Newcastle managed to sign off their home campaign in winning fashion for the first time since 2006, putting the final nail in Cardiff City’s Premier League coffin in the process.
A strange game with little riding on it for the hosts and everything riding on it for the visitors resulted in a pretty comfortable win for a side who have lost the last six on the spin. Aside from a few scares, United deserved the win as Cardiff dropped out of the Premier League with a whimper.
Perhaps the strangest thing about the game was the atmosphere within the ground however. At times it was poisonous as fans vented their anger towards the manager and owner, but by the same token the team remained backed at all times. The planned walk out did go ahead but the numbers who took part weren’t great enough to make the impact that was desired although fair play to those who participated for trying to do something productive.
Frazier Campbell missed the first real chance of the match, snatching his shot wide after Tim Krul made a mess of dealing with a cross from Fabio but United soon started created their own chances, with our right side proving especially fruitful in attack.
Loic Remy saw his effort blocked after Moussa Sissoko crossed into the centre before a shot from Mathieu Debuchy forced David Marshall to push the ball wide. From the following corner Debuchy was again denied, this time by a combination of Marshall and the crossbar before United finally took the lead in the 18th minute when Shola Ameobi nodded in another Sissoko cross.
The former Toulouse man nearly turned from goal provider into goalscorer shortly afterwards, first seeing a shot and then a cross deflected against the woodwork. Despite all of the missed chances it could have been level at half-time had Tim Krul not denied Wilfried Zaha with an outstretched leg.
Half-time: Newcastle 1-0 Cardiff
The second period was a largely started as a largely flat affair with the home side seemingly content on preserving the slender lead and Cardiff unable to rouse themselves into any meaningful attacking move.
However the introduction of former Mackem Kenwyne “Julie” Jones did tilt the balance in favour of the away side temporarily as he forced a point-black save from Tim Krul before Fabricio Coloccini somehow managed to clear an Aron Gunnarsson effort off the line.
Cardiff continued to press, they had to, and eventually United exploited the gaps and made them pay.First Cheik Tiote surged forward on the right before seeing his shot deflected to an unmarked Loic Remy who finished from six yards out to make it 2-0.
It was 3-0 in stoppage time as Dan Gosling crossed for Loic Remy who headed downwards towards goal. David Marshall would have had it but Steven Taylor nipped in and forced the ball home.
Full-time: Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff
I haven’t really got much to remark on regarding the match. It’s a case of “job done” which I suppose is an improvement on recent weeks. It should, and I suspect won’t, paper over any cracks however. Vast improvement is still needed in many areas and an interesting summer awaits.
After our trip to Liverpool next weekend.
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Paul Dummett; Moussa Sissoko, Vurnon Anita, Cheik Tiote, Yoan Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy
Subs:Cardiff: David Marshall; Fabio, Steven Caulker, Ben Turner, Declan John; Peter Whittingham, Aron Gunnarsson, Kim Bo-Kyung, Jordon Mutch, Wilfried Zaha; Frazier Campbell
Subs: Joe Lewis; Kenwyne Jones, Magnus Wollf Eikrem, Don Cowie, Kevin McNaughton, Jo Inge Berget, Craig Bellamy