Remy eases pressure

Posted by Lee Ryder

Loic Remy group celeb second goal Cardiff NewcastlePA PhotosLoic Remy is congratulated by his Newcastle teammates after making it 2-0 against Cardiff.

The pressure was well and truly on Alan Pardew and Newcastle United in Cardiff on Saturday.

However, they passed what can only be described as an acid test in real style, with a solid performance that helped erase painful memories of the 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park on Monday night.

Newcastle responded to that in the best possible manner, by picking up all three points in Wales to calm some of the jangling nerves on Tyneside at the moment.

They did it thanks to some clinical finishing from Loic Remy in the first half.

- Remy provides Toon remedy

After squandering two earlier chances, Remy received the ball from Moussa Sissoko on halfway and was given the freedom to drive forward before cutting in from the left and firing low into the bottom left-hand corner for his first goal.

Remy doubled the lead in the 38th minute. Yohan Cabaye dissected the home defence and, after Cardiff keeper David Marshall had beaten out Papiss Cisse's shot, Remy followed up.

And while it all sounds easy and obvious to say you've got to score goals to win matches, it has been keeping them out at the other end that has been the main issue for Newcastle this season.

Remy's goals left Cardiff stunned and showed why Newcastle tried so hard in January to sign him, only to lose out to Queens Park Rangers. Now, at least, he is all United's until the end of the season.

The French international's ability has never been under question; it's other factors that have dented Newcastle's hopes this season and without them they could be absolutely flying in the Premier League.

Indeed, had United beaten Hull City and West Ham United those points could have them in the top three of the top flight. Lapses of concentration, slack marking and erratic mistakes have cost the Magpies dearly.

On this occasion they restricted themselves to just one major fault at a jumping Cardiff City Stadium. By the time Mike Williamson's unfortunate mis-kick unravelled and allowed Peter Odemwingie to slot home and half the deficit; Newcastle had put themselves in a convincing position thanks to Remy's goals.

In truth it should have been game over by that stage anyway, had Yohan Cabaye not been denied by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.

Yet while Pardew will be happy with his side's offensive display, the fact that United showed some defensive resilience and bottle in the latter stages will have meant more to him.

It was certainly nail-biting for the travelling Toon Army, but it made their long journey worthwhile.

The victory also means that Newcastle don't have to stew in their own juices over the international break after a defeat. And the next big question will be whether they can maintain some type of consistency and follow this up with a big win over high flying Liverpool.

Beat the men from Anfield and it could be a case of, crisis? What crisis?

Yet we all know that nothing seems straightforward in the world of Newcastle United.

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