Read how Newcastle United thrashed nine-man Stoke City in an action-packed affair at St James' Park, courtesy of Sports Mole's live text coverage.
Stoke City travelled to Newcastle United this afternoon having only won once at St James' Park since 1976, and Tyneside continued to be an unhappy hunting ground for them.
Oussama Assaidi gave the visitors a 29th-minute lead with a replica of his winning goal against Chelsea, as he cut inside from the left and fired a dipping shot beyond Tim Krul and inside the far post.
However, two sendings-off in the space of four minutes changed the complexion of the match completely, as firstly Glenn Whelan and then Marc Wilson saw red for the Potters, and although Loic Remy missed the penalty following the latter's dismissal, he equalised for the Magpies ninety second later with a shot deflected off Ryan Shawcross.
He netted again after the interval, while Yoan Gouffran, Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse, who scored his first Premier League goal in 19 games, also got on the scoresheet as Alan Pardew's side fully capitalised on their numerical advantage by thrashing Stoke 5-1 to stay within two points of the top four positions.
Below, you can read how the action unfolded, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute coverage.
2.07pmSeasons greetings, all! The famous Boxing Day football fixture list is here, so settle down with those Christmas leftovers and watch it all unfold with Sports Mole! this afternoon. 2.09pmThere are eight 3pm Premier League games today, and my focus here is on a meeting between two of the divisions in-form sides at St James' Park, as Newcastle United host Stoke City. 2.11pmTeam news has just arrived, and I shall bring it to you imminently, starting with the hosts... 2.14pmNEWCASTLE: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Sissoko, Cabaye, Anita; Ben Arfa, Remy, Gouffran 2.16pmSUBS: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, S.Taylor, Haidara, Obertan, Shola Ameobi, Cisse 2.18pmSTOKE: Sorensen; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Whelan, Adam, Assaidi; Crouch 2.20pmSUBS: Butland, Muniesa, Palacios, Jones, Arnautovic, Wilkinson, Ireland 2.22pmThe suspension of Cheick Tiote allows Hatem Ben Arfa, a goalscorer against Crystal Palace last time out, a first Premier League start since the Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Sunderland two months ago. 2.24pmAlan Pardew switches back to 4-3-3 to accommodate his luxury player, who forms part of a French forward trio with compatriots Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy, who is without a goal in five games. 2.26pmAnother French international, Moussa Sissoko, who started on the right wing in the 3-0 victory over the Eagles at Selhurst Park, comes inside to play alongside Vurnon Anita and Yohan Cabaye. 2.28pmOtherwise, the hosts are unchanged, with Fabricio Coloccini captaining them from central defence as part of an unchanged back four that has kept three clean sheets in their last four matches. 2.30pmThere are two changes for the visitors and one will come as a major blow for Mark Hughes, with number one goalkeeper Asmir Begovic missing his first Premier League game of the season due to injury. 2.32pmEven Begovic's absence isn't enough to secure England international stopper Jack Butland his first top flight start, as Hughes prefers experienced Dane Thomas Sorensen between the sticks. 2.34pmHis other alteration is not enforced, but not unexpected, as Charlie Adam, who had an immediate impact off the bench in their 2-1 win over Aston Villa last Saturday, handed a start behind Peter Crouch. 2.36pmThe Scot scored six minutes after his half-time introduction and has earned himself a recall to Hughes' XI today, in place of the man who made way for him against Villa - Marko Arnautovic. 2.38pmRobert Huth is still missing in the middle of Stoke's defence and is unlikely to play until after the New Year, so versatile Republic of Ireland international Marc Wilson again deputises at centre-back. 2.40pmStephen Ireland has to make do with only a place among the substitutes, with Glenn Whelan retained from the side that beat Villa, whom Ireland was unable to face as part of his loan agreement. 2.42pmHEAD TO HEAD: There has not been a draw between these sides in their last six Premier League games, with wins shared equally between the sides over the last three seasons. Stoke have only won once at Newcastle, though, when James Perch's own goal won it for the Potters. 2.44pmSpeaking of James Perch, now of Wigan Athletic, he was the last Englishman to net in the Premier League for the Magpies. The goal came exactly a year ago today in a victory over Manchester United. 2.46pmSince then it has very much been French flair for Newcastle in the final third, with all but one of their top-flight goals this season coming from a Les Bleus star - Welshman Paul Dummet's vs. Liverpool. 2.48pmRESULT: An entertaining early kickoff between Hull City and Manchester United has come to an end. The Premier League champions, who had Antonio Valencia sent off late on, recovered from being 2-0 down inside 12 minutes at the KC Stadium to record a 3-2 victory over Steve Bruce's side. 2.51pmJust under 10 minutes until kickoff at St James' Park - prediction on its way! 2.54pmPREDICTION: Although both sides are on a roll of late, Stoke are still struggling to pick up wins on the road and I expect a buoyant Tyneside crowd to inspire a Newcastle victory. I'll plump for 2-1. 2.57pmONE TO WATCH: Hatem Ben Arfa hasn't featured prominently for Newcastle in away matches this season due to his perceived lack of defensive awareness, but the Magpies are back on home soil today and the Frenchman, recalled by Alan Pardew, can terrorise any defence on his day. 1 minThe action is underway on Tyneside... 2 minThe Potters enjoy some nice early passing exchanges, but a loose ball then allows Newcastle to counter. Remy shifts it on to Sissoko, who cuts inside and sends a tame 25-yard tame shot at Sorensen. 3 minStoke also get an early long-range shot away as Crouch controls a long ball on his chest before allowing it to drop and volleying towards goal from 30 yards, but it is easy pickings for Krul. 5 minCLOSE! Ben Arfa has an early run at Erik Pieters down the right and creates some room for a shot by shifting the ball onto his preferred left foot and bending a curling shot just over the crossbar. 8 minBen Arfa this time opts to slip the overlapping Debuchy in behind Pieters, who already looks like he may be in for a busy afternoon. Stoke get enough bodies across to block his cross, though. 11 minAfter Sissoko's attempts to dribble the ball out of his own box go wrong, Stoke recycle the ball to Charlie Adam. He delivers a brilliant cross into the six-yard box with his weaker right peg and Williamson's wild sliced clearances goes behind, a few yards wide. That could have gone anywhere! 13 minRemy turns Wilson and lays the ball off to Sissoko before sprinting forward for a return. The midfielder opts to go on his own, though, and Remy is left frustrated that his countryman didn't play him in. 15 minStoke's more patient buildup under Hughes is evident as they keep the ball for 20 or so passes, but N'Zonzi then loses it to Debuchy near the left touchline. Crouch has hardly had a touch thus far. 17 minGouffran releases Remy down the right flank, and then makes a run into the box but he is the only Newcastle body up in support of the forward, whose hopeful cross is blocked at the near post. 20 minSHOT! The closest we have come to an opening as Adam drills a shot just wide of the post! Cameron, who is proving to be a real attacking weapon from right-back for Stoke this season, cuts inside with a driving run, although Pardew will be annoyed with how easily he went past Santon. He squares for Adam, who lets the ball run across him 20 yards out and then slices an effort a couple of yards the wrong side of Tim Krul's woodwork! 22 minAt the other end, Cameron is nearly caught out, though, as Gouffran pinches the ball from him. Cabaye's early pass frees Remy, but his first touch allows Shawcross to make up the ground and sweep up the danger. The Stoke centre-back showed good pace there. He's more than just physical. 25 minCabaye tries his luck from distance, and we know he has some history when it comes to long-range screamers. This one takes a deflection and forces a diving Sorensen to palm it around his post. 29 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 0-1 STOKE (OUSSAMA ASSAIDI) 29 minThe Potters take what many would consider to be a surprise lead, and it is another fine strike from Oussama Assaidi! The Liverpool loanee, who scored that 90th-minute winner against Chelsea earlier this month, nets an almost replica effort by cutting inside from the left and unleashing a dipping shot which flies past Krul and into the side netting. That's a Christmas cracker! 33 minBOOKING: Whelen becomes the first man to be cautioned this afternoon after tangling with Sissoko, who reacts with some pushing and shoving that goes unpunished by referee Martin Atkinson. 35 minNewcastle have yet to really pose a goal threat, and Remy doesn't look anywhere near as sharp as he did earlier in the season. Sissoko picks him out inside the box, but a poor first touch allows Wilson to clear. 36 minDebuchy does not learn from Stoke's opener as he again invites Assaidi to cut inside. The winger once more looks to get a shot away, which is blocked, and his follow-up effort rolls into Krul's gloves. 39 minRED CARD! Whelan is dismissed for a second yellow card in the space of six minutes. It's a needless challenge as he knocks into Cabaye from behind as the Frenchman was shielding the ball by the touchline, and referee Atkinson does not hesitate to give him his marching orders! 42 minSENDING OFF! There's another dismissal at St James' Park and Stoke are down to nine men! Wilson is just undone by a bit of movement from Remy, who spins the Irishman just inside the area and is then tugged down by him as he goes through on goal. Referee Atkinson produces red, and Newcastle have a penalty! 43 minSAVE! Sorensen saves the spot kick from Remy! It's a poor effort from the Frenchman, tamely struck and only a fraction to the right of centre, and former Sunderland keeper Sorensen 'endears' himself to this Tyneside crowd even more by guessing the right way and making the save! 44 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 1-1 STOKE (LOIC REMY) 44 minWhat an incredible 10 minutes at St James' Park - I can barely keep up! Sorensen's penalty save proves only to be a temporary reprieve for nine-man Stoke as Ben Arfa runs half the length of the pitch on a Newcastle break and then shifts the ball on to Remy, who cuts inside and squeezes the ball into the net via a pretty big deflection off Shawcross. The hosts are level, and it has all gone wrong for Mark Hughes! 45+2 minCHANCE! Ben Arfa does brilliantly to squeeze through two Stoke defenders on the right edge of the box, but then thrashes a shot from a tight angle some distance over the crossbar. 3.50pmHALF-TIME: NEWCASTLE 1-1 STOKE 3.53pmTalk about action-packed! We've had two goals, two red cards, a missed penalty, a manager sent to the stands and a real cracker of a goal. The result after all that, a 1-1 scoreline at the break! 3.55pmOussama Assaidi's 29th-minute opener, reminiscent of the late winner he scored against Chelsea earlier this month, gave visiting Stoke a 1-0 advantage but everything has gone wrong for them since then. 3.58pmGlenn Whelan's rashness started off an England middle-order size implosion, as he was sent off for two bookings inside the space of 10 minutes. The first was deserved, but unnecessary, as he was yellow carded for some afters with Moussa Sissoko after the pair tangled. The second was harsh, as he knocked into Yohan Cabaye from behind, and manager Mark Hughes certainly thought so, as he was ordered to the stands for his touchline protests. 4.01pmA hat-trick of Potters dismissals was then completed when Marc Wilson denied Loic Remy a goalscoring opportunity, tugging the Frenchman down after he had spun away from him just inside the area. No arguments about that decision by Martin Atkinson. The Newcastle man saw his spot kick saved by Thomas Sorensen, but soon beat the Dane, with the aid of a deflection off Ryan Shawcross, to earn the Magpies half-time parity. 46 minNewcastle get us back underway on Tyneside and there are half-time changes from both sides... 47 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Alan Pardew has thrown on another striker in the shape of Shola Ameobi, while full-back Andy Wilkinson is on for Stoke in place of goalscorer Assaidi. Cameron will shift inside. 48 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 2-1 STOKE (YOAN GOUFFRAN) 48 minNine-man Stoke cannot hold out for long, as Ben Arfa gets to the byline and stands a cross up. It is headed directly upwards, and Sorensen's attempted punch is awful. It drops to Gouffran, who composes himself before firing a shot on the half volley into the bottom corner. 51 minSHOTS! Newcastle may now be sniffing a goal-difference boosting win, but two long-range efforts, the first from Debuchy and the second from Cabaye, both swerve wide of Sorensen's left post. 53 minAll of Stoke's depleted ranks are behind the ball and that is where I expect they shall spend almost the entirety of the remainder of the game. I cannot see how they will keep the ball forward. 55 minWOODWORK: Newcastle take a short corner routine which sets up Ben Arfa, closed down by Walters, to surge into the box and fire a low shot across goal, but against the post! Sorensen was beaten. 57 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 3-1 STOKE (LOIC REMY) 57 minSanton gets to the byline before cutting back onto his right and dinking a ball into the box for Sissoko at the near post. He should score, but doesn't make any real contact with his header, which falls for Remy a couple of yards out and the Frenchman converts his easy tap in for his second. 59 minCROSSBAR! There may not be many Stoke players left on the pitch, but Ben Arfa takes on about half of them with a mazy run into the box, as he twists and turns his way past four red and white shirts before smashing a 10-yard shot against the woodwork. Stunning - deserved a goal. 61 minRemarkably, the visitors have half a sight of goal themselves as Walters races onto a ball over the top and then, from a tight angle, takes a shot on which flies into the stands behind the goal. 63 minSUBSTITUTIONS: It's a matter of avoiding embarrassment now for Stoke, who bring on holding midfielder Wilson Palacios for Crouch, with this one over as a contest. Pardew takes the chance to give Massadio Haidara more game time in his rehabilitation from a serious leg injury, with Santon sacrificed. 66 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 4-1 STOKE (YOHAN CABAYE) 66 minCabaye gets in on the act with his fifth of the season, and this is a peach. Ben Arfa has so much freedom now and he uses that to find a huge chunk of space before coming inside and squaring for his compatriot, who beautifully guides the ball inside the post from 20 yards with a controlled effort. 69 minIt's a question of how many now. In-fact, it has been since the moment Newcastle took the lead three minutes into the break. 71 minCHANCE! Gouffran has a glorious opportunity to make it five, but completely miscues a near-post header after Haidara, who's practically played as a winger since coming in, picked him out. 73 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Gouffran, who has now scored in five successive home games, will not get another chance to add to his tally as Pardew swaps him for Papiss Cisse, for whom this is a brilliant opportunity to end a Premier League goal drought which goes back to April. Hughes replaces N'Zonzi with Marc Muniesa. 75 minDebuchy's delivery from the right is only partially headed clear at the near post and it drops perfectly for Ameobi, who totally mishits his attempted volley. The strike of a man without a top-flight goal this season! 78 minPENALTY! Decisions have gone against Stoke this afternoon, but they really haven't helped themselves. Ben Arfa makes a mess of dribbling into the box, but when Pieters lunges to get the loose ball, he unfairly barges the Magpies man off it and Newcastle have another spot kick. 80 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE 5-1 STOKE (PAPISS CISSE) 80 minRemy is on a hat-trick, but unselfishly steps aside to allow Cisse to take the responsibility from 12 yards, and the Newcastle fans unleash their loudest roar of the afternoon as the striker thumps the ball confidently into the top corner for his first Premier League goal in 19 matches. 83 minNewcastle should probably have had another penalty, as Shawcross barges into Cabaye after the Frenchman had collected a pass around the corner and looked to get a shot away. This time Atkinson doesn't point to the spot. 86 minAnother Haidara cross into the box, this one fizzed in low, comes to a Newcastle shirt but Cisse slips as he goes to control it. From the other flank, Ben Arfa's similar delivery is poked clear by Walters at the far post. 89 minReferee Atkinson is again generous to Stoke as he allows a really forceful lunge by Shawcross on Haidara inside the box to go unpunished. The full-back receives treatment on the field before limping off. A serious injury is the only thing that could mar this afternoon for Alan Pardew. 90+1 minTHREE minutes of second-half stoppage time. Stoke's torture is nearly over... 4.52pmFULL-TIME: NEWCASTLE 5-1 STOKE 4.55pmIt all started so well for Stoke, but this afternoon will haunt Mark Hughes's nightmares for a long time. Oussama Assaidi gave them a 29th-minute lead with a fine strike, only for a series of refereeing decisions, some debatable, some not to change the game completely in Newcastle's favour. 4.58pmThe Potters lost two men, and their manager to the stands, in the space of four minutes at the end of the first half, with Glenn Whelan dismissed for two bookable offences, the first of which was needless and the second harsh. There will be few arguments about Marc Wilson's sending off a short while later, though, as the Irishman tugged down Loic Remy inside the area, denying him a goalscoring opportunity in the process. 5.00pmThe Frenchman saw his spot kick saved by Thomas Sorensen, but equalised 90 seconds later, and when Yoan Gouffran put the Magpies ahead three minutes after the break, it was only a question of how many. Remy, Cabaye and Papiss Cisse all got on the scoresheet to make it a rout. 5.02pmNewcastle stay within touching distance of the top four with victory, just two points outside of the Champions League places, while Stoke remain in the top half of the table, but their goal difference takes a hit! 5.05pmThat's it from me on a crazy afternoon at St James' Park. Thanks for joining Sports Mole this Boxing Day, and be sure to stay with us for live coverage of Man City and Liverpool tonight. Until next time...