Newcastle's winning run ends in South Wales

The Northern Echo: Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

Full-time: Swansea City 3 Newcastle United 0

LONG trips are never much fun but Newcastle United will be keen to forget about this latest one to South Wales in a hurry.

After a run of four consecutive Premier League victories, the Magpies failed to make it a fifth for the first time since going on to qualify for Europe at the end of 2011-12.

Newcastle can rightly feel aggrieved to have lost by such a comfortable three-goal margin at Swansea City last night, but should still hold disappointment at the manner of the collapse.

After a first half in which the Swans' dominance in possession came to very little going forward, it ended with substitute Nathan Dyer putting Michael Laudrup's team ahead in stoppage time.

Newcastle had never really looked like conceding up to that point and Alan Pardew's players went out full of intent after the restart.

But a couple of controversial decisions from World Cup referee Howard Webb cost Newcastle.

After striker Loic Remy had justifiable claims for a penalty denied when his shot appeared to be blocked by the arm of Ben Davies, Webb also failed to spot a shove in the back of Yoan Gouffran from Ashley Williams in the area.

Swansea immediately broke and grabbed a second in the 67th minute when Tim Krul's save from Jonjo Shelvey's run and shot bounced off Mathieu Debuchy before ending up in the net.

And with nine minutes remaining Krul could only help a stunning drive from Shelvey into his top corner to wrap up the points and seal Swansea's second home win since defeating the Magpies in Marh.

Such was Newcastle's four-midable run of form in November, there seemed a deliberate willingness to allow Swansea to have possession initially.

That approach allowed the impressive Shelvey, Alejandro Pozuelo, Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan De Guzman to gain an upperhand and influence outside of the visitors' box.

But every time Swansea worked a way beyond the 18-yard line, Newcastle's recently reliable central defensive pairing of Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini were on hand to block.

When Newcastle did break, they had the best first half chance until the late opener. From Debuchy's cross from the right, Remy climbed ahead of his marker ten yards from goal.

The French striker's downward header bounced in the six yard box and rose perfectly for goalkeeper Michel Vorm to dive to his left and palm away.

With the exception of a wasteful attempt at a long-distance lob from Yohan Cabaye and a harmless Davide Santon drive which trickled into Vorm, Newcastle lacked something.

That prompted Pardew to tinker with the system relatively early on and when Shola Ameobi found himself up front on his own ahead of three-man supply line, that did lead to a slight increase in possession.

Remy saw a shot on the turn fly wide, but Swansea also had a couple of lame efforts on goal from Alvaro Vasquez and Chico Flores. The former's was the better of the two, but he failed to hit the target when Pozuelo played him in.

That was the only real occasion Tim Krul's net had even looked like bulging, but in first half stoppage time he was beaten when it seemed unlikely.

A failure to clear an attack properly ended with Davies playing the ball down the left for Pozuelo. His well struck delivery in to the area was only palmed in to the direction of Dyer, who struck first time in to the net.

The timing and the manner was harsh on Newcastle.

Such is the way Swansea play, that goal reflected a half in which they ended with 74 per cent of possession. In truth, they had done very little with it until that point.

The problem facing Newcastle was that they had lost two of their most creative options from the bench before kick-off. Striker Papiss Cisse, ruled out with a heel problem, and playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa were both surprise exclusions.

But Newcastle pushed on. When Webb failed to award a penalty for Davies' block on Remy's shot at the height of Newcastle's second half play, Swansea had been given the extra incentive required.

And when the official waved played on again when Gouffran was shoved in the back by Williams as the two jumped in the area, Swansea counter-attacked at speed to grab a second against the run of play.

Pozuelo's defence splitting pass was perfect for Shelvey to run on to. He was denied by a fine low save from Krul, but the rebound ricochet off the sliding Debuchy and bounced over the line 23 minutes from time.

After that Newcastle, who had introduced Gabriel Obertan in desperation rather than hope, kept going without seriously testing Vorm again, except for the when the substitute fluffed his lines after being put through by Moussa Sissoko.

Then Shelvey, clearly enjoying the night, made the most of the space in front of him 25 yards out and the former Liverpool man curled in a stunning strike that was helped in to the top corner by Krul's flying right hand to complete the win.


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