It was the ‘biggest mismatch’ in English football according to Nigel Clough pre-match – but post-match, Rafa Benitez felt the home side were more than deserving of his praise.
However, it was his own players who the United boss reserved special praise for.
Rafa Benitez declaring that ‘This is what a winning team has to do’ after his Newcastle players had put another three points on the board.
Burton went into the game with only three defeats at home and 17 points gained at the Pirelli Stadium compared to only five on their travels.
Goals from Diame and Gayle won the day but for his whole team Rafa stated ‘I will say it again, I was pleased with the attitude of our players’.
“We have had fantastic games and we have had games where we have had to show character like today.
“We did it – We are finding the balance between playing nice football and scoring great goals, or working hard to get three points.
“That is what a winning team has to do – to adapt and perform at the maximum level in any conditions.
“We said before that it could be difficult and it was, I think we did well in controlling the first half.
“We were working so hard in the second-half to defend and do well and you have to give credit to them (Burton)because they also did well and were pushing.
“The pitch wasn’t the best for anyone – there were long balls and second balls, but it was what we were expecting.
“I will say it again, I was pleased with the attitude of our players – I was pleased with the team work and the character that we saw.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Burton 1 Newcastle 2
Burton: Dyer 20
Newcastle: Gayle 15, Diame 34
Possession was Burton 57% Newcastle 43%
Total shots were Burton 15 Newcastle 9
Shots on target were Burton 3 Newcastle 4
Corners were Burton 7 Newcastle 5
Newcastle starting 11:
Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie (Gouffran 85), Atsu, Diame, Gayle
Sels, Mbemba, Mitrovic, Lazaar, Anita, Perez
Referee: Lee Probert
Crowd: 6,665 (Newcastle 1,730)
(Read the NUFC instant fan/writer reaction HERE)
(View the interactive player ratings and add your own HERE)
(Watch Mohamed Diame’s excellent winner HERE)