Stoke pile pressure on Pardew

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Stoke pile pressure on Pardew

Crouch headed home Victor Moses’ cross from the left in the 15th minute to put Mark Hughes’ side ahead and the hosts should then have had a penalty when Moses was brought down in the box by Yoan Gouffran, but no spot-kick was awarded.
At the other end, Daryl Janmaat’s shot from a corner drew a great save from Asmir Begovic late on in the first period.
Papiss Cisse was introduced by Newcastle at the start of the second half but, unlike the brace he scored to earn a point against Hull City last time in the Premier League, he could not find a way through to salvage a draw for Pardew this time.
Instead, after substitute Marko Arnautovic had hit the post for Stoke early on in the second period, it was Jack Colback who had Newcastle’s best chance but his shot from close range hit the crossbar with seven minutes remaining as the Potters held on for their first home win in the league this season.
Ahead of this Monday Night Football clash, Magpies owner Mike Ashley – who the club insist was joking with the comment – said Pardew would be “finished” if it ended in defeat.
And, certainly, it will be interesting to see what the future now holds for Pardew after a performance from the Tyneside outfit that hardly supported the case for him to keep his job, and was watched by Ashley from the stands.
After a scrappy opening to the game in which Steven Nzonzi and then Emmanuel Riviere struck off-target, one of several moments of quality from Moses – and some hesitant Newcastle defending – led to the deadlock being broken.
The on-loan Chelsea winger got the better of Janmaat on the left flank and sent in a delivery that Crouch, outjumping Magpies skipper Fabricio Coloccini, crashed into the net.
As the lofty frontman wheeled away in delight, cries – seemingly from fans of both clubs – of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” rang out around the stadium and Pardew looked very worried indeed.
Coloccini fired over the Stoke bar moments later, while a loud clap of thunder breaking out over the ground only added to the sense of gloom surrounding his sodden manager.
Threatening again
The Potters were soon threatening again, with Moses latching on to a Mame Biram Diouf ball and going to ground in the area under a challenge from Gouffran.
Despite Stoke protests, referee Craig Pawson did not award a penalty and as play continued, Moussa Sissoko rifled an effort wide at the other end. Diouf – having injured himself as he played the pass to Moses – was withdrawn for Arnautovic.
Janmaat had a shot blocked by home captain Ryan Shawcross and Newcastle were then on the back foot again as Moses played in Crouch, who skewed his effort wide as Paul Dummett closed him down.
There was a further scare for the visitors when a Marc Muniesa cross came via Mike Williamson to Crouch, the resulting header being cleared by Coloccini.
Newcastle responded with a brief spell of pressure which saw Dummett’s shot deflect over and Janmaat then drill one that Begovic – called into action more or less for the first time – pushed away at full stretch.
But Pardew’s men looked vulnerable again just before the break as Moses cut through them once more and Arnautovic cracked the ball goalwards, with Dummett doing well to make the block.
Pardew looked to give fresh impetus to his attack by introducing Cisse for Riviere at the interval, but Newcastle were soon breathing another sigh of relief as the second half got under way as Arnautovic’s strike came back off the post.
And some woeful attempts by the away side to clear just after the hour mark saw the ball ricochet through to Moses, whose close-range shot hit the legs of goalkeeper Tim Krul.
Substitute Stephen Ireland saw a shot go off-target, before Crouch’s penalty appeal for a tug on his shirt from Williamson was turned down.
Newcastle, meanwhile, were in desperate need of of a saviour, and it looked like Colback might be the man in the 83rd minute – but, when the ball dropped to him right in front of goal, he could only fire it against the frame and then hold his head in disbelief.
Overall, Hughes’ team were value for what were their first points at home in the Premier League this season and takes them from 17th up to 11th.
The Magpies stay second-bottom and without a league victory this term. They have won only once in 14 top-flight games stretching back to 2013/14, with 10 of those being losses – and Pardew must be wondering if his time is up.

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