NEWCASTLE UNITED’S 3-0 victory brought an end to Cardiff City’s brief stay in the Premier League, but a protest by disgruntled Magpies fans was the main story of the day.
Cardiff were relegated to the Championship after a sorry display which saw Newcastle score two late goals on a fractious day on Tyneside.
A planned walk-out by fans on 60 and 69 minutes materialised, but was by no means a mass exodus. It was, however, another sign that the fans are less than happy with the ownership of Mike Ashley, and his manager Alan Pardew.
The latter was booed every time he took to the touchline – John Carver did most of the instructing in his stead – while the crowd unfurled banners and chanted against both Ashley and Pardew.
Meanwhile, amid the protests, the poison and the fury, a game of football had taken place.
Shola Ameobi’s first half goal was the difference for a long spell, the Nigerian striker heading past Bluebirds goalkeeper David Marshall with 18 minutes on the clock, Loic Remy made it two, three minutes from the end, before Steven Taylor nodded home in stoppage time.
Ameobi’s goal had arrived after a spell of pressure from the hosts, with Mathieu Debuchy going close twice in as many minutes, both chances kept out by Marshall who has been Cardiff’s best player of a torrid season.
Moussa Sissoko hit the post on 22 minutes, before Cardiff woke from their slumbers and began to attack.
Wilfried Zaha, on loan from Manchester United, who failed to do Cardiff a favour this afternoon by losing to relegation rivals Sunderland, burst into life by having three attacks on goal in the space of five minutes, but that was as good as it got for the sorry Bluebirds.
After the interval, Cardiff could not get out of the blocks, and Newcastle were happy to sit back, but meanwhile in the stands, sitting was the last thing on the supporters’ minds.
The first walk-out on 60 minutes saw a smattering of supporters leaving the ground, but the 69-minute exodus was a lot more noticeable. There were no massive banks of grey seats exposed, but those who decided to leave had made their point.
Krul denied Kenwyne Jones on 76 minutes before Aron Gunnarsson’s effort was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini seconds later, while at the other end, Remy’s shot was blocked.
Results elsewhere had conspired against Cardiff, and the Magpies put the final nails in their coffin when Remy slotted home and substitute Taylor completed the scoring.
A full-time lap of honour by the players was received surprisingly well by those fans still in the ground. Alan Pardew did not join in.
Cardiff ended the day five points from safety and, like Fulham, who were also relegated today, can not now catch Sunderland, who are on 35 points with two home games against West Brom and Swansea still to come.
NEWCASTLE UNITED (4-4-2): Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara 46); Sissoko, Anita (S Taylor 79), Tiote, Gouffran (Gosling 70); Shola Ameobi, Remy. Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Armstrong, de Jong
CARDIFF CITY (4-5-1): Marshall; Fabio (Eikrem 86), Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Kim, Mutch, Zaha; Campbell (Jones 73). Subs: Lewis, Jones, Cowie, McNaughton, Berget.