Cabaye the lads! Newcastle 3-0 Stoke – match report.

Posted on April 21st, 2012 | 47 Comments |

Newcastle v Stoke match report.
Cabaye bags a brace in win against Stoke
The march towards Europe continues as Newcastle comfortably beat Stoke 3-0 at St James’ Park with goals from Cabaye (2) and Cisse.

Two weeks seems like a long wait between games, particularly when Newcastle have the winning momentum with them. Time seemed to pass so slowly that I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve entered a new geological era in the interim. The tediolithic, perhaps. However, the winning momentum hadn’t deserted us and Newcastle cruised to a well-deserved win over Stoke.

It took us a while to get warmed up to things though. For the first 14 minutes we probed Stoke a little but didn’t really threaten and Stoke had the best of the early chances. On 7 minutes Etherington floated a long shot over our bar and a few minutes later Crouch headed a ball across to Walters who was right in front of goal and a mere yard or two away from it, but he couldn’t control the ball enough to get a decent shot off.

But then we started to play. Santon brought the ball up the left and started working it with Benny, who broke off to the left of the box, plying his mesmerising skills as usual. Benny got a cross in across goal and Cisse headed onto the bar but Yohan Cabaye was lurking to put the rebound into the net. 1-0.

Four minutes later we were two-up. A great through-ball from Cabaye found Cisse in the box, slightly to the left of goal. Cisse shot across the keeper and placed it perfectly into the bottom right of goal where Begovic could do nothing about it. 2-0.

We’d certainly warmed up now and managed fairly long periods of possession, although a trademark long throw from Shotton on 21 minutes was cleared only as far as Huth who took a longish shot from outside the box but it went high over the bar. Cabaye did likewise for us about 5 minutes later with a long shot from well outside the box to the right.

Stoke made their first substitution on 32 minutes when Wilkinson went off for Whitehead after picking up some sort of injury and a few minutes later Stoke picked up their first yellow card when some dazzling dribbling by Benny irritated Palacious enough to see him hack Benny down.

Cisse and Ba swapped positions for a few minutes during which Ba got into a good position after an excellent cross from Cabaye; it took some solid defensive work from Shawcross to keep Ba from getting a clean shot at it. A few minutes later Santon made a probing run up the left but then seemed to find himself in two minds as to whether to cross it square or shoot. He dithered for a few seconds and then took the shot, which was saved by Begovic.

4 minutes before half-time Stoke were roundly booed when Shawcross took Tiote out. Shawcross got a lot of the ball and it wasn’t flagged as a foul but Tiote stayed on the floor for a while afterwards whilst Stoke played on and the crowd made their feelings known in no uncertain terms.

Shawcross was in the thick of it again just before the half-time whistle when he had to make a timely tackle to stop Cisse getting a shot in after he’d been played in by Ba.

Half Time

The second half seemed to be played at a faster pace than the first as Stoke tried – but failed – to get some sort of foothold on the game. First blood almost went to us immediately after the restart when Benny crossed the ball to Ba who elected to chest it down rather than head it and was deprived of a goal. I get the feeling he’s pretty desperate for a goal and I hope he gets one soon, not least as a reward for the excellent work he’s done on the left of Pardiola’s 4-3-3.

Shawcross – who was probably the pick of the Stoke players – picked up a yellow card on 47 minutes when he fouled Demba Ba and a few minutes after that we were on the receiving end of a trilogy of poor decisions by the referee. First, a long ball from Tiote saw Cisse running onto it on the left and Cisse was flagged offside when he wasn’t. Second, a shot from Demba Ba was blocked but fell to Cisse who put it in the net – he was flagged offside for that too but wasn’t. Third, another shot from Ba took a deflection to go wide of goal and we should have had a corner but a goal kick was given.

But we showed them in the end. Ba and Benny were passing it around between themselves just outside the box and the ball found its way to Cabaye who hit a stunner, curling it from just outside the box to the left into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal. 3-0.

Ba kept trying for that elusive goal. On 59 minutes he was played in via a back-heel from Cisse and it took some good defending from Stoke to keep him out. On 65 minutes he was played in again by Cisse but his shot was weak and easy for Berkovic. 30 seconds later Perch played him in and his shot was deflected wide, then on the subsequent corner Colo found himself in space and unmarked in the box but he headed wide. Amidst all that, Walters had a half-chance for Stoke as he motored into our box but pressure from Willo and Colo disturbed him enough to ensure he missed the shot.

We took Cabaye, who seemingly had an ankle injury of some sort, off at 60 minutes and replaced him with Perchinio, and Shola came on for Cisse on 68 minutes. Finally, on 82 minutes Dan Gosling came on for Danny Simpson.

Stoke kept trying to create something but were largely nullified by our defence. On 81 minutes Walters had a decent chance when Whelan’s pass found him in our box just to the left of goal but he fluffed the shot.

Around about the 85 minute mark, Cheick Tiote tried to help himself to a goal. Jonas was body-checked by Huth and we got a free-kick, which Demba Ba took. The free-kick hit the wall and bounced back to Tiote who fired an intercontinental ballistic missile towards the top-left of goal forcing Begovic into an excellent save. Then from the resulting corner Tiote had another crack at goal, which Begovic could only palm away.

On 88 minutes, a Stoke corner went through everyone in our box, which was their last chance of the game.

So that’s the double over Stoke for the first time since the mid-80’s and 6 wins in a row, which is the first time we’ve done that in the top-flight since 1996 (although we did it in our Championship year a few seasons ago).

It was a great team effort today and Jonas deserves a mention for his tireless efforts and consistent help with defensive duties but it’s the goal-scorers who’ll make the headlines. Cisse can’t seem to stop scoring and it was nice to see Cabaye get a couple, proving that we have plenty of options in terms of scoring.

We look genuinely good and I think we’d be a handful for any team at the moment.

Goals: Newcastle United 3 (Yohan Cabaye 14, 57, Papiss Cisse 18), Stoke City 0.

Yellow cards: Wilson Palacios (36), Ryan Shawcross (49),
Red cards: None.


Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul (G), Danny Simpson (Dan Gosling 82), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (C), Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye (James Perch 60), Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez, Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 69), Demba Ba.

Subs: Rob Elliot (G), Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Dan Gosling, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi.

Stoke City (4-4-2): Asmir Begovic (G) Andy Wilkinson (Dean Whitehead 32), Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross (c), Marc Wilson; Ryan Shotton, Glenn Whelan, Wilson Palacios (Cameron Jerome 55), Matthew Etherington; Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch.

Subs: Thomas Sorensen (G), Matthew Upson, Dean Whitehead, Jermaine Pennant, Cameron Jerome, Ricardo Fuller, Kenwyne Jones.


Possession: Newcastle 59% – 41% Stoke.
Shots Off Target: Newcastle 16 – 7 Stoke.
Shots On Target: Newcastle 11 – 2 Stoke.
Corners: Newcastle 4 – 5 Stoke.
Fouls: Newcastle 8 – 10 Stoke.

Newcastle United v Stoke match highlights.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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47 Responses

  1. Nice write up, Hugh. Top of the form table. If we can just keep the ball rolling so to speak. Wigan will be a tough test, glad FFC were able to pull out the win today, hopefully has taken some of the wind out of their sails. Given that we played Stoat, I’m just glad no one was serious hurt.

  2. 6 in a row! brilliant – thank gowd I didn’t promise to eat my hat (its hard white plastic)
    come on QPR, hit the spurs where it hurts!

    couldn’t care less about the mackems


  3. Supermac says:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    “6 in a row! brilliant – thank gowd I didn’t promise to eat my hat (its hard white plastic)”

    Why on earth do you have a hat that’s made of hard white plastic, Supermac?

  4. Paul in Hollywood says:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    “A class act today. Thanks Hugh, and Worky for the links. HWTL!”

    Thare’s an APB out for the full match video, Paul.

  5. Whats the opposite of Momentum ?

    If, as Pardwho says, Momentum is a dangerous tool to have in your toolbox or lunch box or whatever, what have Spuds got going for them ? Retrogression ?

  6. Extracted from BBC Sport

    “Ade, via text: “Has there ever been a better example of the fickle spoilt child element to football fans than the about turn of Spurs fans opinions of Harry Redknapp?”

  7. Yep 1-0 to QPR, that leaves Spurs three points behind us.
    Getting better and better !

  8. 4th is ours to lose now lads. Us winning against Wigan and Arsenal and Tottenham losing next week would be the best week ever! Well, apart from the last week of this season when we guaranteed a CL place. ;)

  9. Nice report Hugh.

    I’d also mention Santon today who looked very good, I’d say his best performance for us so far.

    But rightly Cabaye gets the plaudits, nice to finally start seeing him more advanced in a three.

    He’s sat so deep in a 4-4-2, his effectiveness is way more apparent when he’s slightly more advanced. He’s scoring goals and got himself quite a few assists too.

    Cisse’s movement is outstanding, and with players like Cabaye and HBA to see it, the guys never going to stop scoring.

    Cisse was in Ba’s wide-left position for the goal, and just watch his run. Ba doesn’t move like Cisse, but hopefully Ba will find some form soon.

  10. Actually I meant wide-right position for the goal, should read things through before I post!

    But the point remains, Cisse’s movement from either flank or directly in the middle is something we haven’t seen in our team for a very long time.

  11. Harry “Hot” Spur is looking decidedly luke warm these days, if not bloody freezing!

  12. Lads. just realised when making my final predictions of the season… Chelsea vs Newcastle aint available to predict. cheers

  13. Jimbob says:

    “But rightly Cabaye gets the plaudits, nice to finally start seeing him more advanced in a three. He’s sat so deep in a 4-4-2, his effectiveness is way more apparent when he’s slightly more advanced. He’s scoring goals and got himself quite a few assists too”

    Prezactly JB 4-4-2 didnt suit a number of our players notably HBA but Cabaye as well. I think I see this formation almost as a “front four diamond” with Cabaye sitting close to the two wider players and with Cisse as the focal point. Given that array of talent its not surprising that average teams find it hard to cope with the forward threat.

    Big problem is “cover” for those front four. Shola, god bless him aint a Cisse but Ba is. Maybe Marveaux could slot into that wider role with Guthrie in Johans place but we’ve no one who can replace the mercurial HBA.

    If I was best mates with the Fatman, I’d suggest he should look for an out an out LB who can bomb forward, Santon covering at RB if Simmo goes. Although he shouldnt.

    A young but promising (and I dont mean promising as in Kadar) CB, assuming Saylor cant be injured all his life.

    A right footed HBA with the flexibility to roam across the forward line.

    However all of my available money would go on a Cabaye clone. Someone who runs around for ever, can spot a forward run with an incisive pass and can score vital goals from midfield. Cabaye cannot possibly last 60 games a season although he didnt do too badly at Lille (but arguably not the same intensity as the BPL) but we need that creativity, vision, invention if we’re to progress to the top table.

  14. GeordieMagpie says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    “Lads. just realised when making my final predictions of the season… Chelsea vs Newcastle aint available to predict. cheers”

    I’ll pass it on to Hugh, or look into sorting it out myself or whatever, GM.

  15. GeordieMag, I think it’s a rearranged fixture that doesn’t really fit into a week’s games without radically changing (and messing up) the prediction times. There’s a couple of those.

  16. Ha Ha Ha, He He HE,
    let’s all laugh at sunlun

    To the tune of the ‘laughing gnome’ by Bowie!


  17. worky @7 says: “Why on earth do you have a hat that’s made of hard white plastic, Supermac?” H & S rules mate – a high vis hard hat must be worn on site.

  18. first up on MOTD – I think everyone has got the message now – the lads are back in town!

    and thanks to QPR, and good luck for the rest of the season – especialy at chelski next week – HWTQPR

  19. sky sports hail the “Magic Magpies” – I like the sound of it – lets hope our magic makes spurs’ & chelski’s CL hopes disapear !

  20. AndyMac @ 25#
    You reading my mail or what !
    Cause i have to agree on Cabeye, always thought he was our best buy to date.
    The guy does it all, a fiesty guy, not afraid to put his foot in, lays on the perfect passes, for the forwards running the channels, can get his own goals, what more can we ask of him.

    As for a LB who can bomb forward, we got one, plus he can do it from either side, talking bout Santon, who is beginning to look more like Enrique each time out.
    Had a pretty good game to-day.

    And yeah, playing the same role as Ya Ya Toure, Cabbaye in the middle or back end of a triangle, one comentator remarked that our lineup, looked quite like Citeh’s.

    Shola, surprises me all the time, has fitted into the second striker role pretty good, can hold the ball and his passing has not been too shabby, a good linkup guy.

    I can only hope Pardew does’nt mess with the 4-3-3, it has proven (like playing HBA & Santon) to be as success and the side looks better each time out.
    Must say we started out to-day a bit tentative, looking tight and giving the ball away, even played a bit of hoofball.
    But the first goaltook care of the nerves, and from then on, it was let em come at us and hit on the counter.
    Stoke were well beaten and had no answer.

  21. AndyMac @25 wants “A right footed HBA with the flexibility to roam across the forward line” and “a Cabaye clone” ! – anyone in mind?

    My loud mouth opinion during the jan window was that we had glareing weaknesses in several positions – and I was baffled when we only bought a CF.
    Well, I was wrong on both accounts.
    Getting Wor Cisse (Sir Cisse?) was a master stroke – and I can’t say that we have an obvious weakness anywhere just now – they all blend together nicely.

    Other than defensive cover (Pieters) I can’t see who I’d want to replace – especialy with the likes of Saylor & Marveau available and a couple of youngsters coming through. I suppose that (assuming no one leaves) our best bet would be to get 3 good squad players to ensure a strong team in 4 competitions next season.

    But to be completeley honest I think I now trust the management to get it right!

  22. Some people are never happy. I am not pointing any fingers, but what more do some of you people want?

    That was probably our best game of the season yesterday. Destroyed Stoke without getting out of second gear. 6 wins in a row. Cisse has scored what, 11 in 1O games.

    And all the other results went our way.


  23. And another thing. The media deification of Scott Parker is over the top. If better than average gets him a player of the year award then I am husband of the year.

    We saw him here, and Cabaye is twice the player he is.

  24. And since I am moaning, how can Man U possibly be top of the league? It has to be Ferguson’s force of will.

  25. Supermac says:

    AndyMac @25 wants “A right footed HBA with the flexibility to roam across the forward line” and “a Cabaye clone” ! – anyone in mind?

    It would be nice if this “mystery” club was NUFC.
    Having started out as a winger and predominantly left-footed, he was employed on the right side in a more advanced position much as AC Milan did with Kaka on the left in his early days at the Milanese club.