Belfast Telegraph

Stoke boss Hughes delighted after Shaqiri magic stuns Newcastle

Stoke City 1-0 Newcastle United

By Liam Blackburn

Stoke manager Mark Hughes was full of praise after forward Xherdan Shaqiri's winner nine minutes from time consigned Newcastle to a sixth straight away loss in the Premier League and kept them mired in the relegation zone.

The Magpies, back in action after 18 days off, arrived at the Britannia having not picked up a point on the road since a December 13 win at Tottenham

A point would have lifted them out of the bottom three, and they were on course to ensure a share of the spoils before Shaqiri popped up with a moment of magic.

The Swiss international collected substitute Mame Diouf's lay off and smashed a left-footed attempt beyond Rob Elliot.

It was enough to earn a third win on the spin, yet they needed a fantastic one-handed save from Jack Butland to repel Seydou Doumbia in stoppage time.

Hughes said: "The first-half went against us, but I thought we were excellent in getting hold of the ball and probing. The negative was not getting on the end of them.

"Second-half, with the wind, we thought it would be an advantage but it didn't turn out that way.

"We kept going and Newcastle didn't have too many opportunities. It was a great goal from Shaqiri to win the game, great power, great strike."

The Potters were carrying a threat from wide in the first period and Shaqiri was a constant menace.

He almost collected Marko Arnautovic's cross and Ibrahim Afellay volleyed over at the start of the second period to suggest Stoke would take charge, but they failed to build on that.

But eventually Shaqiri did produce the game's defining moment. The forward drifted off the right wing and received a pass from Diouf, steadying himself before firing his third Stoke goal.

Newcastle almost mustered an equaliser when Jonjo Shelvey's cross was met by Doumbia, with Butland clawing it away.

Arnautovic, with the last kick, clattered the bar with a volley.

STOKE: Butland, Bardsley (Muniesa, 26 mins), Cameron, Wollscheid, Pieters, Imbula, Whelan, Arnautovic, Shaqiri, Afellay (Diouf, 70 mins), Walters (Crouch, 69 mins). Unused subs: Ireland, Joselu, Krkic, Haugaard.

Newcastle: Elliot, Janmaat, Lascelles, Taylor, Dummett, Colback (Doumbia, 84 mins), Shelvey, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Gouffran (Riviere, 74 mins), Mitrovic (Perez, , 84 mins). Unused subs: Aarons, Saivet, Darlow, Sterry.

Match rating: 5/10.

Man of the match: Xherdan Shaqiri (pictured)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

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