Saturday 25 November 2017

Swans turn up heat on Pardew

Newcastle 1 Swansea 2

Swansea City's Wilfried Bony climbs highest to head home against Newcastle United
Swansea City's Wilfried Bony climbs highest to head home against Newcastle United
Shola Ameobi scores for Newcastle United against Swansea City
Swansea's Marvin Emnes is brought down for a penalty by Newcastle's Cheick Tiote
Swansea's Jordi Amat and Newcastle's Shola Ameobi battle for the ball
Newcastle United's Loic Remy is watched by Swansea's Jordi Amat and Leon Britton

Jeremy Wilson

There were no mass protests from fans calling for his head, and no abusive bed sheets hanging him out to dry in the stands, but that was about the only positive thing Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew could take from yet another defeat.

This was his side's fifth consecutive loss and he is now the first Newcastle manager in the Premier League to endure such a miserable run of form.

Having started 2014 chasing European football, they are now in danger of slipping out of the top 10, and the only question now is, will Pardew become a fatality of their decline?

Should the team drop out of the top 10, he will almost certainly lose his job, and even if they cling on to the public target set by owner Mike Ashley last summer, Pardew is not assured of anything.

This performance was no surprise. Newcastle's players have been going through the motions for weeks, but their negligence and ambivalence could have horrible repercussions for Pardew.

His team were loudly booed off after the final whistle and there were a few chants of "Pardew out", but the mood was tense rather than mutinous.

"I was pleased with the crowd today because I thought they gave us a platform to try and win the game," said Pardew. "I'm absolutely choked we haven't given them the sort of result we wanted.

"It was a cruel blow. It was a game that looked like it was heading for a draw, but we switched off on our own set-play and it's cost us at least a point. We didn't deserve that."

Despite his claims, Swansea deserved this win. At the end of a week in which there were reports of players fighting on the training ground, this was a collective display that brought the three points they need to virtually guarantee their safety.

Having fallen behind in soft fashion, Swansea equalised through Wilfried Bony just before half-time and won the game in injury-time when the Ivory Coast international converted a penalty after Marvin Emnes had been scythed down by Cheick Tiote.

Newcastle's goal midway through the first half came from a kick from goalkeeper Tim Krul, which was flicked on by Shola Ameobi. He collected a return pass from Luuk De Jong, held off Ben Davies, and rolled a shot past Michel Vorm for Newcastle's first goal since March 22.

The Magpies switched off before the break, though, and Bony lost Mike Williamson to head in Davies's corner. The contest was on a tightrope in the second half, with Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan de Guzman both going close for the visitors before Bony converted the late penalty.

Swansea manager Garry Monk said: "You don't get a performance like that if you aren't together and I think the reports [about training ground arguments] in the week galvanised the players."

Telegraph

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