Magpies make it six in a row
Cabaye and Cisse help Newcastle to punish Potters
Last Updated: 21/04/12 7:11pm
Newcastle saw off Stoke 3-0 to pick up a sixth straight Premier League success and keep themselves very much in the hunt for a top-four finish.
Two goals from Yohan Cabaye and another from the prolific Papiss Cisse helped the Magpies to a convincing success on Saturday, with the contest all but sewn up before 20 minutes had been played.
Alan Pardew's side looked like a team full of confidence in the opening exchanges and it came as no surprise when they broke the deadlock.
With just 14 minutes on the clock, Hatem Ben Arfa escaped down the left and hung up an inviting cross for Cisse to power goalwards.
His effort cannoned back off the face of the crossbar, but Cabaye was on hand to nod home the rebound.
The Frenchman was then at the centre of Newcastle's second four minutes later, as he slid a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Cisse to roll past Asmir Begovic.
A star showing from Cabaye was then completed on 57 minutes when he sent a curling effort from the edge of the box arching into the bottom corner.
Newcastle ran out knowing victory would take them into fourth place, for a few hours at least, but perhaps more importantly, give them a healthy advantage over sixth-placed Chelsea.
The return of Cheick Tiote provided added steel in the midfield, but what promised to be a battle developed into something of a stroll.
Stoke started brightly and they might have gone ahead with just 10 minutes gone.
England striker Peter Crouch, who had got little change out of his early duels with Mike Williamson, climbed high above the defender to head down Marc Wilson's long ball, but Jonathan Walters volleyed high over the top.
But the game changed within four minutes as Pardew's men flexed their muscles to go ahead.
More precisely, they showcased the individual talent of Frenchman Ben Arfa who, having spent most of his time until that point wide on the right, turned up on the left to bamboozle Wilson and chip an inviting cross to the far post.
Cisse's eyes lit up as he powered a header back across keeper Begovic and waited for the net to bulge, but his disappointment at seeing the ball come back off the crossbar was short-lived as Cabaye stooped to convert the rebound.
Roles were reversed four minutes later as Stoke were carved wide open by the brilliance of the former Lille midfielder.
Cabaye collected Jonas Gutierrez's pass in the middle of the field and, having spotted Cisse's run, slid an inch-perfect ball into his path for the Senegal international to dispatch it left-footed past the helpless Begovic.
The Frenchman's individual display was a joy to behold as he ran the game in front of the combative Tiote with Stoke threateningly sporadically from set-pieces, but without forcing keeper Tim Krul to make a save.
It seemed only a matter of time before Newcastle added to their lead, and it took a smart diving save by Begovic to deny full-back Davide Santon after he ran on to another Cabaye pass.
Pardew will no doubt have warned his troops to be prepared for a backlash in the wake of opposite number Tony Pulis' half-time team talk, but they might have extended their lead within seconds of the restart.
Ben Arfa slipped effortlessly past Matthew Etherington on the right before floating another teasing cross to the far post, where leading scorer Demba Ba, without a goal since 5th February, chose to chest it down rather than head directly at goal and saw Begovic make a vital block.
Ba and Cisse were proving too hot for Stoke to handle, and they combined to good effect once again with eight minutes of the half played for the latter to find the back of the net from close range after Begovic had spilled the former's shot, although from an offside position.
But they had to wait just four minutes longer for the third goal to arrive when, after Ben Arfa and Ba had probed at the visitors' defence to little real effect, Cabaye took charge to curl an unstoppable shot across Begovic and into the bottom corner.
Pardew decided Cabaye's work was done four minutes later when he replaced him with James Perch to a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd.
The newcomer distinguished himself within seconds when he hurled himself into the path of Crouch's goal-bound shot.
Newcastle were in rampant mood and Ba forced another save from Begovic before skipper Fabricio Coloccini headed wide.Begovic had to pull off fine saves to deny Tiote twice within the final four minutes and spare his side further punishment.
|Newcastle United||Team Statistics||Stoke City|
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|9||Shots on Target||0|
|5||Shots off Target||6|
|67.2||1st Half Poss.||32.8|
|48.7||2nd Half Poss.||51.3|
Barclays Premier League
|5||West Ham United||18||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||18||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||18||17|