Newcastle United ended up as Championship title winners, winning automatic promotion nine points ahead of those in the play-offs.

However, what was the key moment during the season?

Which match was the one you look back on as being pivotal in Rafa’s successful campaign?

Naturally the Preston and Barnsley games stand out as the ones where mathematically Newcastle were promoted and became champions – but which match/result was most important in moulding the season overall?

Here are eight suggestions, pick out the one you think was key to Newcastle’s successful year outside the Premier League.

Newcastle 4 Reading 1

After starting the season with two defeats, an up and down performance saw a 1-1 half-time scoreline end up as an eventual 4-1 win against the team who would eventually finish third in the table.

Newcastle 2 Brighton 0

Hughton’s team had like Newcastle not made an ideal start and so this victory at the time might not have got the headlines it maybe deserved. Goals from Lascelles and Shelvey settling it.

QPR 0 Newcastle 6

Rafa juggled his squad and Newcastle produced their biggest win of the season, showing that goals could come from all over the pitch.

Newcastle 4 Norwich 3

Despite playing well, Newcastle found themselves 3-1 down against a Norwich side who had started the season very well. Eventually winning 4-3 with two goals deep in injury time.

Leeds 0 Newcastle 2

A first league full house at Elland Road in years, an expectant crowd though seeing Newcastle completely dominate and a typical professional away display saw NUFC emerge two goal winners.

Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 0

Some indifferent form was swept away as a very good Newcastle performance swept away irritants Villa, a hilarious Lansbury own goal capping the night.

Brighton 1 Newcastle 2

The first of three tough away games in a row, a very soft penalty looked to have set up Brighton in this key game. Despite Newcastle dominating they couldn’t get a goal, until a Diame ‘special’ and then quality team goal winner saw United grab a late win.

Huddersfield 1 Newcastle 3

Four days after that Brighton win, it was a visit to a Huddersfield team posing a constant threat to the top two. Despite only 24% possession, Newcastle looked very comfortable at the back and scored three times as they counter-attacked with real threat.

  • Toon fan

    Has to be Norwich. It changed the course of the season apart from it was incredible and Gayle’s 2nd goal, if it had been scored by a Brazilian would have had pundits and press reaching for a box if kleenex

    • Scottpaige

      Sky couldn’t stand us being in that tin pot league. Some good sides in there but sky hardly give us any credit.

      Just wanted failure.

    • nufcslf

      Couldn’t agree more. Changed what turned out to be a very successful first half of the season. Some very vital results in the second half of the season, but overall was a struggle and hoping for other teams results far too often. Sounds a bit grumpy, but just being honest. Glad to be back in the Prem all the same. See what the summer brings and fatty backing Rafa like he has promised.

  • Rich Lawson

    Was it not just walloping Preston to actually go up after a season of uncertainty,I know I was a lot happier after that game ?

  • Alex

    What we ended up with was ‘won’ in the wonderful autumn. The Norwich result was crucial to us getting this autumnal platform that set us up for the rest of the season.

    • Damon Horner

      Fully agree but our post-Christmas Pardewism’s makes this time of the season understandably more overlooked than it should be.

  • Robbie Murray

    Surely the key moment was Rafa agreeing to stay under his terms

  • Grahame Johnson

    Brentford 2-1, then Murphy’s goal v Rotherham at home made Gayle’s injury less hurtful

  • nevfur

    Tough choices really and proves that really all were key. You don’t win a league in one game