Leicester 1 Newcastle 0  Monday 14 March 8pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle, to talk about some aspect of the match:

Nat Seaton:

“Hard to take, left the away end thinking we have been unlucky for the first time in a very long while.

“Not quite sure I saw anything to say that I had been watching the potential champions mind you!

“On my way back home with a glimmer of hope though – bring on the mackems…”

Notts Toon:

“Much more compact and organised. No real stand-out performances, Sissoko ran around more but was generally poor.

Rafa has work to do but his mark on the performance was clear tonight, as before we would have crumbled after the goal.”

George Stainsby

“The season starts now. Again.

“A week ago, this might have been a hammering. Whether it was a jittery Leicester or not, there’s a week to sort out years of problems.

“Best get busy.”

Paul Lyon:

“Encouraging performance, we resemble an actual football team for a change.

“Thought our passing, especially in the final third, could’ve been better. I felt we should’ve taken advantage of some nerves in the Leicester defence.

“Rafa’s first game, you can see he’s had an influence even at this early stage. Something to build on for Sunday’s big game. By hook or by crook, it’s imperative we start picking up points!”

Ben Cooper:

“Benitez has brought commitment and organisation but we were disjointed in attack, which is better than being anonymous.

“He will know now that some of his players are better on paper than grass but we were much better in this game than the home one – at least we competed here.

“If we could pass the ball to each other on Sunday then at least we have a chance.”

James Rutherford:

“An improved performance but still not cutting edge going forward.

“Looked a lot better when De Jong and Townsend came on but still struggled to create anything.

“Done over by a bit of luck/quality. Take nothing away from Okazaki but Vardy was offside. But you make your own luck and Leicester have done that all season.

What a game next week is going to be, one of the most important derby games ever maybe. Not for the faint hearted.

“In Rafa we trust.”

Leazes Park Ender:

“A spirited effort but another fruitless return on the road, mitigated by the fact we have played the champions elect.

“Benitez will realise now the scale of his task.

“As things stand there is still a good chance of survival, but tonight another door closed.

“Anita, Janmaat and Steven Taylor were poor tonight.

“Lots of questions for the new coach to mull over.

“Nine games to go and the Derby up next. Oh what a wonderful season.”

Jamie Swan

“Looking ‘more likely’ is promising after Rafa has only had 3 days. Anything here would have been a colossal bonus, so no disaster by any means. Still a bit worried about who’s going to score the goals.

“Can’t fault the effort or the commitment. We just had (have) a massive lack of quality in creating and scoring goals.

“Thought we bottled a couple of shots with misplaced lay-offs when we could have just stuck our foot through it.

“Rafa threw the kitchen sink on, but yet again we lose away and yet again we fail to score. Whoa déjà vu. I’m hurting and I wish this was 6 games ago but it’s not and we remain deep in the sh**e.

“Squeaky hoop time is upon us, in fact that may have passed. It’s probably more like leaky bum time.

“Currently on my way to an all night Tesco to stock up on nappies and whiskey (both for me).

“School report; played ok, far better than the usual drivel, yet same result.

“Onto the Mackems – the joy! More fear and self loathing around the corner? Surely not man…”

Here are the stats from BBC Sport:

Leicester 1 Newcastle 0 

Goals – 

Leicester: Okazaki 26

Possession was Newcastle 50% Leicester 50%

Total shots were Newcastle 13 and Leicester 10

Shots on target were Newcastle 2 and Leicester 1

Corners were Newcastle 4 and Leicester 8

Team: Elliot, Janmaat, Lascelles, Taylor, Colback, Anita (Townsend 56), Shelvey (Doumbia 87), Sissoko,Wijnaldum, Perez (de Jong 71), Mitrovic

Unused Subs: Darlow, Saivet, Sterry, Doumbia

Ref: Craig Pawson

Crowd: 31,824

(Give your Newcastle player ratings HERE)