Xherdan Shaqiri scored a superb late winner as Stoke saw off struggling Newcastle 1-0 in their Premier League clash at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.
- Stoke City 1 Newcastle United 0
- Shaqiri fires in from distance late on
- Butland keeps out Doumbia effort
- Arnautovic hits bar in injury-time
- Magpies stay in bottom-three
In a tight game that looked as if a goal would never come, Shaqiri struck from distance with 10 minutes to go – a result which saw Steve McClaren's Toon remain in the bottom-three.
The hosts dominated the opening period but struggled to create many clear-cut openings against a well-drilled Newcastle defence.
Indeed it was the visitors who had the first effort of the game when Jonjo Shelvey tested Jack Butland from the edge of the area but the England stopper saved comfortably.
At the other end Rob Elliot was called into action as he kept out a strike from the lively Shaqiri before the Potters were forced into a change in the 26th minute when Phil Bardsley limped off and was replaced by Marc Muniesa – Geoff Cameron shuffling over to right-back as a result.
Swiss star Shaqiri was again in the action when he cut in from the right and curled a left-footed effort just past the far post, but moments later the visitors wanted a penalty when Steven Taylor went down under a challenge from Glenn Whelan but referee Neil Swarbrick was having none of it.
Chances were certainly proving hard to come but in the 54th minute Ibrahim Afellay tried his luck with an ambitious volley but if flew over the bar.
Mark Hughes introduced Peter Crouch and Mame Biram Diouf for Jon Walters and Afellay with 20 minutes to go, as he looked for a combination to unlock a solid Newcastle defence.
But the deadlock was finally broken in the 80th minute when Shaqiri, who had been having a quiet second period, picked up the ball centrally 25 yards out and drilled a swerving effort past a static Elliot.
McClaren immediately turned to Seydou Doumbia and Ayoze Perez off the bench as he looked for an immediate Newcastle response and the home side were indebted to Butland late on when he produced a stunning stop to deny Doumbia.
The last kick of the game was stunning effort from Marko Arnautovic which thundered against the bar as Stoke sealed an important three points in their bid for European football – but for Newcastle their struggles continue.