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Queens Park Rangers
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
10 March 2013
• St. James' Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 50703
Y. Cabaye 73'
P. Cissé 90'+
J. Walters 67'
Thank you for following Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Newcastle United vs. Stoke City. I've been Ben Cullimore and it's been a pleasure. I'll leave you with the wise words of Andrew Kennedy for one last time: "A vital victory this afternoon for Newcastle, and one which means the Magpies can now entertain talk of pushing for a top-half finish. Nine points clear of the relegation zone, three clear of rivals Sunderland and level with Fulham, Norwich, Stoke and West Ham, Alan Pardew's men are no longer prematurely talking of a change in fortunes - they have turned a corner. For the second home game running they were forced to come from behind, and their new found resilience could well pay dividends when Newcastle finally hit the stride they have been threatening to in recent games."
As for Stoke, this loss will be hard to swallow, and with tough matches coming up against West Brom and Everton it's difficult to see where their next three points will come from. If they have to rely on penalties to score goals like they did today they may well find themselves in serious trouble as the season comes to a close.
The win puts Newcastle on equal points with Stoke with 33, and, arguably most importantly, sends them above rivals Sunderland. They are now nine points clear of relegation and will feel very confident about their chances of survival.
After spending the vast majority of the game on the front foot, Newcastle will feel that the win is justified. Stoke defended well on so many occasions but let themselves down when it was needed the most, allowing Cisse to strike in the dying moments to deny the away side any points.
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: NEWCASTLE 2-1 STOKE. The Toon hold on to grab three vital points that will be ever so important in their battle to avoid relegation.
90' + 3'
Stoke throw every man forward for one last attack but the home side push back and deal with it admirably.
90' + 2'
90' + 2'
GOAL! Newcastle have seemingly won it in the last moments thanks to a close-range Cisse strike after a beautiful ball through from substitute Sylvain Marveaux. Terrible marking from Stoke.
Sissoko embarks and yet another fantastic surging run forward but all of his hard work is undone by his dreadful final ball that is easily dealt with by the Stoke defence.
Cameron Jerome is replaced by Dean Whitehead and takes his time exiting the field, much to the annoyance of both the Newcastle fans and referee Andre Marriner who asks the striker to hurry up.
Wilkinson attempts the miraculous with a long-range effort from the left flank, but his shot ends up nearer to the corner flag than the Newcastle goal.
Another aimless ball is flung into the Stoke penalty area by the Newcastle wingers and Begovic claims comfortably. The home side are going to have to try something different if they want to beat the Bosnian again before the fast-approaching final whistle blows.
Both sides are really going for the winner, and it's counter attack after counter attack as we enter the last ten minutes.
A wonderful run from Sissoko results in the Frenchman crossing towards Cisse, but Begovic is able to come out and easily smother the ball.
From one corner to another... Newcastle break away on the counter attack from Stoke's corner kick and Shawcross is forced to head the ball out for a Newcastle corner of their own.
Walters has an attempt on goal at the other end but Taylor gets his shins in the way and the ball deflects out for a corner kick.
Cisse nearly puts his side 2-1 up only moments later when he swings to volley the ball into the back of the net, but he misses the ball in almost comical fashion and the danger is dealt with by the Stoke defenders.
GOAL! The resulting free kick is superbly sent over the Stoke wall, off the crossbar and past a helpless Begovic to level the scores. 1-1.
It's getting quite heated on the pitch, as Andrew Kennedy explains: "It's getting quite heated at St. James' Park. Moussa Sissoko is felled just outside the box when through on goal, and after the free-kick is awarded, a brief melee breaks out."
Penalty GoalJonathan Walters
GOAL! Walters makes up for missing his last two penalties and comfortably fires in past Elliot to put the away side 1-0 up with just under 25 minutes left to play.
PENALTY for Stoke! Jonathan Walters cuts into the box from the left flank and is taken down by Tiote in the corner of the area with a slide challenge.
Yellow CardMarc Wilson
Yellow CardPapiss Cissé
Yellow cards for both Cisse and Marc Wilson after a slight scuffle between the two players. That's one of the only contributions the Senegalese striker has made this afternoon.
Gouffran tries to slither his way past Andrew Wilkinson down the right but the Frenchman loses his footing and another Newcastle attack breaks down.
Stoke have been forced to push back to deal with the constant Newcastle onslaught, but Tony Pulis will be pleased with how his side have defended in the first hour of the game.
A low Shotton cross almost picks out Crouch in the centre of the Newcastle box but Steven Taylor sticks out a foot to deny his fellow Englishman a tap-in mere feet in front of goal.
Gutierrez fires in another 25 yard shot but it's deflected over Begovic's bar for yet another Newcastle corner.
Lofted balls are being whipped in left, right and centre into the Stoke penalty area by the home side but the visitors stay strong and absorb the pressure well.
Cries for a Newcastle penalty, as Andrew Kennedy explains: "An audacious penalty call from Newcastle is waved away by Andre Mariner. Moussa Sissoko finds himself galloping through on goal when he is met by the onrushing Asmir Begovic. The midfielder is somewhat taken by surprise and rushes his lofted effort before riding the goalkeeper's tackle. Alan Pardew's call for a spotkick falls on deaf ears as the ball trickles out of play for a goalkick."
Stoke try and fashion their first real chance on goal this half but Glenn Whelan, who has plenty of time, rushes his cross and sends it high and wide of any of his teammates in the Newcastle penalty area.
A rushed Stoke clearance leads to a Newcastle throw-in. Debuchy picks up the ball and tries to whip in a dangerous ball but it curls over the Stoke goal and out for a goal kick.
A positive start from Newcastle leads to a Santon cross into a busy Stoke penalty area but it's headed to safety and back up the pitch towards the centre circle.
We're back underway, with Stoke now attacking from right to left.
The players are back out onto the pitch and warming up for the second half. It's been a bitterly cold afternoon in the north east so far, so both sets of players will definitely need it!
Here are Andrew Kennedy's thoughts on the first half action: "A goalless, but enjoyable first-half a St. James' Park, with the home side enjoying the majority of possession and chances in front of goal. While Asmir Begovic has been the busier of the two goalkeepers, he has never been forced to make a save, largley thanks to Yoan Gouffran's failure to hit the target with the best chance of the game 10 minutes before the break. If Stoke's robustness and resilience continues, however, Tony Pulis could see his side's luckless away run come to an end."
Despite their dominance, the home side have failed to create any clear cut chances and have resorted to leaving Cabaye to fire in from 25 yards out on several occasions, rarely troubling Begovic in the Stoke goalmouth. Gouffran was gifted with the best opportunity of the half but was unable to keep his shot down, and the strong Stoke defence look to be holding firm and able to deal with whatever Newcastle throw at them.
45' + 1'
The half time whistle goes and brings an end to a Newcastle-dominated first half that has ended 0-0.
The home side keep putting pressure on the Stoke defence but too many of Newcastle forwards are waiting for something to happen, rather than creating chances themselves.
A slight mix up in the Newcastle box but Gutierrez thumps the ball away from danger and out of play to deny Stoke a clear opportunity on goal.
Cabaye fires another long range effort towards goal but it's takes a deft deflection that sends it past Begovic's near post.
N'Zonzi loses the ball in a dangerous position and Gouffran surges into the box but the ball is cleared out for a corner at the vital moment.
A deflected lofted ball from Cabaye creates the best opening of the game for Gouffran, but an awkward bounce sends the Frenchman's close range effort over the bar.
Debuchy clips yet another cross into the Stoke penalty area but, yet again, they deal with the danger comfortably.
Cheikh Tiote steals the ball in the centre of the park and muscles his way towards the box before swinging in a cross towards Papiss Cisse, but the Senegalese striker is unable to make contact with the ball and is flagged for offside anyway.
Here's what Andrew Kennedy had to say about the Shotton penalty incident: "Big shout for a penalty in Stoke's direction here, and it has to be said, Andre Mariner's decision not to point to the spot looks to be the correct one, but only because Davide Santon's clumsy challenge on Ryan Shotton took place outside the box. The Potters most certainly should have been awarded a free kick however."
Shotton wrestles his way past Davide Santon down the right hand flank before stumbling over on the edge of the penalty area. The Stoke players and fans cry for a penalty, but referee Andre Marriner shakes his head.
Shawcross and Geoff Cameron have been absolute rocks in the Stoke defence, keeping Newcastle's French-dominated attacking onslaught at bay.
Crouch clearly handles the ball but escapes a yellow card, much to the anger of the Toon faithful.
Six corners for the home side already shows the pressure that their attacking force have been exerting on the Stoke defence in the opening 25 minutes.
Newcastle's attacking play has stepped up a gear in the last few minutes, especially down the right flank, but their final balls seem to be letting them down.
The resulting corner ends up with Jonas Gutierrez on the edge of the Stoke penalty area. The Argentine twists and turns before swinging his shot just wide of the post.
Yoan Gouffran powers his way through the majority of the Stoke defence with a wonderful run but the last man Shawcross stabs the ball clear for a corner.
Yohan Cabaye fires a shot towards goal from 25 yards out and it bounces just wide of the far post. Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic always had it covered though.
Our man at St. James' Park, Andrew Kennedy, describes the atmosphere within the stadium during the early moments: "Both sides have enjoyed early spells at St. James' Park, with Peter Crouch on target for Stoke while centre-back Ryan Shawcross was on hand to intervene Mathieu Debuchy's low cross just as Papiss Cisse looked primed to tap home. Still, there is little to no atmosphere coming from the Gallowgate, with Stoke's 300 traveling fans clearly heard above the 50,000 Geordies present."
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot goes down in a heap on the floor holding his face after clashing with Peter Crouch as he came out to gather a Stoke free kick. The 26-year-old shot stopper looks ok though and gets back up onto his feet.
Mathieu Debuchy fires in a low cross after breaking down the right wing but Ryan Shawcross covers well at the near post and clears the ball out for a Newcastle corner.
A frantic start from Stoke leads to a free kick on the left wing, but the Newcastle defence hold firm and clear the danger.
And we're off!
Stoke have only managed to win two of their last ten Premier League games and have lost their last two in a row, so Tony Pulis' men will be well aware that victory today is vital if they are to keep the threat of relegation at bay. Here's how they start: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Wilkinson, Shotton, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Walters, Jerome, Crouch.
Newcastle will be looking to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Swansea last weekend, and here's how they line up for today's clash: Elliot, Debuchy, S. Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Sissoko, Gouffran, Cisse.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Newcastle United vs. Stoke City. My name is Ben Cullimore and I'll be keeping you updated with all of the action from this afternoon's clash at St. James' Park.
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