kick to Cardiff.
Newcastle have had a little more of the ball in the last two minutes, but they've not done a great deal with it, that Williamson shot aside. The chants from fans continue. Debuchy swings in a cross which is slashed away, and Haidara has a go from the other side, but it goes out for a goal-kick.
A Williamson shot is deflected wide for another Newcastle corner. Tiote and Anita build it a bit wide, but Newcastle are forced back.
Campbell is still working his socks off (not literally, or what would hold in his shinpads?), but he now seems to have some proper support. It's hard to tell whether the substitution has invigorated Cardiff, or whether it was the team-talk or the hostility of the St James' crowd towards their own side.
Cardiff continue to press as the Toon Army start to get on the backs of their team a little. There is also some clear anti-Pardew chanting. Cardiff could capitalise on this sentiment if they continue to pressure the Newcastle back four. A deep, deep cross from Campbell nearly creeps in at the far post with Krul flapping.
Newcastle need to find their rhythm again. Remy is down after a challenge with Mutch. He just seemed to catch his studs in the turf as he turned to protect the ball from the Cardiff striker. Certainly not a foul. Newcastle will be desperate not to lose him.
The corner is too flat and Campbell's header loops backwards to Whittingham, but his through ball is high and slow and Krul takes it easily without any Cardiff pressure.
A corner is won by Mutch off Haidara. The first five minutes of the second half have been pretty much all Cardiff.
Zaha runs strongly and the ball breaks to Gunnarsson, but Haidara sticks out a leg on the edge of the box and Newcastle run in forward. Cardiff win it back though. They've started far, far better this half.
Turner hooks the ball wide after the Cardiff corner pings about in the box a bit. Bellamy will inject some directness and pace to Cardiff. Kim did nothing with his only chance of the game and was otherwise pretty quiet, so no complaints from him.
Haidara is another Francophone, swashbuckling full-back who will replicate Dummett's attempts to give Newcastle some width. Cardiff win a corner with some good work from Zaha.
Haidara is on for Dummett for Newcastle, and Solskjaer has swapped Kim for ex-Newcastle man Bellamy. Will it be enough?
This next 45 mins is Cardiff's last chance to save their Premier League status. If the first 45 was anything to go by, they are going to struggle. It is possible that Campbell or Zaha can generate something on the break, or that Whittingham can magic something from a set-piece, but otherwise, it just doesn't seem very likely.
I'll be back after a short break to make some herbal tea.
Newcastle are by far the better team, but are not without issues. They look very narrow when the full-backs don't get forward, and while Sissoko has drifted in superbly, Gouffran has not contributed much at all. Ameobi has worked hard and been the best player so far, with Debuchy and Sissoko a tied, close second.
Cardiff are sitting deep and trying to break, largely by knocking it long to Campbell or Zaha on the left, but their inability to retain possession is killing their chances.
Krul's save from Zaha was superb, and Marshall has also saved well from Debuchy and claimed well from a few crosses too. He had no chance with the Newcastle goal, and Cardiff have generally left their 'keeper looking rather exposed.
Half-time between NEWCASTLE UNITED and CARDIFF CITY and it's the Toon Army who have the most the cheer. Not only has Ameobi's fine header put them one up, but one chance from Zaha aside, Cardiff have barely threatened.
45' + 1'
Into extra time at the end of the first half, and Sissoko floats a cute ball into the Cardiff box after good running by Debuchy. It's cleared but won back by Tiote. Cardiff looked knackered and bereft of ideas and must be delighted when the whistle goes for half time.
Newcastle paint some triangles out on the left with Ameobi seeing a lot of the ball. They run out of steam though and Caulker hoofs it clear. Caulker is one of only two outfield players who has completed every minute of every game this season.
There will be at least 2 mins of stoppage time. Which is kind of a shame.
Debuchy hurtles foward again and swings in a deep, long cross which Marshall does well to collect under pressure. Newcastle take control again almost immediately and recede away from the Cardiff goal to keep possession.
Kim finds Whittingham, who finds John, and Cardiff win a throw-in. But pretty much any time Cardiff get into the final third, their collective concentration and control breaks down, as it done again.
Ameobi has done a fine job holding up the ball and linking play, as well as scoring. He brings the Newcastle midfield into the game, but the move breaks down when Dummett's cross is plucked by Marshall. The ball comes back quickly towards Cardiff's goal, but Sissoko screws a shot wide.
Campbell turns Dummett inside out but is then cynically pulled back by the Newcastle man. Whittingham's cross is lovely from the free-kick, but it is fractionally too high for everyone with Krul stuck on his line.
Tiote turns Fabio beautifully but his cross is well-defended. Kim is flattened by Dummett and Cardiff can clear their lines.
Campbell out wide wins a throw off Coloccini which Fabio takes. Kim knocks it straight out though, which is a waste. If Campbell is out wide, winning the ball, then he's not in the middle to score. Which always seems like Cardiff's best option.
Whittingham swings in a deep free-kick after Gouffran fouls Mutch. Caulker's header on the edge of the box is too deep to be a pass and not hard enough to be an effort on goal.
Cardiff are still thumping it long a bit too much though, and Williamson and Coloccini will not be too worried. The ball is moved forward by the Magpies and Tiote hammers it wide from distance.
Solskjaer's switch of Kim and Zaha has stirred it up as Cardiff now seem to think they have a decent outlet in Zaha on the left. A dinked through ball is well gathered by Krul.
Sissoko's deflected cross hits the side of the post with Marshall watching. It was always going out, but Newcastle have another corner, which is deep. Campbell heads it forwards. Newcastle come again but Zaha breaks. Anita tackles him well.
Zaha and Debuchy clash there in the penalty area as Debuchy tracks back. That looked a decent challenge, and the switch of Zaha to the left flank is immediately paying dividends for the Weslh side.
OH ZAHA! What a save from Krul, who sticks out a leg after Zaha's mazy run ends with a low shot fired across himself. Krul was going the wrong way too. Marvellous stuff from both players there.
Craig Bellamy gets a bit of a boo from the Toon faithful. Hardly a shock, for various reasons. Cardiff's midfield control lets them down again. This first half an hour has shown exactly why Cardiff are in the situation they are. Let's not forget, Newcastle are on a massive slide of their own, but Cardiff have made them look decent.
KIM! Appearing out of nowhere, the ball comes through to Kim on the edge of the six yard box after Williamson misjudged the flight of a cross. Debuchy got back well, but Kim was undone as much by his own surprise as the Frenchman's attention.
Dummett and Debuchy are playing well as overlapping full-backs, as Sissoko and Gouffran drift inside. You can see why Pardew has been tempted by the 3-5-2 this season.
Ameobi was pulled down but got a flicked header away anyway. Newcastle retain possession and are happy playing it around, waiting for Cardiff's pressing to pull them out of shape.
The Cardiff midfield, Gunnarsson's beard aside, has been anonymous. Quick balls from the back four to the flanks, either Zaha or Campbell drifting wide, have been the only outlet. Kim and Whittingham have barely touched the ball.
Though Cardiff have broken quickly a few times since this game kicked off, Newcastle look settled and in control now. Cardiff's lack of organisation is telling. Debuchy swings in a deep cross and eventually it breaks to Sissoko whose shot is deflected onto the post with Marshall stranded.
Another Newcastle short corner comes to nothing, but there are showing some invention with the set-pieces.
AMEOBI SCORES! Not from a set piece, but Ameobi pulls off a Shearer-like diving header after a superb cross from Sissoko. The marking was terrible. It was non-existent. One of those was always destined to go in.
That sort of defending is the reason why Cardiff have been architects of their own downfall. Marshall was left totally exposed as Ameobi was able to appear at the back-stick unmarked.
AMEOBI! Heads against the bar from that corner, and then the follow up header goes over. Cardiff's set-piece defending is woeful: you do not leave someone like Ameobi open.
MARSHALL! Diving low to his left, the outstanding Cardiff keeper parries a fiercely hit Debuchy drive. Newcastle have another corner...
Newcastle win another free-kick after Turner fouls Ameobi. Dummett fires another one straight into the wall. How much do Newcastle miss Cabaye's skills with the dead ball? 'A lot' is the answer you're looking for.
Remy took the corner short to Gouffran who laid it back to him. Remy's shot was low and dragged wide, but Cardiff need to switch on at set-plays, or Newcastle might capitalise.
Newcastle are playing with some fluidity and Sissoko pops up on the left after good work from Gouffran and Tiote. His cross-cum-shot goes out via a Cardiff player and Remy will take the corner.
Great recovery tackle from Debuchy allows Newcastle to build again having lost it to Campbell. Campbell is a big fan of drifting wide and Debuchy will have his hands full tracking those runs.
Anita makes a great run into the box but Coloccini's pass is overhit and wide. Marshall restarts, looking again for Zaha. I think Zaha will look to target the inexperienced Dummett, who also likes to get forward and may mess up his positioning.
Krul restarts with Debuchy off the pitch having the magical water treatment. Tiote draws a foul after a surging run. Gunnarsson's beard is magnificent, by the way. Dummett fires the free kick hard into the wall.
CAMPBELL! Oh what a miss! Krul comes forward to punch a Fabio through ball, and it lands at Campbell's feet on the edge of the box. The striker has been in fine form but shanks it wide, with Krul up and spreading his arms to make it tough. Debuchy is down after the Krul flap too.
Good defending from Zaha sees Dummett forced to dribble it out for a Cardiff goal-kick. Zaha will need to work hard today as Newcastle will look to exploit that flank. Cardiff's Marshall, who has been an outstanding 'keeper this season, will need to be on his mettle to.
Debuchy hits the corner directly on the volley and it was as high, wide, and handsome as you're likely to see. Having said that, the clearly rehearsed corner gave him very little chance to get a good strike.
And they are OFF! Sissoko immediately surges down the right and pulls it back for Remy, whose first touch is poor. Fabio blocks and it's a corner.
With everything to play for, this game promises to have everything! Stay tuned for NEWCASTLE vs CARDIFF.
Cardiff have only won three times at St James' Park out of forty-nine meetings between the teams, but Newcastle have lost nine times this season by at least three goals, an ignominious record.
Newcastle's most creative player, Hatem Ben Arfa, has been sent to train with the reserves and is not in the squad, though striker Luuk de Jong is welcomed back after injury and could provide some class off the bench.
Newcastle's season has imploded, with six defeats in a row, their worst league form since 1987. Fans are planning a walk-out in protest at the actions of owner Mike Ashley and manager Alan Pardew in the 69th minute, which evokes 1969, the last time Newcastle won anything (the Fairs Cup).
This game could not be more 'must-win' for Cardiff. Anything less than a victory will effectively guarantee relegation if Sunderland can pick up a point from their last two games.
Cardiff bench: Lewis, McNaughton, Wolff Eikrem, Cowie, Berget, Bellamy, Jones.
Cardiff's starting line-up (4-4-1-1): Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner, John; Gunnarsson, Kim, Whittingham, Zaha; Mutch; Campbell.
Newcastle's bench: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara, Taylor, Gosling, de Jong, Armstrong
Newcastle's starting line-up (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran; Remy, Ameobi.
I'm Alex Stewart and I'll be your host for this win or bust game for Cardiff, which also has significant importance for the future of Newcastle United and their manager Alan Pardew and Chairman Mike Ashley
Good afternoon ladies and gentleman, and welcome to LIVE coverage of Newcastle United vs Cardiff City
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