Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City: Player Ratings
In a game devoid of clear-cut chances, two moments of quality from Magpies players turned the game in their favour.
Yohan Cabaye’s sumptuous free-kick 18 minutes from the end brought Newcastle level after Jonathan Walters’ penalty had given the Potters the lead just five minutes earlier.
And then, in the second minute of stoppage time, substitute Sylvain Marveaux’s defence-splitting pass was controlled and finished calmly by Cisse to spark pandemonium in the stands.
The result lifts Newcastle nine points clear of the relegation zone in 13th, level on points with four other teams including 10th-placed Fulham, while Stoke are another of those teams on 33 points in 11th after their seventh defeat in nine league games.
Read on below for our player ratings from the clash at St James’ Park.
Rob Elliot – 7 – The biggest compliment you can pay him is that the absence of Tim Krul has hardly been noticed in recent weeks. Elliot claimed crosses well under pressure from Stoke’s taller players, although was rarely called upon to make a save.
Mathieu Debuchy – 7 – It is clear Newcastle signed a huge upgrade on Danny Simpson by bringing in the French right-back in January. Debuchy got forward well and was solid enough defensively, although his crosses – much like his team-mates’ deliveries – failed to threaten.
Steven Taylor – 7 – Another committed and solid performance at the back from the Geordie centre-half, whose form must be attracting the interest of England boss Roy Hodgson. Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome were easily kept under wraps by Newcastle’s defence, who only conceded a goal thanks to a rash tackle from Cheick Tiote.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa – 8 – Fabricio Coloccini’s absence at the back is not having any significant impact on Newcastle, who possess two other central defenders of real class. Yanga-Mbiwa was cool in pressure situations and helped keep Stoke’s physical presence quiet, again underlining just what a good piece of business it was from Newcastle to land the former Montpellier captain.
Davide Santon – 6 – Newcastle’s popular left-back was shaky for periods during this game, with Ryan Shotton enjoying some first-half success against him. The Italian’s long-term future may be at right-back, and the Magpies’ left flank looked much more of a threat when Santon was replaced by Massadio Haidara on 73 minutes.
Cheick Tiote – 6 – His recklessness almost cost Newcastle again after he needlessly dived in on Walters to give away a penalty 23 minutes from the end, which the Stoke man picked himself up to convert to put them 1-0 up. The Ivorian was brought off immediately after the Toon’s leveller, and his rash challenge spoiled an otherwise good performance. He needs to become much more disciplined or he will fast become labelled a liability.
Yohan Cabaye – 8 – Man of the Match. Cabaye put in another display of true class in the centre of Newcastle’s midfield. The Magpies’ January French signings may have attracted most of the headlines in recent weeks, but one of their existing Gallic players has been just as vital to their upturn in fortunes. Cabaye’s fourth goal in seven league games was a gorgeous free-kick from just outside the box which went in off the bar and left the goalkeeper with no chance. His corners consistently fail to threaten, but he still set up most of Newcastle’s chances.
Jonas Gutierrez – 5 – Another frustrating performance from the Argentine, whose place in the team must now be under serious threat. His defensive work can rarely be questioned, but going forward he has offered little this season – despite a recent improvement in his form.
Moussa Sissoko – 7 – He put Stoke on the back foot on numerous occasions with driving runs through the centre, and was Newcastle’s biggest threat going forward. The Magpies have clearly signed a gem in Sissoko, who couldn’t have dreamed for a better start to his Newcastle career, although his final ball against the Potters did not match his otherwise fine standards.
Yoan Gouffran – 6 – Toon fans appreciate players who give absolutely everything to the cause, and Gouffran certainly does that. His movement is excellent and although he wasn’t at his most threatening against Stoke, he still put in a solid display.
Papiss Cisse – 6 – Had an absolute stinker – until the 92nd minute, that is. Cisse offered very little throughout the game after recovering from illness, but kept cool under pressure to deliver his side the three points. The Senegal frontman will have better games, but his contribution ultimately proved crucial at St James’ Park as he brought down Sylvain Marveaux’s exquisite pass and fired home with his left foot after beating the offside trap.
Massadio Haidara (for Santon, 73) – 7 – The left-back came on for his Premier League debut and immediately impressed following good Europa League performances. The 20-year-old clearly likes going forward and enjoyed some success down Newcastle’s left flank.
Sylvain Marveaux (for Tiote, 73) – 7 – Came on when St James’ Park was bouncing following Cabaye’s equaliser, and provided the telling moment of quality to win his side the game. His defence-splitting pass went perfectly into the path of Cisse, who did the rest, and Alan Pardew will surely be considering handing Marveaux a regular starting spot now.
Adam Campbell (for Gouffran, 86) – n/a – The 18-year-old was another who made his Premier League debut as Pardew showed great faith in the youngster by throwing him on with the game in the balance. His first touch of the ball was a fine pass to Marveaux, who then threaded it through for Cisse to score. A dream start to life in Premier League football for Campbell, who was the focus of our One for the Future series last Monday.
Asmir Begovic – 7 – Could do little about either of Newcastle’s goals and claimed almost every ball which came into Stoke’s box, without having to make any real saves. He attempted to waste time as Stoke looked to hold onto a 1-1 draw, but was ultimately beaten for a second time at the death.
Geoff Cameron – 6 – A decent display from the American international, who got forward to good effect at times.
Ryan Shawcross – 8 – Withstood almost everything Newcastle had to throw at Stoke and organised his defence excellently. The Stoke skipper did not deserve to be on the losing side, as he won almost every ball in the air and always kept things tight.
Marc Wilson – 6 – Wilson did well deputising for Robert Huth in the centre of defence on the whole, but a lapse of concentration in stoppage time cost his side a point. Cisse would have been well offside if the Stoke man had kept alert, but Wilson dropped far too deep and was unable to get out in time. Perhaps fatigue played a part as this was just his third game back after suffering a broken leg.
Andy Wilkinson – 6 – Another regularly steady performer for Stoke, but Wilkinson was not at his best at St James’ Park. Crosses regularly came in from his flank, although the quality of Newcastle’s deliveries was dubious at best.
Ryan Shotton – 7 – Was Stoke’s biggest attacking threat at times, and that really is saying something with the likes of Walters, Crouch and Jerome in the side. The Potters thought they should have had a first-half penalty when Santon appeared to pull Shotton down in the box.
Glenn Whelan – 5 – Failed to stamp his authority on the game and was outclassed by the likes of Cabaye and Sissoko. A woeful ball back towards his defence put his team under pressure and eventually led to the free-kick from which Cabaye scored. Whelan also failed to close down Marveaux in stoppage time, allowing the Frenchman the time and space to pick out an unmarked Cisse, who slotted home the winner. That capped off a miserable afternoon for the Irishman.
Steven N’Zonzi – 6 – Gave the ball away a few too many times, and with two players in the centre of midfield who did not threaten going forward, Stoke struggled to have any influence in attacking areas. N’Zonzi would look much better alongside a more attacking midfielder.
Jonathan Walters – 7 – An industrious performance from the Ireland international, who stayed calm to convert his penalty after Taylor did his best to put him off. Walters also won the penalty, although that was as much down to Tiote’s recklessness as his good play.
Cameron Jerome – 5 – Was an anonymous figure for most of the game as Stoke struggled to create anything going forward. Jerome was brought off with three minutes of the 90 remaining, and incurred the wrath of the Newcastle faithful by walking extremely slowly to the sidelines. In the end, his time-wasting did not matter.
Peter Crouch – 5 – Failed to get any change out of Taylor and Yanga-Mbiwa despite Stoke’s direct tactics. The Potters were solid at the back, but no real threat going forward despite their physicality. Crouch should be this side’s focal point, but could not even force Newcastle’s defenders into breaking sweat.
Kenwyne Jones (for Crouch, 84) – n/a – Came on for Crouch with Stoke on level terms, and was given a frosty reception due to his spell at Newcastle’s fierce rivals Sunderland. Did not have the time or service to make any real impact.
Dean Whitehead (for Jerome, 87) – n/a – Tony Pulis looked to secure a point by sacrificing a striker, and brought on another ex-Sunderland man in Whitehead. Stoke dropped deeper, and ultimately conceded the winner.