Newcastle maintain recent upturn in form

Image source: @NUFC

After a poor start to life back in Premier League for Newcastle United, they have now won three games in a row, the latest a 2-1 victory over Stoke City at St James’s Park.

It was a bullet header by Magpies centre back Jamaal Lascelles which got the winning goal in the second half. The second weekend in a row that Lascelles has scored the winning goal in a game.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez was back in the dugout against Stoke after missing the trip to Swansea through illness.

It was Christian Atsu who gave the Geordies the lead in this one on the 19th minute, with his first ever Premier League goal. Matt Richie’s cross found its way to the back post where Atsu was to slot it home.

Xherdan Shaqiri then had a fantastic chance to score with his curling effort, however a stunning save by Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot kept the visitors out. Former Stoke man Joselu then had two glorious chance either side of halftime for Newcastle, but he couldn’t convert the chances against the potters.

Stoke finally found a way through Newcastle’s stubborn defence, with a brilliant 25-yeard strike by Shaqiri to level the score up on the 57th minute mark.

Newcastle then had claims for a penalty as Atsu was brought down in the Stoke area, however the ref Stuart Attwell dismissed the shouts for a spot kick and instead gave a corner. After Lascelles finished arguing with the decision, he ran into the area to bullet a header past Jack Butland in Stoke’s goal to give Newcastle the lead and win on the 68th minute.

It is the first time since 2014 that Newcastle have won three Premier League games on the bounce and victory moves the Geordies up to fourth in the league. Meanwhile Stoke have enjoyed just one win in their last 11 away league games, drawing three and losing seven. The defeat leaves Mark Hughes side 13th and potters fans will be wanting to see a big improvement in future games.

On the victory Benitez said: “It’s not easy, because you are watching your team but cannot get too agitated or shout too much. So in the end, you’re just passing on messages. They did a great job against Swansea, and they continued doing the same here.

“It’s always good when you win and especially when the team is working so hard. Hopefully we can continue this mentality.”

Meanwhile Mark Hughes was disappointed his side couldn’t take their chances: “We had clear-cut chances with Choupo-Moting and Diouf. In fairness, their keeper made a couple of outstanding saves so we created a fair number of chances.

“We weren’t able to capitalise on that and made a couple of mistakes in terms of the goals that we conceded.”

Newcastle got to Brighton in a battle of the promoted clubs next Sunday, while Stoke play Bristol City in Bristol on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup third round.

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