A Christmas stuffing was handed out at St James’ Park as Stoke were smashed for five at Newcastle. The Magpies fell behind to Oussama Assaidi’s wonder goal before two dismissals severely affected the Potters’ game plan and Newcastle ran riot.

Loic Remy missed a penalty before bagging a brace, Yoan Gouffran scored his sixth goal of the season and Cabaye added another before Papiss Cisse scored a late penalty to give the Toon Army a belated Christmas present.

Stoke were without two players and their manager before half-time, as Glenn Whelan and then Marc Wilson were sent off. Furious about the second sending off, Mark Hughes was sent to the stand and his side were like lambs to the slaughter.
There is no doubt that the actions of Martin Atkinson changed the course of the match, as Stoke were arguably the better side before the two red cards.

They controlled the first period, enjoying the lion’s share of possession and going close to scoring through Charlie
Adam.

The former Blackpool midfielder whistled a shot just past Tim Krul’s post before going close minutes later. This time his shot was too high, sailing over the bar when Krul was beaten.

Newcastle were buckling under the physical pressure Stoke were utilising. Every long ball was being won by a red and white shirt and the visitors grew in confidence.

One minute after Adam had went close, another long ball landed at the feet of Assaidi. After dropping his shoulder and jinking inside Mathieu Debuchy, the on-loan Liverpool winger flashed a superb shot into the far corner to give the visitors the lead.

Stoke were first to every ball. The next chance again fell to Assaidi, using the same move to get inside Debuchy and try and repeat his goal, only for the contact to not be as sweet and Krul was able to save comfortably.

Something needed to change for Newcastle to get a foothold in the game. It came courtesy of Whelan’s petulance.

First, the Republic of Ireland man conceded a foul in midfield before kicking the ball away and then clashing with Cabaye. Referee Atkinson had no hesitation in showing the yellow. Then just minutes later, the same two clashed when Whelan needlessy kicked the Frenchman and received his marching orders. To make matters worse, Hughes was sent to the stand for berating the fourth official.

With the man advantage, Newcastle immediately started dominating. The passing was smoother and Ben Arfa had more room to cut inside.

That move led to a through ball almost finding Remy but the Frenchman was pulled down by Marc Wilson. The defender was sent off for the foul and Stoke had nine men and no manager.

Despite Ben Arfa netting a penalty last week, Remy stepped up from 12 yards. However, the penalty was weak and Thomas Sorensen easily repelled the shot.

But just minutes later, Remy did get on the score sheet. Ben Arfa’s good work led to Newcastle’s top scorer cutting inside onto his right foot and firing a deflected shot past Sorensen to level the scores before half-time.

At the break, Pardew introduced Shola Ameobi as Newcastle looked to increase the pressure on nine-man Stoke and within five minutes, they took the lead. Ameobi caused problems as Sorensen flapped at a deflected cross from Ben Arfa and Gouffran was there to volley home the rebound.

The flanks were causing the Potters all kinds of problems and more goals were always likely to arrive from the wide areas.

Davide Santon advanced down the left wing before cutting back and crossing with his stronger right foot. The centre was glanced by Sissoko and the effort found the unmarked Remy at the back post, who easily added his second goal.

The floodgates were well and truly open. Cabaye added a third when Debuchy got forward and supplied his international team-mate, the former Lille captain curling a splendid first-time shot into the top corner.

With Stoke looking likely to concede every time the home side flooded forward, Pardew introduced goal-shy striker Cisse into the fold. If there was ever a game where every striker fancied himself to score, it was this one.

Eight minutes after coming on, Cisse benefited from more Ben Arfa wizardry. The winger almost tripped himself up trying to go past Erik Pieters but after beating the Dutchman to the loose ball, the defender went through him and Atkinson once again pointed to the spot.

Shola Ameobi is the Club’s designated penalty taker, Remy was on a hat-trick and Cisse was without a league goal all season. All three were on the pitch.

In what was a heart-warming gesture of support, Cisse was handed the chance to end his goal drought and sent a perfect penalty into the top corner for his first Premier League goal in 20 games.

The final ten minutes saw Stoke camp in their penalty area and Newcastle enjoy wave after wave of attacks. Two more penalty shouts from Cabaye and Massadio Haidara – both against Shawcross – were waved away and Newcastle were made to settle for five.