Match Analysis: Stoke City 1-0 Newcastle United

Sports Mole provides you with an analysis of Stoke City's 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Stoke City pushed themselves closer to their most impressive points tally in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United this afternoon.

The hosts dominated the first half and went ahead thanks to an unusual goal from full-back Erik Pieters, with Newcastle unable to muster anything in reply as the hosts continued their impressive form at home by taking all three points.

Here, Sports Mole inspects the 90 minutes of action between the two Premier League sides.

Match statistics

Stoke City
Shots: 10
On target: 3
Possession: 49%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 12

Newcastle United
Shots: 13
On target: 1
Possession: 51%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 11

Was the result fair?

Stoke thoroughly deserved their three points this afternoon. They have managed to turn the Britannia Stadium into a fortress, having lost only two games there this campaign, which really showed against Newcastle. The hosts played the more enterprising football, courtesy of Peter Crouch and Marko Arnautovic, while Newcastle appeared totally listless in attack.

Stoke City's performance

The hosts looked wholly more accomplished in every part of the pitch than their opponents. It's no wonder Stoke have been so dominant at home. Manager Mark Hughes has coached this side into great passers of the ball and they work together with great efficiency. As well as being able to move the ball nicely, they know exactly when to feed it to Arnautovic who can produce the pace and power used to trouble the opposition's defence.

Newcastle United's performance

Manager Alan Pardew sought to shift things around in order to get his side back on track, with his new 3-5-2 formation seemingly working up until Stoke scored their vital goal. However, his players have let him down massively here - especially his two strikers. Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi didn't offer anything to put the Stoke defence under pressure and were useless outlets when asked to hold up the ball. The only positive to take from this game was the performance of young Dan Gosling who stood out in midfield with his thoughtful passing and intense pressing.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Marko Arnautovic:

Arnautovic was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch at the Britannia. He has everything you'd want from a winger with an added work-rate when going forward. He kept Newcastle on the back foot all afternoon and provided a number of crosses that should have been converted by Crouch.

Biggest gaffe

Newcastle's selection of strikers has probably proved to be the biggest gaffe of the game. Newcastle fans would cite an injury to Loic Remy as a pivotal reason behind this loss, but Cisse and Ameobi failed to perform and changes were made far too late in proceedings. It would have been more beneficial to have used Hatem Ben Arfa more adroitly than play with two forwards who were quite clearly out of form.

Referee performance

Mike Jones didn't have much to do, but Newcastle might feel aggrieved having not been given a penalty when Cisse was seemingly bundled over in the first half. However, he did make a good call when tasked with booking Fabricio Coloccini for a cynical tackle on Arnautovic as he broke away on the counter.

What next?

Stoke City:

Stoke have enjoyed a strong period of late despite their recent defeat to Chelsea. This victory should help them on their way to their highest points tally in the Premier League. They face the likes of Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City during the closing stages of the season.

Newcastle United:

Thanks to a strong showing in the first half of the campaign, Newcastle currently hold a comfortable mid-table position in the league. Some may say they have nothing to play for, but Pardew certainly does. He now has four games to show both Newcastle fans and the club's owners that he should still be at the helm next season. He'll need good results against Swansea and Cardiff to do so.

Shola Ameobi of Newcastle in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Fulham at the St James Park on August 31, 2013
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