After just one season of top flight football, Cardiff are being sent back to the Championship. Their loss to Newcastle United on Saturday, combined with Sunderland’s victory over Manchester United, officially relegated the Bluebirds.
Already in the first minute, Cardiff were being cut to pieces. Moussa Sissoko went zipping up the right to put a cross into the area. Loïc Rémy couldn’t get a good shot in, however, and the forward’s strike was deflected wide.
But before twenty minutes were out, Sissoko was able to set up a goal for his side. Another cross, this one coming from the right, fell to Shola Ameobi. The forward got his head on the ball to give Newcastle the lead – but the last time he (and Newcastle) scored, Swansea came back to take all three points. Could Cardiff, fighting for their lives, possibly do the same?
The hosts set out to make sure that didn’t happen. Sissoko, clearly on fire, had his own go moments. His effort from 25 yards off bounced off a Cardiff defender, but only collided with the post.
Tim Krul played savior for his side in the 30th minute. Wilfried Zaha, looking for Cardiff’s equalizer, slipped past the Newcastle defense to put in a low shot. The goalkeeper used his feet to block the ball, preserving the rare Magpies’ lead.
After the break, Cardiff, rather than looking revived, looked all but defeated. Just what had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said to them at halftime? Nothing that pepped them up, apparently, because only Ben Turner had any sort of attempt before Newcastle began controlling the game once more.
The Bluebirds began to make more of impression after the hour mark, right about the time that banners calling for change at Newcastle began to unfurl at St. James’ Park. Still, there was nothing from Cardiff that particularly worried the hosts, with a shot from Peter Whittingham easily blocked, and a long-range effort from Jordan Mutch sailing harmlessly wide.
As Cardiff threw more and more players up the pitch in an attempt to find the equalizer, they became more sloppy at the back – which ultimately allowed Newcastle to score two late goals. In the 87th minute, Rémy had no trouble beating David Marshall from close range. Rémy very nearly put in another in extra time, but Marshall was up to the task, pushing it away. Unfortunately for the Bluebirds, the keeper could only steer the ball into the path of Steven Taylor, who headed home.
Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett (Haidara 45); Sissoko, Anita (Taylor 79), Tiote, Gouffran (Gosling 70); Shola Ameobi, Remy
Goals: Shola Ameobi 22′; Rémy 87′ ; Taylor 91′
Cardiff City: Marshall; Fabio (Eikrem 86), Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Kim (Bellamy 45), Mutch, Zaha; Campbell (Jones 73)