Match Analysis: Newcastle United 1-2 Swansea City

Sports Mole dissects the action as Swansea City beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James' Park.

Newcastle United's disastrous Premier League form continued this afternoon as they were beaten 2-1 at St James' Park by relegation-threatened Swansea City.

Shola Ameobi handed the home side the lead after 23 minutes, but Swansea were level in first-half stoppage time when Wilfried Bony headed home from close range.

The Welsh outfit won it late on when Bony converted from the penalty spot after Cheick Tiote had brought down Marvin Emnes inside the area.

Here, Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes of action between the two Premier League rivals.

Match statistics

Shots: 14
On target: 4
Possession: 47%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 6

Shots: 9
On target: 2
Possession: 53%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

In truth, Newcastle did not deserve to lose this afternoon. It was a match that lacked serious quality for long spells, but the home side were the team in control for significant periods of the 90 minutes. A 1-1 draw would have been a fair reflection of events at St James' Park, but a crazy late challenge from Tiote ending up costing his side a share of the spoils. It is now five straight league defeats for Newcastle, but Swansea have moved six points clear of the relegation zone with just three games remaining.

Newcastle's performance

It has been nothing short of a disastrous 2014 for the Magpies, who have now lost seven of their last nine league games at home. But for a solid start and middle of the season, they would now be facing a serious battle to remain in the league. Despite taking the lead after 23 minutes, it was not an ideal first period for Alan Pardew's side, with Papiss Cisse and Luuk de Jong both forced to depart with injuries. Leading scorer Loic Remy did return from the bench, but it was clear that the on-loan QPR forward was some way short of full match sharpness following a period on the sidelines. Despite the lack of quality, it was an improved performance from Newcastle in terms of intensity, which at least raised the disgruntled supporters. Ultimately, however, another mistake cost them the chance to end their five-game losing run in the league. Supporters will surely want guarantees in terms of the summer transfer window before season tickets are renewed.

Swansea's performance

Swansea entered the match knowing that defeat could leave them perilously close to the drop zone with just three games remaining, but their performance, especially in the first period, was slightly laboured. Bony's equaliser on the stroke of the interval certainly would have changed Garry Monk's half-time team-talk, but it was Newcastle that were in control for long spells of the second period. The Welsh outfit have struggled for results this season, but their often-reliable passing ability also seemed to desert them this afternoon, with possession too often relinquished in the middle of the park. That said, it is results and not performances that are important at this stage of the season. It was a smash-and-grab victory, but one that might be enough to secure their league status for at least another season.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Wilfried Bony: It was been a largely disappointing season for Swansea, but Bony has been a real shining light. The 25-year-old's brace this afternoon took him onto 22 goals for the campaign, which is an extremely impressive return for his first season in England. His teammates might have struggled for long spells this afternoon, but the Ivorian was a willing runner and did now allow the Newcastle defence a second to rest. The forward also showed nerves of steel to send his penalty into the top corner in second-half stoppage time.

Biggest gaffe

It looked for all the world as if the points were going to be shared when the match entered stoppage time this afternoon. However, Newcastle midfielder Tiote cost his side with an extremely poor challenge inside his own box. Emnes appeared to be off-balance as he drove into the home side's box, but Tiote came across and hacked the on-loan Middlesbrough forward to the ground. It was a challenge that did not need to be made and a challenge that ultimately cost his side a point.

Referee performance

Chris Foy started as today's referee at St James' Park, but was forced to depart in the first period after failing to recover from a heavy blow to the face, which occurred when Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey's strike rebounded off Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini. Foy's replacement was fourth official Anthony Taylor and the 35-year-old wasted no time in becoming involved by booking Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling in his first contribution. From that moment forward, it was a fairly straight-forward afternoon for Taylor, who rightly awarded Swansea a late penalty when Tiote felled Emnes inside the area.

What next?

Newcastle: Newcastle will attempt to return to winning ways in the league when they travel to top-four hopefuls Arsenal next Monday.

Swansea: The Welsh outfit return to the Liberty Stadium against Aston Villa next Saturday.

Wilfried Bony of Swansea City is tackled by Fabrizio Coloccini of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St James' Park on April 19, 2014
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