Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy and Steven Taylor scored the goals for Newcastle this afternoon, and we were the better side in the first half, but allowed Cardiff City far too much of the ball in the second half, and Cardiff had chances to win this game, before Loic Remy got his 14th goal of the season and Steven Taylor scored his 14th goal in his career at Newcastle United late in the second half.
Shola Ameobi heads in first goal
Newcastle started brightly, and before Shola headed in the first goal after 18 minutes Newcastle had four half-chances, and then on 22 minutes Moussa Sissoko, who had a good game today – hit the bottom of the post with a great right footed shot, and then again hit the post when a right wing cross was deflected onto the post.
And Mathieu Debuchy – who also looked good today – went close with a couple of decent opportunities.
In particular Wilfried Saha was showing up well on the left wing of Cardiff after starting on the right wing, and he would have scored after 28 minutes but for Tim Krul, who made a great save with his outstretched leg, and it was Tim again a couple of minutes later with another great save from a good Saha run.
And at half time with Cardiff City looking poor, the question was how Newcastle were only 1-0 up, but Cardiff had come back in the game after Newcastle had gone ahead.
City came out fighting for their Premier League lives in the second half, no doubt being told that Sunderland were 1-0 up at Old Trafford.
In the second half Cardiff City were in the Newcastle half far too much, and they looked dangerous and but for some poor finishing and some good luck for Newcastle, they would have scored a few times.
And after 69 minutes some fans did leave the ground, as had been urged by some fan organizations, but maybe there were a few hundred fans who left out of over 50,000 fans at the game.
And one guy was clapping as he left – so we are not sure what that was all about – maybe it was becasue we were 1-0 ahead?
For those who stayed on it was extremely frustrating, as Newcastle were second best against the bottom of the league side, and at home too.
But Tim Krul saved well and then Colo somehow managed to kick the ball off the line from a Gunnarsson’s effort after 76 minutes, as Cardiff were allowed to be dangerous by a very lackluster second half Newcastle side.
In the second half particularly, sections of the home fans chanted anti-Pardew and anti-Ashley songs and displayed banners too, and they gave their support to exiled winger Hatem Ben Arfa, who was in the stands signing autographs – and former right back Danny Simpson was also at the game, waving to the fans – it was like a circus atmosphere especially in that second half.
Things were pretty good in the first half but they deteriorated quickly in the second, and hence the increase in chants from the fans, who are completely fed up with what Newcastle have done since Boxing Day.
Cardiff center-back Ben Turner almost scored three minutes into the second half, but he hit his shot wide, when it looked easier to score.
Bellamy came on to boos from the home crowd, but he made a difference in the game, as Cardiff were pushing forward.
Mike Williamson almost scored his first goal ever for Newcastle after 57 minutes but his shot, which looked to be going in, was deflected for a corner.
But then those two late goals settled things down and it was Remy getting his 14th goal of the season, and then Steven Taylor scoring his 14th goal for Newcastle in is 10 year career at Newcastle.
And in the end it was a decent scoreline for Newcastle, but a nervous and poor second half display.
The players came out with their kids after the final whistle, but there was no sign of Alan Pardew, who probably made the right decision not to bother to come out – after he was heckled throughout the game.
We have no idea who the manager may be when pre-season training starts in early July, but some fans made it very clear this afternoon that they simply hate Alan Pardew – and I choose my words wisely.
Newcastle fans are the best to play for when things are going well – but passion works both ways – and when we are doing very poorly – which we have been since the turn of the year – they are the hardest fans in the world to play in front of.
If that was not clear before the game today – it is crystal clear after the game.
Whether we will see any real changes at Newcastle come the end of the season – we have no idea.
But its a very unhealthy situation at the club right now – and that is the truth.
Newcastle (4-4-2): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Paul Dummett (Massadio Haidara 45); Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Vurnon Anita (Steven Taylor 78), Yoan Gouffran (Dan Gosling 70), Shola Ameobi, Loic Remy.
Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Luuk de Jong, Adam Armstrong.
Cardiff City (4-5-1): David Marshall; Fabio (Magnus Wolff Eikrem 86), Steven Caulker (c), Ben Turner, Declan John; Peter Whittingham, Aron Gunnarsson, Kim Bo-Kyung (Craig Bellamy 45), Jordon Mutch, Wilfried Zaha; Fraizer Campbell (Kenwyne Jones 73)
Subs not used: Joe Lewis, Kevin McNaughton, Don Cowie, Jo Inge Berget.
Referee: Martin Atkinson