Whelan and Wilson see red as Potters throw it away
Newcastle United 5 Stoke City 1
Stoke City lost their heads, their discipline, their dignity, two players (both Ireland internationals) and a manager (to the stands) as Newcastle romped to a victory that makes them genuine Champions League contenders.
Mark Hughes tossed away his coat in disgust at the decision to send him to the stands just before half-time, but for all of the complaints about decisions going against them, Stoke threw this game away. They cannot hide behind contentious calls from referee Martin Atkinson or his assistants because they self-destructed in spectacular fashion, gifting Newcastle their seventh win in nine league games to put them on the verge of the top four.
For 40 minutes Stoke controlled the game as Oussama Assaidi gave them the lead with an excellent finish. But then the madness started. Hughes said he was "dismayed" by Atkinson's performance and insisted he had made a "couple of decisions which changed the course of the game" but that was shifting the blame.
With five minutes remaining in the half, Glenn Whelan took a swipe at Yohan Cabaye and was shown a second yellow card just a few minutes after his first for kicking the ball away.
"He didn't hear the whistle," insisted Hughes before accusing Cabaye of "going down too easily" for Whelan's second yellow, even though the Dubliner had kicked him halfway up his shin. Hughes went ballistic on the touchline, booted a ball on to the pitch "out of frustration" and was dismissed from the dugout.
Stoke's players also lost their heads. Marc Wilson got the wrong side of Loic Remy, tugged him back, conceded a penalty, and was sent off.
Remy missed the spot kick, but he soon levelled anyway. The floodgates opened in the second half through goals from Yoan Gouffran, Remy again, a sublime Cabaye strike and Papiss Cisse's first league goal since April. (© Daily Telegraph, London)