Defeat at Newcastle coupled with Sunderland win confirms relegation
Cardiff City suffered the bitter disappointment of relegation from the Barclays Premier League after a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James' Park coupled an away victory for survival rivals Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Requiring victory at St James' Park to keep hopes of survival alive, Fraizer Campbell almost put the Bluebirds ahead in the sixth minute in the north east only to turn a loose Tim Krul clearance just past the post.
Ten minutes later the Magpies were ahead through Shola Ameobi with a late Loic Remy strike and Steven Taylor tap in putting the result beyond doubt and condemning the Bluebirds to Championship football next season.
Making five changes to the side that faced Sunderland last weekend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought Wilfried Zaha, Ben Turner, Gunnarsson, Kim Bo Kyung and Declan John into the starting-11 to face the Magpies.
Looking for a reaction after a six game losing run, Newcastle were almost ahead within the first minute as Moussa Sissoko broke clear of full-back John before delivering his cross in, eventually landing with Remy who could only head wide.
Just five minutes later the Bluebirds were handed the perfect opportunity to take the lead as Krul could only punch clear a John cross to the feet of Campbell, only for the City striker to send his effort wide.
It proved to spark the Magpies into action who started to build momentum, before Mathieu Debuchy twice saw efforts thwarted by 'keeper David Marshall within a minute. His first strike palmed away at the near post, before the Scot was at hand once more to claw away his far post header from the corner.
Soon after, the Magpies took full advantage of their pressure. Sissoko once again proved to be the danger on the right flank, providing an excellent delivery to allow Shola Ameobi to head home at the far post and put the home side in front.
With a big response needed, winger Wilfried Zaha's influence grew on the left for the Bluebirds. Some excellent trickery on the byeline first saw him beat two Newcastle defenders only to be denied by Krul before Debuchy provided the last ditch tackle to deny the winger just after the half hour mark.
The Bluebirds would remain a goal behind going into the break however, with a turnaround required in the second half with other scores around the league looking ominous for City's Premier League survival chances.
HALF TIME: Newcastle United 1-0 Cardiff City
A familiar face at St James' Park was introduced at the break as former United player Craig Bellamy came on to replace Kim Bo Kyung with Newcastle United also introducing Massadio Haidara for Paul Dummett.
Needing goals, City immediately pushed forward for the equaliser as Ben Turner turned a corner just past the far post with Campbell's cross come shot drifting just past the far post. The Magpies quickly responded with Mike Williamson's effort just before the hour deflecting just inches wide.
With tensions heightening amongst the home support, the Bluebirds looked to capitalise on what was becoming a difficult atmosphere Alan Pardew's side. Zaha's once again threatened on left, first dancing past two defenders only to see his shot deflect wide before a Krul punch fell to Mutch on the edge of the area but sent his shot wide.
With fifteen minutes to go, the need for goals was becoming even more crucial for the Bluebirds with a Kenwyne Jones effort first denied by Krul before Coloccini somehow cleared Aron Gunnarson's close range effort off the line to the disbelief frustration of all City supporters who had made the long trip to the north east.
With chances not finding the net and City pushing men forward, Newcastle capitalised on the counter attack late on as first Remy tapped home to double the Magpies' advantage before Steven Taylor made it three in stoppage time.
The result and Sunderland's 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford confirmed Cardiff City's relegation from the top flight.
FULL TIME: Newcastle United 2-1 Cardiff City
TEAMS - Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini (c), Dummett (Haidara 45); Sissoko, Anita (S.Taylor 79), Tiote, Gouffran (Gosling 70); Shola Ameobi, Remy. Subs not used: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Armstrong, de Jong.
Goals: Shola Ameobi (17), Remy (87), S.Taylor (90+1)
Cardiff City: Marshall; Fabio (Eikrem 86), Caulker (C), Turner, John; Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Kim (Bellamy 45), Mutch, Zaha; Campbell (Jones 72). Subs not used: Lewis; Cowie, McNaughton, Berget.