Swansea deepen Newcastle woe

Date published: Saturday 25th April 2015 4:50

John Carver’s side – whose seven-point cushion above the drop zone has now been cut to five – appeared to be set on bouncing back from last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham when Ayoze Perez pounced on Jordi Amat’s poor clearance to stroke the hosts into the lead on 14 minutes.

After failing to create clear-cut chances in a half in which they dominated, Newcastle’s hopes of victory were dealt a blow when Swansea snatched an equaliser on the stroke of half time through on-loan Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira, who scored his first goal since moving to the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea took hold of the contest after the break as Gylfi Sigurdsson put the Swans into the lead on 49 minutes before Jack Cork all-but sealed the points 20 minutes from full time with his side’s third.

Newcastle substitute Siem de Jong, who made his first appearance since August having recovered from a collapsed lung, reduced the arrears with two minutes to play, but it failed to revive his side as manager John Carver became the first manager in the club’s history to lose seven Premier League games in a row.

There were protests by home fans among a crowd of 46,884 – the official attendance was lower than last Sunday’s against Tottenham when supporters were urged to stay away – both before and during the game, with owner Mike Ashley the target of pre-arranged action in the 34th minute, drawing attention to the £34m the club banked during the last financial year.

Jonas Gutierrez and Emmanuel Riviere started in place of Medhi Abeid and Yoan Gouffran, while Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer received the nod ahead Ki Sung-yeung and the injured Wayne Routledge, as both managers made two changes before kick-off.

The changes appeared to have the desired effect for Newcastle as they started brightly and were soon in the lead. Having found space on the left, Riviere centred the ball where Amat misplaced his clearance straight to Perez for a simple finish.

Ashley Williams was Swansea’s biggest threat in the first half but, having created space in the area on two separate occassions while up for corners, the captain first headed wide before directing another corner straight at Tim Krul.

As half time approached, Newcastle had the chance to secure their lead at the break when Riviere rounded off a fine attack by heading Vernon Anita’s cross goalwards.

Lukasz Fabianski produced a fine save to deny the Frenchman, and Swansea capitalised on their goalkeepers’ heroics, drawing level shortly after as Newcastle failed to heed their previous warnings from corners, and Oliveira headed home.

Refreshed by Monk’s half-time team-talk, Swansea started the second period the better of the two sides and quickly had the lead as Montero’s cross was dummied by Oliveira and fell into the path of Sigurdsson for him to stroke past Krul.

Frustration began to creep into both the players and fans at St James’ Park as the home side toiled to get back into the game, before their misery was deepened when Oliveira turned provider and handed Cork a close-range finish to complete the comeback.

De Jong pulled one back with a controlled finish late on, but Newcastle were helpless in preventing Swansea from claiming their third consecutive victory at St James’ Park, the second of which to be achieved from a losing position.

The result sees Swansea surpass their Premier League record points total of 47, they remain eighth on 50 points, while Newcastle remain 14th on 35 points, starring over their shoulders.

Charlie Nicholas’s Soccer Saturday verdict

Newcastle played ok going forward but they have an unbalanced look. Coloccini’s decision-making, or lack of it, is clear for anyone to see. Williamson is just wrecked. Janmaat likes to go forward but doesn’t like to defend. I quite liked Perez, Colback and I do like the goalkeeper but they’re on a mission at the moment to self-destruct.

Player ratings

Newcastle: Krul (6), Janmaat (5), Williamson (5), Coloccini (6), Anita (6), Colback (7), Taylor (6), Gutierrez (7), Cabella (6), Riviere (7), Perez (6).

Used subs: de Jong (5), Abeid (5), Armstrong (4).

Swansea: Fabianski (6), Range; (6), Fernandez (6), Williams (6), Amat (6), Cork (7), Shelvey (7), Dyer (7), Sigurdsson (8), Montero (7), Oliveira (9).

Used subs: Ki (6), Emnes (5), Grimes (5).

Man of the Match: Nelson Oliveira

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