Found November 17, 2012 on
Michu set Swansea on the road to a 2-1 victory at Newcastle as the misfiring Magpies slipped to a second home defeat in seven days.
On a day when the home side were prevented from fielding their own big-money frontman Papiss Cisse because of a wrangle with the Senegal Football Federation, the depth of Alan Pardew's squad was exposed once again.
A team shorn of Cisse, the suspended Fabricio Coloccini and the injured pair Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez once again failed to score in a home game and allowed three points to slip tamely from their grasp.
Last Sunday it was West Ham, this time Swansea were the beneficiaries.
Newcastle had chances - Hatem Ben Arfa was denied a spectacular first-half opener by Swans goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel - and Demba Ba, who struck in injury time, was guilty of a series of costly earlier misses.
However, the visitors were more than a match for their hosts and were good value for their win, which was secured by Michu's 58th-minute header and a second from Jonathan de Guzman three minutes from time.
There were boos on the final whistle from sections of the home fans among a crowd of 49,403, with memories of last season's champagne football increasingly distant amid a run of seven Barclays Premier League games which has brought just one victory.
Cisse, who scored both goals in a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium last season, was conspicuous by his absence after Senegal carried through their threat to invoke FIFA's five-day rule following his failure to report for international duty because of injury.
That, combined with Pardew's other selection problems, gave something of a make-do-and-mend look to the team and perhaps understandably, they were disjointed.
The system with which they began was nominally 4-4-1-1, but at times, resembled more like 2-1-5-1-1 with right-back Danny Simpson repeatedly finding himself more advanced than winger Ben Arfa, and holding midfielder Cheick Tiote frequently out-numbered as Swansea broke at pace.
Michu, employed behind lone striker Itay Shechter, caused all kinds of problems as the home side struggled to pick him up, and on more than one occasion central defender Mike Williamson was left chasing shadows as a result of the Spaniard's intelligent movement.
The visitors might have struck the first blow when Nathan Dyer scuffed a sixth-minute shot across the face of goal, and Tim Krul was relieved to clutch Pablo Hernandez's long-range effort to his midriff four minutes later.
Michu tested the Dutchman from distance with a curling left-footed effort with the Magpies short of inspiration.
However, as Ben Arfa picked up the baton, they gradually started to force their way into the game.
The Frenchman blasted a right-footed effort into the side-netting and delivered a 27th-minute cross which Ba glanced just wide.
But it took a fine one-handed save by Tremmel to keep out Ben Arfa's fizzing left-footed strike after he cut inside 12 minutes before the break.
As Newcastle pressed forward, the Swans took advantage of the space they left behind them and Krul had to save twice from Shechter in quick succession with his defence in disarray.
But he would have been helpless had Michu managed to hit the target with a 41st-minute header after the Israeli had combined with Hernandez down the left.
Danny Simpson had to get in a vital clearing header after Dyer had caught the Magpies flat-footed with a quickly-taken free-kick after the restart.
Ba scuffed a volley after superbly controlling Davide Santon's cross on his chest and then Vurnon Anita almost capped good inter-play between the Ameobi brothers when he drilled inches over the top from 25 yards.
The chances were starting to come thick and fast and Ba might have scored twice inside a minute, first sidefooting wastefully wide from Sammy Ameobi's driven cross and then shooting straight at Tremmel after being played in by Ben Arfa.
But Swansea should really have been in front 10 minutes into the second half when Hernandez broke down the left and squared for Shechter, who took his time, but blasted a right-footed shot over.
Krul had to dive to his right two minutes later to turn away Hernandez's strike, but there was nothing he could do seconds later when the same man latched onto his poor clearance and crossed for Michu to head firmly into the bottom corner.
Ba headed a 64th-minute Tiote cross towards goal, but without the power to trouble Tremmel, and then could not react quickly enough to direct Shola Ameobi's driven cross on target three minutes later.
The Magpies were demonstrating little composure in front of goal, and were grateful to see Michu uncharacteristically do the same to miscue Hernandez's 76th-minute cross wide.
But the sting in the tail arrived three minutes from time when Krul could only parry substitute Danny Graham's shot and De Guzman smashed home the rebound from a tight angle, making Ba's late header after substitute Sylvain Marveaux had struck the bar practically irrelevant.
BEST OF MAXIM
Alan Pardew is under some pressure at the moment after seeing Newcastle lose two home game sin a row at home against what we would consider mediocre sides in West Ham and Swansea, and no disrespect to those two clubs but it’s not like we were beaten by Chelsea and Manchester City for instance. Alan [...]
Alan Pardew hasn’t had too many crises to deal with during his time at Newcastle, and he’s done an excellent job for the club , but with the Magpies only in the middle of the table, and going through a poor run in the league, the game today at home to Swansea City is an [...]
We see that some fans are starting to question some of Alan Pardew’s selections, and the formation he has the lads play in, and that had to come after a mediocre start to the season, and then the very disappointing loss against West Ham on Sunday. Criticism like that is par for the course for [...]
When Newcastle received the news at 1:45 pm on Saturday that Papiss Cisse was being prevented from playing for Newcastle because the Senegal Football federation had initiated the five day rule, and Newcastle immediately issued their statement on the matter we thought if anything our players would have been even more determined to do well [...]
Newcastle have now lost two games in a row, and two games at home in successive games is hardly good and as Graeme Souness used to say – if Newcastle lose two games in a row it’s a crisis . Alan Pardew – under pressure at Newcastle Well it may not quite be a crisis [...]
Alan Pardew has made three changes to the Newcastle United line-up for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Swansea City at St. James’ Park. In come Vurnon Anita, Sammy Ameobi and Cheick Tiote – with the Ivorian having just completed his three match ban for being sent off at Sunderland. Newcastle will still start in a [...]
Alan Pardew has had even more bad luck following our two home defeats in a row, and Yohan Cabaye seems to be ruled out for a couple of months at least with his groin injury, and the decision about whether he should have surgery has still to be made. Yohan Cabaye – could be out [...]
Alan Pardew has said that Jonas Gutierrez and Papiss Cisse will be in the squad for the game against Maritimo on Thursday night, but Gabby Obertan, who was missing yesterday and didn’t play, has another toe injury, and he will miss the Maritimo game. Papiss Cisse – in the squad for Maritimo game And Alan [...]
After two successive home defeats in just 7 days there was more bad news handed out by Alan Pardew after the game yesterday, which saw the lads lose 2-1 to a good looking Swansea. Yohan Cabaye - may need operation on groin The groin injury to Yohan Cabaye may be worse than we thought, and [...]
For really the first time in Alan Pardew’s reign on Tyneside, Newcastle are in a bit of a slump and in 12th place in the league table, which is really not where we want to be, after finishing 5th in the Premier League last season, and qualifying for the Europa League. Alan Pardew on Saturday [...]
We had mentioned earlier today there was some bad news on Yohan Cabaye and that he may need an operation to clear up his groin injury. The bad news now is that the injury has turned out to be even worse than first thought. Yohan Cabaye – may be out until new year? It seems [...]
This is not good news, because once again we’ve lost a player who has picked up an injury while on International duty, and this time it’s Yohan Cabaye of France, who will not be able to play on Saturday against Swansea – and that’s already happened this season to both Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul. Alan Pardew – we have problems And [...]
There’s not much wrong with the players Newcastle have in their squad, and as Alan Pardew often said last season, when we have out best team out we can beat any side in the Premier League, and we dare say that if we didn’t have the extra games in the Europa League this season, we [...]
It’s a really important Premier League game against Swansea this afternoon, and if we don’t win the game, it will add to the frustrations of the Newcastle fans, who want to see Newcastle start climbing that league table, and that’s hard to do with home draws and home defeats. Alan Pardew – different challenge today [...]
We had a few misgivings about that story earlier in the week that said that Jonas Gutierrez’ sister had tweeted that her brother was out for around two months with his knee injury, and it turns out it was all false. Jonas Gutierrez will return soon And news yesterday from Alan Pardew that Jonas has [...]