Football: A goal in injury time for Papiss Cisse grabbed a deserved win for Newcastle today in a game which had for long periods been threatening to end in a drab, scrappy goalless draw.
Alan Pardew made seven changes to the team which drew in Moscow on Thursday night and they dominated this match in terms of possession, shots on target and corners won yet struggled to make a breakthrough against Tony Pulis's organised Stoke side.
It was the away side who opened the scoring in the 67th minute. Jonathan Walters made a surging run into the Newcastle area and knocked the ball past Cheick Tiote only for Toon man to recklessly swipe his legs away and concede a penalty.
Walters stepped up to take a confident penalty low to the left as Rob Elliott dived the wrong way.
It was a sucker punch but the home side were soon gifted a chance to level.
Asmir Begovic came charging out of his area and upended the onrushing Yoan Gouffran before Moussa Sissoko was also brought down by the keeper.
While Newcastle appealed for a penalty, referee Andre Marriner gave a free kick right on the edge of the area. It was a good five minutes before play resumed as Begovic and Gouffran received treatment and several players and some of the coaching staff squared up to each other.
When it did, Yohan Cabaye dinked a delightful free kick over the wall and into the top corner.
With 90 minutes on the clock it looked as if this was how the score line would stay but second-half substitute Sylvain Marveaux sprang Stoke's offside trap to find Cisse who passed the ball calmly past Begovic.
Defeat leaves Stoke rooted to the bottom of the form table while Newcastle made it three home league wins in a row. Victory also takes them nine points clear of the drop zone. Perhaps they can now focus on Europe.