What a night for Dwight Gayle.
The match stats (see below) report that Newcastle had 22 shots during the win over Norwich City, with nine on target.
With the exception of Yoan Gouffran’s goal and Matt Ritchie hitting the woodwork, I’m struggling to think of any/many that weren’t the work of Dwight Gayle.
The striker says that this was the fourth hat-trick of his career, he could have been looking at his first ever double hat-trick if taking just half of his chances last night.
Even before eventually scoring after 24 minutes, Dwight Gayle could have already had ownership of the match ball.
Newcastle made a blistering start and with Shelvey & Ritchie pulling the strings, United could and should have been out of sight before Gouffran handed Norwich their penalty lifeline.
Looking at the glass half full though for Gayle, his contribution was excellent with the three he did score.
A near post tap in from a great Ritchie cross, a superb first touch and finish from Shelvey’s raking 60 yard assist, then the last gasp pulling the trigger from the edge of the box with his weaker left foot.
After his heroics for Northern Ireland in this summer’s Euros, it was Michael McGovern’s turn to look on and watch Dwight Gayle and his teammates celebrating their own rewards for not giving up.
Dwight Gayle speaking to BBC Radio:
“We have belief in the team and the quality is there, if we keep going we will always get a chance.
“I think after what we have seen in these past seven or eight games in the Championship, anything can happen.
“That was my fourth hat-trick (of Gayle’s career), they were all sorts of different goals and they were important for us.
“I enjoyed the second one because it was a great touch and a great move, the last was unbelievable because everyone was together and it was a great moment.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 4 Norwich 3
Newcastle: Gayle 24, 71, 90+6 Gouffran 90+5
Norwich: Dorrans (Pen) 44, Jerome 52, Murphy 69
Possession was Norwich 43% Newcastle 57%
Total shots were Norwich 7 Newcastle 22
Shots on target were Norwich 5 Newcastle 9
Corners were Norwich 2 Newcastle 5
Newcastle starting 11:
Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett (Atsu 90+2), Gouffran, Colback (Hayden 71), Shelvey, Ritchie, Diame (Mitrovic 71), Gayle
Darlow, Hanley, Lazaar, Atsu
Referee: Peter Bankes
(To give us your player ratings for tonight’s game go HERE)
(To read the instant fan/writer reaction to last night’s match go HERE)
(Read what Rafa had to say about the dramatic victory HERE)