Match Analysis: Newcastle United 3-0 Cardiff City

Match Analysis: Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff
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Sports Mole analyses the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Cardiff City at St James' Park.

Cardiff City have been relegated from the Premier League after falling to a 3-0 defeat against Newcastle United.

Shola Ameobi gave Newcastle the lead in the first half, while Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko saw efforts come back off the woodwork.

Aron Gunnarsson and Kenwyne Jones came close to equalising for the visitors, but late goals from Loic Remy and Steven Taylor sealed their return to the Championship.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the events that unfolded at St James' Park.

Match Statistics:

Newcastle:
Shots 22
On Target 6
Possession 54%
Corners 10
Fouls 9

Cardiff:
Shots 16
On Target 3
Possession 46%
Corners 6
Fouls 6

Was the result fair?

Newcastle certainly deserved to win the match, but the final scoreline was harsh on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. It was clear that the hosts wanted to put their recent poor run of form behind them and they started the game in blistering pace, with Cardiff unable to deal with their attacking threat. The second half was in stark contrast, as the game seemed to grind to a halt due to the protests set to take place in the 69th minute. A number of Newcastle fans left the ground and the atmosphere suffered. It didn't seem to help the Bluebirds either, who were unable to raise their game and save themselves from the drop.

Newcastle's performance

Alan Pardew must have sent his team out with a message to start the game strongly, as that is exactly what they did. Ameobi found the net for them early on and they created a number of decent scoring opportunities in a dominant first-half display. They did not play as well after the break, but managed to hold on after a late Cardiff surge and scored two late goals to give the scoreline a more one-sided look. A win was vitally important for the club this afternoon, as they would not have wanted to face Liverpool next weekend off the back of seven-consecutive defeats.

Cardiff's performance

Cardiff were outplayed in the first half, but could have taken an early lead when Fraizer Campbell volleyed an effort wide. If they had scored the game may have ended differently, but they were not clinical enough in front of goal, which has been a major problem all season. Fans of the club can be proud of their efforts this campaign and will hope that they can rebuild next season and quickly return to the top flight.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Moussa Sissoko: The French international was at the heart of everything good for Newcastle this afternoon and produced a dominant display in the heart of the midfield alongside Cheick Tiote. He set up the first goal with an inch-perfect cross to the back post that was headed in by Ameobi, before seeing a late strike deflect into the path of Remy to seal the win for Newcastle. His driving runs caused the Cardiff defence problems all afternoon and he was unlucky not to find the back of the net after hitting the post twice.

Biggest gaffe

Gunnarsson and Jones had two big chances to score for Cardiff in the space of a minute, but were denied from close range by a combination of Tim Krul and Fabricio Coloccini. At that stage of the game the score was still 1-0 to Newcastle and had one of their strikes gone in, it would have given the visitors a huge boost of confidence for the closing stages.

Referee's performance

It was a relatively quiet afternoon for Martin Atkinson, who handed out just one booking this afternoon to Debuchy following a clumsy challenge on Remy. There were no controversial moments on the pitch for him to deal with, as the main talking points came from the frustrations of the Newcastle fans in the stands over the club's owners and management.

What next?

Newcastle: Newcastle travel to Anfield to play Liverpool in their final game of the season next Sunday.

Cardiff: The Bluebirds face a home match against Chelsea next weekend.

Shola Ameobi of Newcastle United is congratulated by team mates as he scores their first goal with a header during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Cardiff City at St James' Park on May 3, 2014
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