Newcastle 3-0 Cardiff City: Bluebirds are relegated (video)

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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.

LINEUPS

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)

Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Cardiff City (Lineups and Discuss)

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Cardiff might be playing to save their Premier League skins, but it’s the Newcastle fans that just might take center stage on Saturday. (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

Supporters have planned a protest at St. James’ Park, coordinating efforts for the home fans to walk out of the stadium during the 69th minute of the match. While the Magpies are assured of another season in the Premier League, that’s down to performances in the first half of the season, after which they’ve only managed to disappoint. Newcastle have lost their last six in a row, their opponents scoring 17 goals to their…zero. No wonder fans are frustrated.

Bluebirds fans don’t have it easy, either. Cardiff are last in the league and could very well find themselves relegated by the end of the weekend. Last week’s 4-0 loss to Sunderland did them no favors, and should the Black Cats and Norwich both win, and Newcastle manage to find three points, it’s right back to the Championship for Cardiff.

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After last week’s disastrous showing at Sunderland,Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rung the changes for the match at St. James’ Park. Ben Turner, Declan John, Aron Gunnarsson, Kim Bo-Kyung and Wilfried Zaha all start for the visitors.

It’s just one change for Alan Pardew, who, in absence of Yohan Cabaye, seems to have no idea how to convince his side to score. Loic Remy does start up top, but will his partnership with Shola Ameobi, in for Dan Gosling, actually produce a goal for Newcastle?

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran; Shola Ameobi, Remy

Subs: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Haidara, S.Taylor, Gosling, Armstrong, de Jong

Cardiff City: Marshall; Fabio, Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Kim, Mutch, Zaha; Campbell

Subs: Lewis; Jones, Eikrem, Cowie, McNaughton, Berget, Bellamy

Premier League Relegation Watch: Clubs primed to go down (Matchweek 30)

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Matchweek 30 saw massive wins by Fulham and West Brom meaning only seven points separate 12th placed West Ham United from last placed Fulham. The Premier League relegation race is shaping up to come down to the wire with multiple clubs vying for safety.

Here’s the relegation watch currently stands:

source: Getty Images12. WEST HAM UNITED 31 PTS (29 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): Manchester United (H); Hull City (H); Sunderland (A); Liverpool (H); Arsenal (A); Crystal Palace (H); West Brom (A); Tottenham (H); Manchester City (A)

League Form: WWWWLL

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Marco Boriello, shin (no return date); Joey O’Brien, shoulder (April 14th

Vegas odds to be relegated: 16/1

Verdict: West Ham ripped off four straight wins in February but have since lost two straight to Everton (0-1) and Stoke City (1-3), respectively. But with key players (Andy Carroll and Winston Reid) now healthy, the Hammers should have no problem reaching the 40 point mark.

source: Getty Images13. HULL CITY 30 PTS (28 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): West Bromwich Albion (H); West Ham United (A); Stoke City (A); Swansea City (H); Manchester United (A); Arsenal (H); Fulham (A); Aston Villa (A); Everton (H)

League Form: DWLWLL

Other Competitions: FA Cup (v. Sheffield United on March 13th)

Injuries: Robbie Brady, groin (no return date); Paul McShane, ankle (no return date), Joe Dudgeon, knee (no return date)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 12/1

Verdict: Despite losing two straight, Hull City have enjoyed a fantastic Premier League season and few will have the Tigers pegged to go down. With a favorable end of the season schedule and a relatively healthy roster, expect Hull to be in the league come next August.

source:  14. SWANSEA CITY 29 PTS (29 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): Everton (A); Arsenal (A); Norwich City (H); Hull City (A); Chelsea (H); Newcastle United (A); Aston Villa (H); Southampton (H); Sunderland (A)

League Form: LWDLDL

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Nathan Dyer, ankle (March 22nd); Jonjo Shelvey, hamstring (March 22nd); Kyle Bartley, hamstring (no return date)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 10/1

Verdict: These are troubling times at the Liberty Stadium as Swansea find themselves with the second worst form record in the league having taking only five of a possible 18 points from their last six matches. The free-fall can be blamed on a number of things, namely an injury plagued season, participation in the Europa League and managerial ineptitude.

Making matters worse for the Swans is their end of the season schedule which boasts difficult fixtures with Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and Southampton as well as potential relegation six-pointers with Norwich and Sunderland.

source: Getty Images15. NORWICH CITY 29 PTS (30 PLD)

Remaining Matches (8): Sunderland (H); Swansea City (A); West Bromwich Albion (H); Fulham (A); Liverpool (H); Manchester United (A); Chelsea (A); Arsenal (H)

League Form: DLWLDL

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Leroy Fer, hamstring (no return date); Jonas Gutierrez, calf (March 22nd); Michael Turner, hamstring (March 22nd); Elliot Bennett, knee (April 5th)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 7/4

Verdict: If anyone who is currently safe is going to get relegated, Norwich City looks the most likely. The Canaries put in a lopsided effort at Southampton this past weekend, coming back from 3-0 down to lose 4-2. With only eight matches to play, Chris Hughton’s side must take points in their next four matches, all of which are winnable. After that, however, it’s curtains for Norwich who end the season against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

source: Getty Images16. WEST BROMWICH ALBION 28 PTS (29 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): Hull City (A); Cardiff City (H); Norwich City (A); Tottenham (H); Manchester City (A); West Ham United (H); Arsenal (A); Sunderland (H); Stoke City (H)

League Form: DLDDLW

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Morgan Amalfitano, knock (no return date); Chris Brunt, knee (April 21st); Billy Jones, hamstring (March 29th); Claudio Yacob, hamstring (March 22nd); Diego Lugano, knee (April 5th)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 7/2

Verdict: Such a massive win for West Brom this past weekend. To go into the Liberty Stadium and come from 0-1 down to win 2-1 will be a huge boost to the confidence of Pepe Mel’s side. The Albion remains banged up with a number of key injuries but with six of their final nine contests against clubs outside the Top 10, staying up looks to be in the cards.

source: Getty Images17. CRYSTAL PALACE 28 PTS (29 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): Newcastle United (A); Chelsea (H); Cardiff City (A); Aston Villa (H); Everton (A); West Ham United (A); Manchester City (H); Liverpool (H); Fulham (A)

League Form: LWLDLD

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Danny Gabbidon, knock (March 22nd); Barry Bannan, illness (March 22nd); Marouane Chamakh, hamstring (March 29th)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 3/2

Verdict: Winless in their last four, Palace need to be careful. They worked hard to ascend out of the relegation zone after Tony Pulis was appointed but the Eagles are now finding it difficult to see out the spring. And with a challenging end of the season schedule pitting Palace against Newcastle, Chelsea, Everton, City and Liverpool the points won’t come easy for the Selhurst Park faithful.

source: Getty Images18. SUNDERLAND 24 PTS (27 PLD)

Remaining Matches (11): Norwich City (A); Liverpool (A); West Ham United (H); Tottenham (A); Everton (H); Manchester City (A); Chelsea (A); Cardiff City (H); Manchester United (A); West Bromwich Albion (H); Swansea City (H)

League Form: DWWLLD

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Steven Fletcher, ankle (no return date); Keiren Westwood, shoulder (no return date)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 7/4

Verdict: Of the three teams currently in the relegation zone, Sunderland feel like the most likely to escape. With 11 matches left to play (and most of those being favorable matchups) and having reduced their workload by exiting from the FA Cup, Gus Poyet’s side will have no excuses if they go down. The health of Steven Fletcher will be a factor but with Jozy Altidore available and Ignacio Scocco added to the strike ranks this winter, the Black Cats still have options up top to get the job down.

source: Getty Images19. CARDIFF CITY 25 PTS (30 PLD)

Remaining Matches (9): Liverpool (H); West Bromwich Albion (A); Crystal Palace (H); Southampton (A); Stoke City (H); Sunderland (A); Newcastle United (A); Chelsea (H)

League Form: LDLLWL

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Ben Turner, knock (no return date); Andrew Taylor, knock (no return date); Mark Hudson, hamstring (no return date)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 1/4

Verdict: Vegas has Cardiff as the most likely squad to be relegated and for good reason – the Bluebirds are in the worst form of any club in the league and have only eight matches to play. If there are upsides to Cardiff’s situation it’s that the remaining matches are against favorable opponents and the squad is in good health. That said, talk to any pundit covering the Premier League and he’ll tell you Cardiff is destined to be playing in the Championship next season.

source: Getty Images20. FULHAM 24 PTS (30 PLD)

Remaining Matches (8): Manchester City (A); Everton (H); Aston Villa (A); Norwich City (H); Tottenham Hotspur (A); Hull City (H); Stoke City (A); Crystal Palace (H)

League Form: DLDLLW

Other Competitions: None

Injuries: Kostas Mitroglu, knee (no return date); Ashkan Dejagah, groin (no return date); Giorgos Karagounis, muscle injury (no return date); Scott Parker, knee (March 22nd); Damien Duff, knock (no return date)

Vegas odds to be relegated: 2/7

Verdict: Fulham is only slightly more likely than Cardiff to make it out of the relegation zone. Like the Bluebirds, the Cottagers don’t have any games in hand on their opponents. But Felix Magath’s team did play quite well this past weekend, defeating Newcastle 1-0 at the Cottage. It’s a win that they’ll look to gain some motivation from although Manchester City and Everton will be difficult tasks over the next two weeks.

When April comes, however, the fixture list becomes quite favorable for Fulham with matches against Villa, Norwich, Hull, Stoke and Palace. So while the situation is bleak for Fulham a thin line hope still remains.

Everton 2-1 Cardiff City: Toffees snatch late win to pile misery on Cardiff (video)

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Everton left it late to beat Cardiff City on Saturday at Goodison Park, as Seamus Coleman’s fortunate injury time strike sealed a dramatic 2-1 win for the Toffees.

The home side went ahead in the second half through Gerard Deulofeu’s deflect effort, but Cardiff equalized soon after through Juan Cala. Then came the dagger in Cardiff’s heart late on, as Coleman sliced an effort than fortuitously flew past the excellent David Marshall and sent Goodison Park into raptures.

With the win Everton keep their top four hopes alive, as they sit in sixth spot on 51 points. As for Cardiff, they are still 19th on 25 points as their relegation fears grow.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

The Toffees started the brighter of the two sides, but Cardiff were dangerous on the break in the opening stages.

A few goalmouth scrambles ensued as the home side forced the issue early on, and their first big chance arrived after 24 minutes when Kevin Mirallas was found in the box but Cala blocked the Belgian’s shot superbly.

That sparked a flurry of chances as Cardiff were thwarted by Everton’s U.S. national team ‘keeper Tim Howard after going clean through, as Howard used his feet to stop the Cardiff’s strikers low shot.

Then Gerard Delofeu shuffled the ball on the edge of the box and arrowed an effort towards the bottom corner but David Marshall tipped it wide. Then in the 33rd minute Marshall saved superbly from Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian cut in from the right and hammered a shot on goal that Cardiff’s Scottish ‘keeper tipped acrobatically over.

The rest of the first half played out with Everton trying to force the issue, but Cardiff held on to go in level at half time.

After the break Cardiff started well and forced Howard into another save as Campbell again found space in the box but his drilled show was tipped wide by Howard at the near post. However soon after Everton were ahead as Deulofeu cut in from the left and saw his shot deflect off Ben Turner and past Marshall at his near post, to put the Toffees 1-0 up.

Just as you feared the floodgates would open for Cardiff, the Bluebirds hit back in the 68th minute when Cala bagged his first Bluebirds goal. The Spaniard attacked a cross from the left and after kneeing and heading the ball at the same time, the ball dribbled into the bottom corner and made it 1-1.

Wilfried Zaha came on to give Cardiff an extra boost late in the game, as Solkjaer’s side pushed hard for a winner but were indebted to Marshall who once again made a fine stop to keep Lukaku out. However Marshall’s heroics couldn’t grab Cardiff a point, as Coleman shanked an effort towards goal that flew in and handed Everton victory right at the death.

When you are at the bottom those are the kind of breaks which go against you.

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Baines, Coleman, Deulofeu (McGeady, 62), Mirallas (Naismith, 62), Distin, McCarthy, Lukaku, Barry, Osman (Barkley, 82), Stones

Goals: Deulofeu (59), Coleman (90)

Cardiff City: Marshall, Caulker, Medel, Campbell, Kim, Noone (Daehli, 62), Mutch (Whittingham, 57), Cala, Theophile-Catherine, Fabio (Zaha, 77), John

Goal: Cala (68)

Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Cardiff City

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Cardiff City need a result at Goodison Park on Saturday – but the struggling Bluebirds will have to take points off an Everton side that have lost just once at home this season (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

Everton’s only home loss this season came at the hands of, of all sides, Sunderland – which might give Cardiff some hope. The visitors will also be bolstered by last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Fulham, their first in five matches. But Cardiff aren’t safe yet, occupying the final spot in the Premier League relegation zone and in danger of being pushed down by Sunderland’s three games in hand.

The Toffees have had a bit of a tough time as of late. In addition to a 4-1 loss to Arsenal that knocked them out of the FA Cup last weekend, Everton lost to both Spurs and Chelsea by a 1-0 scoreline, before finally managing to beat West Ham by the same score two weeks ago – and even that win required a late goal from substitute Romelu Lukaku.

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Everton are currently one place back of the final Europa League spot, but they’re even on points with Manchester United and still have two games to make up. But to finish in the top six, they’ll need to be practically perfect from here on out, meaning Roberto Martínez will need his side to be fit and healthy, and he’ll need to be using his best players for every match.

There was some criticism after Martínez elected to use Joel to face Arsenal in the Cup last weekend, but don’t worry – it’ll be Tim Howard in goal this time around. No word yet, however, on whether Everton captain Phil Jagielka returns to defense after missing the last two matches with a hamstring injury.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is blessed with an almost fully-fit squad, with only defender Ben Turner in doubt, after he picked up an injury in the win over Fulham. However, it was his center back partner, Steve Caulker, that scored two against Fulham, and he’ll certainly get the nod this week. Upfront it’ll likely be Kenwyne Jones alone, although both Craig Bellamy and Wilfried Zaha are pushing to return to the starting lineup.

What they’re saying

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Cardiff’s fight to avoid the drop: “The pressure is not off after win against Fulham, but three points does help the team and players. A win is always good, but we know it’s going to be a two month test of character and team spirit. It was a great start in what was an important game against a team who are bottom. There were lots of positives, but nobody will relax now.”

Roberto Martínez on Everton’s push for Europe: ‘This is a very intense period and we were disappointed to leave the FA Cup. Can we get top four? Mathematically we can. It’s still achievable. Reaching Europe would be a massive step forward, it would bring the massive nights we want that helps us grow as a club.”

Prediction

Home win. Cardiff may have bagged multiple goals last weekend, but that was against Fulham. Everton will be itching to come back from their rather embarrassing defeat to Arsenal, and they’ll be hyper-aware of the need to collect three points to keep hold of a European position.