Stoke-on-Trent - Newcastle United were
plunged deeper into relegation trouble on Wednesday when a late goal from
Xherdan Shaqiri allowed Stoke City to claim a 1-0 home win.
The defeat left Steve McClaren's side
second from bottom of the Premier League and their night wasn't helped by
seeing fellow strugglers Swansea snatch a shock 2-1 win at Arsenal to move six
points clear of the drop zone.
Swiss international Shaqiri's goal came 10
minutes from time when his long-range shot, set-up by Mame Diouf, managed to
evade Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.
It could have got worse for Newcastle, who
have now lost six successive away games in the top flight, when Marko
Arnautovic hit the crossbar in injury time but the three points comfortably
left Stoke in the top half of the table.
In a rousing finish, Stoke goalkeeper Jack
Butland kept out a Seydou Doumbia attempt with a fine one-handed save.
Newcastle were playing for the first time
since their 5-1 thumping at Chelsea last month.
McClaren's side were whisked off to Spain
for some winter sun training which was in stark contrast to the freezing rain
which swept across Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.
Jonjo Shelvey took over the captaincy after
Fabricio Coloccini was ruled out through injury while Jamaal Lascelles was
handed just a second Premier League start.
In contrast, Mark Hughes named the same
team which won 2-1 against Aston Villa at the weekend.
To add to Stoke's joy, former England
striker Peter Crouch came on as a substitute to make his 400th Premier League
Stoke were on top for large parts of the
first half with Elliot twice having to thwart the dangerous Shaqiri.
Moussa Sissoko had Newcastle's best
opportunity from a rare attack but Geoff Cameron slid in with a final tackle.
Stoke continued to dominate after the
interval but were breathing a sigh of relief when Butland kept out Doumbia from
Shelvey's cross in the dying seconds.