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Newcastle 3 Stoke 0

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

At the Sports Direct Arena



Newcastle United 3 (Cabaye 14, 57; Cisse 18)

Stoke City 0



Yohan Cabaye's brace, either side of a Papiss Cisse strike, earned Newcastle a 3-0 win over Stoke City at the Sports Direct Arena.


Cabaye opened the scoring on 14 minutes when he headed in from a yard, and then turned provider almost immediately for Cisse to net in his sixth consecutive game - the first player to do so in the Premier League this season.


United had chances to extend their lead further, but had to wait until the early stages of the second half for a third, when Cabaye curled a low strike home from just outside the box.


It meant a sixth successive top flight victory for Alan Pardew's side, for the first time since October 1996, and a fully deserved one having dominated proceedings for almost the entire game.


Demba Ba offered the first attempt on goal in the fifth minute, but couldn't keep his 30-yard effort down as it flew harmlessly over the top, while at the other end Matt Etherington was closer with a similar strike but still suffered the same fate.


In the tenth minute, the visitors had a great chance to break the deadlock. A long, diagonal ball was nodded down by Peter Crouch into the path of Jonathan Walters, who had escaped the attentions of Fabricio Coloccini.


The former Ipswich striker was 12 yards out and had time to take a touch, but opted for a volley, which he flashed wastefully over the top.


And United made them pay four minutes later through Cabaye's simple finish. The goal owed much to the brilliance of Hatem Ben Arfa, who exchanged passes with Davide Santon before turning Stoke full-back Marc Wilson inside out wide on the right flank.


Ben Arfa's chipped cross to the far post was met by the head of Cisse, and although the striker's looping header struck the woodwork, it bounced down perfectly for Cabaye to nod home from a yard.


If that was a good start then it swiftly became perfect, with Cabaye and Cisse swapping roles for the latter to notch the 11th goal since his January arrival on Tyneside.


Cabaye caught out the entire vistors' back-line with an outstanding reverse pass which Cisse was on to like a shot. The Senegalese hot-shot was in behind Ryan Shawcross and applied and calm finish across keeper Asmir Begovic into the far corner.


Stoke attempted a response and midfielder Glenn Whelan sent a volley off target from the edge of the box, after the Magpies had headed clear Ryan Shotton's long throw.


But the hosts were soon back on the front foot and more skillful work from Ben Arfa provided Cabaye with a shooting opportunity from distance, which he couldn't take, while Ba was inches away from connecting with a low Cabaye cross from the right.


With four minutes of the half remaining, left-back Santon almost helped himself to his first Newcastle goal. The former Inter Milan man raced into the area and jinked past a couple of challenges, only to find Begovic equal to his near-post strike.


The second period was less than 30 seconds old when Ba was presented with a glorious chance to grab Newcastle's third goal and his first in ten games. Again, Ben Arfa was the architect, and the Frenchman swung a cross to the far post where Ba was waiting, but rather than head it goalwards, the Magpies' top scorer tried to control on his chest and Begovic closed in to clear the danger.


Cisse had the ball in the back of the net on 53 minutes, only to see the raised flag of the assistant referee rule it out. As Ba tried his luck from distance and Begovic failed to hold on to the low drive, Cisse pounced, rounding the keeper and tapping home, but he had strayed offside in the process and the goal was chalked off.


Finally it was 3-0 though on 57 minutes, through that man Cabaye again.


Both Ben Arfa and Ba found their routes through the Stoke defence blocked on the edge of the area, and when the loose ball broke to Cabaye 20 yards out he curled a bouncing strike past the despairing dive of Begovic and into the far corner.


That was the French international's last action of the afternoon, as he was replaced by James Perch on the hour mark to a full-deserved standing ovation.


A rare Stoke chance came and went on 65 minutes as Walters was raced into the box but, under pressure from Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini, slashed his shot well wide.


However, it was soon business as normal with Cisse and Ba combining well to see the latter force a save out of Begovic at his far post.


The game was effectively over, but still United wouldn't relent. Coloccini should then have made it four immediately after, meeting Ben Arfa's floated corner with a completely free header which he somehow sent wide of the upright.


Only the fingertips of Begovic prevented Cheick Tiote from opening his account this season - twice in a minute - as the Ivorian enforcer struck from distance, and Newcastle comfortably saw out two minutes of injury time to keep their outstanding run of form going.



Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Danny Simpson (Dan Gosling 82), Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Cheick Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez; Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye (James Perch 60), Demba Ba; Papiss Cisse (Shola Ameobi 69)


Subs not used: Rob Elliot, Shane Ferguson, Ryan Taylor, Leon Best



Stoke City (4-4-2): Asmir Begovic; Marc Wilson, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross (c), Andy Wilkinson (Dean Whitehead 33); Ryan Shotton, Glenn Whelan, Wilson Palacios (Cameron Jerome 55), Matthew Etherington; Jonathan Walters, Peter Crouch


Subs not used: Thomas Sorensen, Matthew Upson, Jermaine Pennant, Ricardo Fuller, Kenwyne Jones



Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)



Attendance: 52,162 (900 Stoke)