Pieters’ 43rd minute cross from the left was mishit but flew over a helpless Tim Krul in goal and into the top corner to gift the Potters a 1-0 win.
A dull first half could have seen Peter Crouch and Dan Gosling give their sides the lead early on. The Potters striker headed onto the post from close range while the Magpies midfielder volleyed over from even closer range before Pieters gave Stoke the lead just before half time.
The second half saw Newcastle rally and put Stoke under much more pressure but they could not find their way through a stubborn Potters defence with Ryan Shawcross making several key blocks.
The result leaves Newcastle without a win in four having lost them all without scoring while Stoke are now just three points behind the Magpies on 43 points.
10’ - EARLY CHANCE! – Pieters crosses from the left to find Crouch free in the middle. He rises highest and nods a header onto the post from close range.
12’ – ANOTHER EARLY CHANCE! – Ameobi nods a far post cross back towards goal where Gosling meets it just six yards out but blazes over as the ‘keeper rushes out.
27’ – GREAT BLOCK! – Arnautovic causes havoc on the left with a neat cross which Coloccini just about clears. It falls to Nzonzi on the edge of the area who shoots instantly only for the Argentine to get back up and block the shot.
43’ – DID HE MEAN IT? – Pieters appears to mishit a cross from deep on the left which flies over Krul in Newcastle’s goal and into the back of the net to give Stoke a fortuitous lead.
61’ – ALMOST TWO! – Cameron drives down the right wing and delivers a delicious ball to Crouch who gets his head on it but can only nod it to Krul to save with ease.
63’ – MATCH SAVER! – Shawcross throws himself in front of a close range Williamson strike after losing the initial header to stop a certain goal.
74’ – LIGHTNING COUNTER! – A three pass counter attack from a Newcastle corner as Nzonzi plays a ball down the line to Arnautovic who gets his head up and sees Adam free in the box, crosses to him but the Scot can only drag his first-time shot wide.
85’ – LATE CHANCE! – Anita needed to grow just a few more inches as he met an Ameobi cross at the far post but was too much underneath it despite a great leap and could only head over the bar.
Eric Pieters’ opening goal today was his first goal in six years at club level.
Newcastle have now lost their last four games on the bounce and not scored in any of them while shipping 12 goals.
Stoke have won 33 points at home out of the 43 points they have managed this season.
Newcastle managed just one shot on target in the ninety minutes while Stoke only had three on target.
Can Newcastle get out of this slump? Newcastle secured their safety many months ago but have secured just 13 points in the last 14 matches, losing the last four and not scoring any goals. With their manager banished to the touchlines and the players looking like they’re already on holiday, this could be a difficult end of the season for the fans to take.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Marko Arnautovic – The winger was electric today and made mince-meat out of anyone who tried to dispossess him. The Austrian put in several dangerous crosses going forward and helped out his full-back defensively to round off a hugely impressive performance this afternoon.
STOKE CITY: Begovic 6; Cameron 7, Shawcross 8, Wilson 7, Pieters 8; Ireland 7, Nzonzi 7, Whelan 7, Arnautovic 9; Odemwingie 6; Crouch 7. Subs: Adam 7, Walters 6.
Newcastle: Krul 6; S Taylor 6, Williamson 6, Coloccini 6; Anita 6, Gosling 6, Tiote 6, Gouffran 5, Dummett 6; Ameobi 6, Cisse 5. Subs: Yanga-Mbiwa 6, Ben Arfa 5, Armstrong 5.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Newcastle United
- Stoke City
- Tim Krul
- Peter Crouch
- Ryan Shawcross
- Dan Gosling