Newcastle fans got their first proper look at Christian Atsu on Saturday afternoon and the post-match consensus was that they very much liked what they had seen.
Not the greatest of matches to watch but Newcastle ground out the victory, with pretty much all the positive once again coming from Newcastle’s right winger.
However, for once it wasn’t Matt Ritchie being relied on a United’s main outlet going forward, the former Bournemouth winger having been rotated and Christian Atsu picking up the baton.
The Ghanaian international brought some much needed pace to the team, particularly in the absence of Yedlin and Ritchie. Looking very good on the ball and beating his man regularly with both pace and skill.
Many supporters looking forward to the day when Rafa Benitez might go with both Atsu and Ritchie on either wing.
Speaking after the match, Christian Atsu said that he was ‘very happy’ with the stunning goal he scored but ‘even more happy’ that Newcastle got the three points.
The win keeping Newcastle three points behind leader Huddersfield and one behind Norwich.
Christian Atsu talking to NUFC TV:
“Very happy with the goal and even more happy that we won.
“We have good competition (for a place in the team) and with that competition you never know who is going to get the chance.
“Very happy to score a great goal for the team, we needed this one.
“I think that we had created a lot of chances that we could also have scored, creating chances from set-pieces as well.
“We needed these points so we can relax when going back to our national teams. They almost scored but I think we defended well and worked really hard – we deserved the three points.
“These games when you get three points, it is very good, it’s not easy to win here – they are very good with set-pieces.
“Everybody is working to get in the starting line-up, everybody wants to help the manager.”
To read the instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to victory at Rotherham go HERE)
(To watch Christian Atsu’s stunning winner go HERE)