Newcastle United continued their charge towards Champions League qualification with a convincing Premier League victory over mid-table Stoke City.

Yohan Cabaye nodded Newcastle ahead from close range before Papiss Cisse slid in the Frenchman's exquisite pass.

Earlier, Jon Walters blazed Stoke's best chance well over from six yards.

Newcastle United run-in

28 Apr

Wigan (a)

2 May

Chelsea (a)

6 May

Man City (h)

13 May

Everton (a)

Cabaye sealed victory with a curling 20-yard strike as the Magpies climbed into the top four at the expense of Tottenham, who lost 1-0 at QPR.

Newcastle were 11 points adrift of Spurs following their 5-0 mauling at the hands of the north London club in February.

But a sixth successive Premier League win puts them on the cusp of European football next season as they surged 15 points clear of seventh-placed Everton, who have five games left to play.

The top six are assured of continental competition and after making a statement of intent against Stoke, it would take a dramatic collapse for Newcastle to surrender their place.

Two of their final four games include a trip to Chelsea, one of their rivals for a top-four finish, and a home match against title-chasing Manchester City as they aim to clinch Champions League qualification for the first time since 2003.

Newcastle have put themselves within touching distance after a fantastic run which has been spearheaded by the goals of Senegal striker Cisse.

Pardew buoyed by "strong" Newcastle

The 26-year-old has proved a revelation since his £10m move from Freiburg, with his 11 goals in 10 matches hauling Newcastle above Spurs, who went down to Adel Taarabt's goal in Saturday's late kick-off at Loftus Road.

French winger Hatem Ben Arfa has also taken plenty of plaudits recently and he was the architect of the opening goal with some superb trickery on the left touchline.

He skipped past Marc Wilson before clipping a delicious cross into the Stoke danger zone, where Cisse's sharp movement allowed him to escape marker Robert Huth and send a far-post header crashing against the crossbar. And Cabaye was waiting to pounce on the rebound with a close range header.

The midfielder turned provider moments later, his exquisite reverse pass perfectly weighted for Cisse to race on to and slide past Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic.

Analysis

"Tremendous credit to Alan Pardew. It's not as if Newcastle have been digging results out -they're putting in very good performances. I wouldn't say Chelsea are gone in the Champions League race but you would have to say the form team are Newcastle."

Cabaye pulled all the strings in a dominant home performance and capped a majestic individual display with a sumptuous first-time finish into the far corner for his second goal of the afternoon.

Newcastle had failed to penetrate a typically organised Stoke backline in the opening stages but, once Cabaye and then Cisse breached their defence, Newcastle oozed confidence and controlled the game with a swagger expected of a top-four team.

It could have been very different had Stoke striker Walters not spooned Peter Crouch's knockdown high over the bar when well positioned in the home six-yard box in the game's first opportunity.

But chances were rare for the lowest scorers in the Premier League against a Newcastle defence which claimed a fourth straight clean sheet.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew: "The Champions League is really a possibility. We're not going to hide from that or make some stupid cliches about we're not going to do it.

Pulis blames poor Stoke finishing

"We're right in there and we go to Wigan, that's going to be a tough game. We will see where we are then.

"I know a result like this today will pipe through to the Tottenham dressing room and put pressure on them. There's no pressure on us - we're just bobbling along.

"Our quality really shone through - some great goals and great interplay. There's a lot of confidence in the dressing room, we've got a really nice feeling in there and you can see that on the pitch."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis: "We had a lot of chances today. Jon Walters, who I think the world of, could have come out of the game scoring a hat-trick.

"But the difference in both boxes was they hit the target and we never. From being very much in the game we were 2-0 behind after two very poor goals.

"At the start of the second half we thought if we could get that goal it would have been game on. But the third goal was very poor again and that gave them the momentum to go on.

"You've got to give our players credit - they kept going and kept going. I don't think it was that bad a performance."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Newcastle

  • 26 Krul
  • 02 Coloccini
  • 03 Santon
  • 05 Simpson (Gosling - 82' )
  • 06 Williamson
  • 04 Cabaye (Perch - 60' )
  • 10 Ben Arfa
  • 18 Gutierrez
  • 24 Tiote
  • 09 Cisse (Sh Ameobi - 69' )
  • 19 Ba

Substitutes

  • 35 Elliot
  • 14 Perch
  • 16 R Taylor
  • 31 Ferguson
  • 15 Gosling
  • 20 Best
  • 23 Sh Ameobi

Stoke

  • 01 Begovic
  • 04 Huth
  • 17 Shawcross Booked
  • 28 Wilkinson (Whitehead - 32' )
  • 30 Shotton
  • 06 Whelan
  • 12 Wilson
  • 26 Etherington
  • 40 Palacios Booked (Jerome - 55' )
  • 19 Walters
  • 25 Crouch

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 20 Upson
  • 16 Pennant
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 09 Jones
  • 10 Fuller
  • 33 Jerome
Ref: Marriner
Att: 52,162

Match Stats

Shots

16 7

On target

11 2

Corners

4 5

Fouls

8 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +2:21 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +1:51

The referee blows for offside. Tim Krul takes the indirect free kick.

89:53

The ball is swung over by Marc Wilson, clearance by Cheick Tiote.

89:29

Dan Gosling gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dean Whitehead. Free kick taken by Dean Whitehead.

88:25

Glenn Whelan takes a inswinging corner to the near post.

87:52

Centre by Jonathan Walters, clearance by Mike Williamson.

86:56

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Hatem Ben Arfa, Asmir Begovic makes a save.

86:43

Cheick Tiote takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

86:20

Outswinging corner taken by Hatem Ben Arfa from the left by-line, clearance made by Jonathan Walters.

86:05

Cheick Tiote takes a shot. Asmir Begovic makes a save.

85:03

Unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Robert Huth results in a free kick. Demba Ba produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick, Glenn Whelan gets a block in.

84:13

The referee blows for offside against Peter Crouch. Tim Krul takes the free kick.

81:39 Substitution

Substitution Dan Gosling comes on in place of Danny Simpson.

81:29

Shot on goal by Jonathan Walters from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

81:01

Foul by Shola Ameobi on Ryan Shawcross, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.

80:05

Foul by Ryan Shotton on Hatem Ben Arfa, free kick awarded. Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

76:41

Matthew Etherington crosses the ball, clearance made by Cheick Tiote.

73:09

A cross is delivered by Marc Wilson, Mike Williamson makes a clearance.

72:30

The ball is crossed by Ryan Shotton.

69:20

Unfair challenge on Glenn Whelan by Shola Ameobi results in a free kick. Robert Huth shoots direct from the free kick.

68:23 Substitution

Substitution Shola Ameobi on for Papiss Cisse.

68:04

Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, clearance by Davide Santon.

67:56

The ball is swung over by Ryan Shotton, Cheick Tiote manages to make a clearance.

66:33

Corner from the right by-line taken by Hatem Ben Arfa, Header by Fabricio Coloccini from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

66:21

Shot by Demba Ba. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.

65:38

Shot from 12 yards by Demba Ba. Save made by Asmir Begovic.

64:59

Dean Whitehead concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonas Gutierrez. Cheick Tiote takes the direct free kick.

64:00

Jonathan Walters produces a drilled left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

61:41

Dean Whitehead delivers the ball.

61:04

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington, Papiss Cisse manages to make a clearance.

59:56

Inswinging corner taken by Glenn Whelan from the right by-line, Peter Crouch takes a shot. Danny Simpson gets a block in.

59:56 Substitution

Substitution Yohan Cabaye goes off and James Perch comes on.

59:00

The ball is crossed by Marc Wilson, clearance by Davide Santon.

56:19

Assist by Demba Ba.

56:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Yohan Cabaye - Newcastle 3 - 0 Stoke Goal scored by Yohan Cabaye from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 3-0 Stoke.

55:07

Demba Ba produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.

53:49

Free kick crossed by Yohan Cabaye, clearance by Peter Crouch.

53:49 Substitution

Substitution Cameron Jerome comes on in place of Wilson Palacios.

53:49

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shotton on Demba Ba.

53:12

Papiss Cisse is caught offside. Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

52:56

Demba Ba takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.

51:39

The assistant referee flags for offside against Papiss Cisse. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.

50:26

The ball is sent over by Ryan Shotton, Mike Williamson makes a clearance.

47:48

Yohan Cabaye restarts play with the free kick.

47:48 Booking

Booking Ryan Shawcross shown a yellow card.

47:44

Demba Ba fouled by Ryan Shawcross, the ref awards a free kick.

46:06

The ball is crossed by Matthew Etherington, clearance made by Davide Santon.

45:25

A cross is delivered by Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.

45:01

The second half has started.

45:00 +1:59 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +1:34

Marc Wilson sends in a cross, clearance by Mike Williamson.

45:00 +1:12

Peter Crouch fouled by Cheick Tiote, the ref awards a free kick. Dean Whitehead restarts play with the free kick.

44:04

Free kick awarded for a foul by Yohan Cabaye on Wilson Palacios. Glenn Whelan restarts play with the free kick.

40:10

Davide Santon takes a shot. Save by Asmir Begovic.

36:50

Matthew Etherington takes a inswinging corner.

36:06

Yohan Cabaye sends in a cross.

35:26

Direct free kick taken by Mike Williamson.

35:26 Booking

Booking Wilson Palacios shown a yellow card.

35:22

Wilson Palacios gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa.

35:10

The ball is swung over by Ryan Shotton, Danny Simpson manages to make a clearance.

34:31

Foul by Mike Williamson on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded. Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.

33:48

Ryan Shawcross concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Mike Williamson restarts play with the free kick.

32:53

The official flags Papiss Cisse offside. Asmir Begovic restarts play with the free kick.

31:57 Substitution

Substitution Dean Whitehead comes on in place of Andy Wilkinson.

31:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ryan Shotton on Jonas Gutierrez. Tim Krul restarts play with the free kick.

26:54

Yohan Cabaye produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

24:06

Corner taken left-footed by Hatem Ben Arfa from the right by-line to the near post, Wilson Palacios makes a clearance.

23:59

Danny Simpson delivers the ball, Robert Huth makes a clearance.

23:41

Centre by Marc Wilson, clearance by Cheick Tiote.

23:09

Jonathan Walters fouled by Jonas Gutierrez, the ref awards a free kick. Marc Wilson takes the direct free kick.

22:15

Ryan Shotton concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonas Gutierrez. Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

21:15

Shot from just outside the area by Glenn Whelan misses to the left of the target.

19:39

Free kick awarded for a foul by Papiss Cisse on Ryan Shawcross. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.

18:57

Foul by Peter Crouch on Fabricio Coloccini, free kick awarded. Tim Krul takes the direct free kick.

17:44

Assist by Yohan Cabaye.

17:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Papiss Cisse - Newcastle 2 - 0 Stoke Papiss Cisse fires in a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 2-0 Stoke.

13:37

Hatem Ben Arfa sends in a cross, Papiss Cisse takes a shot.

13:42

Assist by Papiss Cisse.

13:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Yohan Cabaye - Newcastle 1 - 0 Stoke Yohan Cabaye scores a headed goal from close in. Newcastle 1-0 Stoke.

10:00

Jonathan Walters produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that goes over the bar.

9:19

The ball is sent over by Matthew Etherington, clearance made by Mike Williamson.

7:29

Effort by Matthew Etherington from a long way out goes over the crossbar.

4:02

Effort on goal by Demba Ba from long range goes over the crossbar.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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