- Newcastle blows chance to move 17th
- Stoke rises to 7th
- Shaqiri scores from distance
- Butland makes big stop at the death
Xherdan Shaqiri did it according to the old weather cliché.
Miserable weather and plucky combatants produced just one goal, as Stoke City beat Newcastle United 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.
The win lifts Stoke to 7th, while Newcastle remains in 19th. The Magpies are behind Sunderland and Norwich City on goal differential, but all have 24 points. Newcastle has played one less match.
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Play began to pick up in the 12th minute, after a lot of ping-pong to start. Caught off-guard, NUFC goalkeeper Rob Elliot made a leaping tip of an ambitious Xherdan Shaqiri shot before Marko Arnautovic blasted over frame.
Elliot was called upon to save Shaqiri from the other side of the field moments later, as Newcastle struggled to build any possession with the ball, perhaps rusty from 18 days off.
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63′ – Atrocious conditions at the Britannia Stadium at the moment. Rain is driving across the pitch and into the stands. #NUFC
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 2, 2016
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That’s when Stoke’s first ray of light in a while, a loose ball atop the 18 with Newcastle’s discipline last, was blasted past Elliot.