The Magpies end their pre-season with a defeat away to the Bluebirds, while the Black Cats and Norwich City also lose their final games before the Premier League begins
Newcastle suffered a surprise 4-1 defeat away to Cardiff City, as their preparations for the Premier League and Europa League ended badly at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The home side were by far the better team in the first half, and having seen a shot cleared off the line by Ryan Taylor, Aron Gunnarsson gave the Welsh club the lead in the 16th minute with a superb volley.
Just four minutes later, Cardiff doubled their advantage, as a through ball from Jordan Mutch was taken on by Joe Ralls, who slotted past Tim Krul to give the Bluebirds a 2-0 lead.
Newcastle’s defence were struggling to cope with the onslaught from their hosts, and in the 26th minute found themselves 3-0 down as Gunnarsson found himself in space in the penalty area and shot home confidently.
They ended the first half behind by three goals, but Newcastle started the second period brightly, and after 49 minutes pulled a goal back thanks to a penalty from Shola Ameobi after Jonas Gutierrez was hauled down in the area.
However, Cardiff refused to give their Premier League visitors many chances, and looked to come forward at every opportunity. The pressure paid in the 78th minute, as the home side scored a fourth through striker Etien Velikonja, who slid the ball past Krul after beating Mike Williamson with ease.
Leicester picked up a 1-0 over Sunderland in what was a fascinating game between two teams that did not look that much different in terms of ability.
In their final pre-season game before the Premier League begins, Sunderland started the brighter of the two teams, but could not translate their dominance into goalscoring chances.
Richie De Laet saw a header cleared off the line by Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson, and despite star player Jamie Vardy being forced off with an injury, the Foxes looked confident.
The second half began disjointedly but as Leicester grew into the game, they went ahead in the 72nd minute as a corner was turned in by second-half substitute Tom Parkes to give the Championship side a 1-0 lead.
Sunderland looked to find an equaliser, and thought they had found one in the 80th minute, as McClean thought his header had gone over the line after Sebastian Larsson’s free-kick, but the officials were unmoved.
Norwich’s pre-season preparations ended with a 2-0 defeat to German side Borussia Monchengladbach at Carrow Road.
The away side took the lead in the 16th minute after Igor de Camargo hit a lot shot through goalkeeper John Ruddy’s legs, but the Canaries responded well immediately after.
Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington both had chances for the home side, but could not convert, and the Germans could not assert their authority after taking the lead.
It took until the 79th minute for either side to create a genuine opportunity, as Branimir Hrgota went clean through on goal but dragged his shot wide of the post.
However, the Germans doubled their advantage in the 89th minute, as Hrgota raced on to a through ball, took it round Ruddy and slotted into an empty net to double their advantage, with the full-time whistle blown shortly afterwards.