Rafa Benitez has only ever lost one Premier League match against Mark Hughes and that never looked like it would change today.

Newcastle were far better than Stoke and were value for more than their single goal victory.

Rafa has now had 13 PL games against Hughes, with the record now standing at six wins and six draws, with just that one defeat.

Today’s win also means it is the first time Newcastle have won back-to-back away Premier League matches since November 2014, back then it was victories over Spurs and West Brom.

Ayoze Perez scored in both of those November 2014 wins, so it was fitting that he scored the winner today.

Afterwards Rafa Benitez was very happy and explained his team selection and how he thought the team did overall.

Rafa Benitez:

“We started the game very well and defended well and in the end I think we deserve the win.

“For us it’s good, for them it’s bad, but for both teams you can see the players are working very hard.

“We know we are looking for something that can improve the team in different areas.

“The players are trying everything and I am pleased with them but if we can improve our squad we will try to.

“That was really good though..

“I was really pleased with the way that the players were working on the pitch, trying to do everything that I wanted – very pleasing.

“It was difficult for us with the team selection after Brighton, because players were tired, so we needed to mix things up a little bit.

“I knew that Atsu could play in this position (behind the main striker) and Ayoze has very clear movement, the understanding between them both was very good.

“The rest of the team were helping with good passes and movement, as well as defending all together – that was key.

“Stoke started putting in crosses from everywhere, we needed to cope with that, and we did it very well.

“They did create some pressure but we still had time to create three or four counter-attacks – when we could have finished the game (off).”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Stoke 0 Newcastle 1

Goals – Perez 73

Possession was Stoke 59% Newcastle 41%

Total shots were  Stoke 7 Newcastle 13

Shots on target were Stoke 3 Newcastle 6

Corners were  Stoke 10 Newcastle 5

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey, Atsu (Gayle 64), Murphy (Dummett 82), Perez (Hayden 90)

Unused Subs:

Woodman,  Joselu, Merino, Haidara

Crowd: 28,471 (3,200 Newcastle)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the victory. Read HERE)

(This is quality, Mark Hughes gives Newcastle no credit for the win. Read it HERE)

(Great win, it should have been more! – Read it HERE)

(Give us your NUFC player ratings v Stoke HERE)



  • TheNutJob

    all the lads put in a sold performance today & with the rub of the green it could have been 3. we`ll only ever get a penalty if 1 of our boys is hit on the nappa with a hammer
    Viva Rafa

    • Mitros gotta start

      Just wish we could play stoke every week

      • TheNutJob

        they look doomed, let`s hope Pards joins them

        • Tony Mann

          Schteve is the one for me.

          • Wor Lass

            When he says “joins them” Tony ….

          • Tony Mann

            lol.

  • The real massive thing is Lascelles and Darlow, which look to work best together, plenty of confidence and for me definitely both deserve Man of The Match.
    We still have to get 20 more points to be truly safe. Hopefully, with a few additions our team will no longer draw or lose 50/50 games against teams like Brighton, Burnley and Huddersfield.
    HTWL!

    • Wor Lass

      Yeah, Lascelles is by far and away our best player. Look what happened when he was out. Darlow does drop the odd clanger but he is still a good keeper – he`s young and still learning.

      • Soldier

        last year i thought Lascelles wouldn`t progress, well he`s a totally different player this season & hats off to the guy

        • Wor Lass

          That groin injury had everyone fooled.

          • gallowgate26

            Aye he was turning slower than the titanic but is now our best player and a real leader, unlike El ‘captain’ Colo…

        • hetonmag

          Well said.

      • gallowgate26

        Doubly pleasing to here that Darlow took the limelight today, with Butland in the other goal. Nee chance of him getting a sniff though because of who he plays for, if you play for Burnley FC on the other hand…

    • mentalman

      Darlow did exactly the same last season making clangers in his first few games and then started to play well, he either needs practise to get into game mode or he lacks confidence and needs to build it up. Elliott may find himself not getting back in team

  • Wor Lass

    6 points taken from the manager most in denial. He really is awful. Look at the abuse he was giving Arnautavic when he was subbed after taking Stoke apart the other week. He makes Alex Ferguson look like the Christmas Fairy.

    • TheNutJob

      He`s Doomed

      • Wor Lass

        He needs to get a direct line to Clarko to find out where he`s going wrong. Look what it`s done for Rafa in a few days!

        • TheNutJob

          him & Pards in the championship, bliss

      • Wor Lass

        How`s the Moose doing? This should have perked him up a bit.

        • TheNutJob

          he`s not to good, it`s going to take time for him to be fully fit but he`ll get there. i thought he`d come online before now but he hasn`t
          thanks for asking i`ll pass it on

          • Wor Lass

            Tell him I`m going to make up a silly Moose Moniker and put posts on saying how good Hosselu and SloMo are if he doesn`t buck his ideas up! And i`ll send Harry potter a fb friend request.

          • TheNutJob

            😂😂
            no chance, he`ll hunt you down

          • Wor Lass

            Michaela Maxine Moose sound good!

          • TheNutJob

            sounds great, he`d throw a wobbler

    • Tony Mann

      Very poor loser – should have got used to it by now though.

  • Mitros gotta start

    Haha….sparky just stormed out of the press conference after the game…..toys thrown out of pram….lovely stuff

    • Wor Lass

      luv it … just luv it!

    • TheNutJob

      😂😂😂
      Maybe he has a Taxi waiting

  • Wor Lass

    I see the poll in the Chronic has gone from 57% saying we`d be relegated to 16%.

    • TheNutJob

      real bunch of knaves on that forum

      • Geordiegiants

        I just that one 😳

  • TheNutJob

    Jose has just stuck it to Hippo Heed, today just gets better & better

  • TheNutJob

    Peakys missing & i think he lives in Stoke
    😁😁

    • Wor Lass

      I told you, he promised the dogs they could eat Clarko but they couldn`t find him so they ate Peaky – it was all a bit Ramsay Snow!

      • Clarko

        So I’m Jon Snow in this situation. I’ll take it.

        • Wor Lass

          More like Varys, actually. The creepy eunuch.

          • Clarko

            Too late, I’m the King in the North. Your words.

          • Wor Lass

            It wasn`t Jon who set the dogs on him, anyway, it was his sister. You can be Sansa if you like.

          • Clarko

            Too late, you’ve already said I was Jon, you can be Hodor.

        • Geordiegiants

          Bet you would Clarko. Your a belta you.

          • Clarko

            *You’re

          • Geordiegiants

            You are a belter Clarko 😉!

        • Peaky Magpie

          Happy New Year

          • Geordiegiants

            Happy new year to the king of the north don’t forget 🤪.

          • Peaky Magpie

            😂😂😂

      • Peaky Magpie

        😂😂😂 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Having to spend “quality “ time with the family ! The dogs haven’t been fed for a week and are chomping like rabid wolves !!! 😂 Happy New Year.

        • Wor Lass

          Ha ha! Happy New Year to you too.

    • Peaky Magpie

      😂😂😂😂Away on holiday til Friday so I thought I better lay off here for a bit,the Stoke fans near me will have forgot about the result by the time I get back,it takes them all the time to remember their own name 😂

      • TheNutJob

        Cheers, all the best

        • Peaky Magpie

          I live about 25 miles from Stoke in The Peak District and I’ve only been once,it’s horrid like something from Mad Max and believe me the locals are worse !

          • Leicester Mag

            Driving through Stoke once, main route blocked and so had to drive through Town Centre. Made a comment ‘it’s like effin Beirut around here’. No word of a lie 200 yards down the road where there was a big sign saying ‘Welcome to … Street twined with Beirut!’

          • Peaky Magpie

            😂 I bet they now say when going through Beirut it’s just like driving through Stoke….

      • GToon

        We live nearby too and my two sons have been on the phone and Xbox giving it out big time to all the TSBs near us. Hahahaha.

  • TheFatController

    Don’t think Rafa must have heard that stoke were supposed to win today …

    Hughes was convinced of it on Saturday.

    • Kneebotherm8

      I heard he’d put his house on a win today,I wonder where he’s kipping tonight?

  • GlasgowMag

    Perez outstanding today fully deserved his goal. He also looked strong with his hold up play and he actually won a fair percentage of headers. I for one would give him more chances as a centre forward it certainly looks like his best position. The boy is also a good egg never moans always rolls his sleeves up and gets on with it model professional and to boot seems to love playing for the toon. Keep it up mate hopefully you can kick on from here to prove the doubters wrong.

    • GToon

      Wow, isn’t it great to read a comment like that for a change, 😀

    • GToon

      You could be right about his best position. He isn’t physically up to the midfield battle but is intelligent in his link up play and good playing off their defenders. A bit like that bloke at Liverpool who isn’t your typical big bloke upfront but is quite mobile etc.

      • Danimal

        As a striker, I think he has a good, crisp first-time shot, which is how I remember most of his goals coming. He’s not so good when he’s played through and has time to think about it. Good stuff yesterday, onwards and upwards.

  • Mrkgw

    I doubted Rafa today in his team choice and Perez was one that raised eyebrows. Shows what I know. Well done on the result Rafa, and the players.

    • hetonmag

      So pleased that you praised Rafa I know you have been critical of him but for me he’s the only chance we have to progress as a football club.

      • Mrkgw

        Cheers matey. Yes, I have been critical – as you correctly recall. I was until fairly recently happy with Rafa but became baffled and frustrated by some of his team selections in the midst of a run of bad results. As you rightly say however, we need him in order to progress in the longer term. Credit where due, they all did well today showing that they have it in them when it matters and perhaps on reflection, I have been overly harsh at times.

        • hetonmag

          We all want the best for the club m8.

    • Clarko

      The Perez choice was forced due to Joselu being unable to play due to cramp.

      • nufcslf

        That’s a worry to me. Hope he is still.cramped up for Swansea. Very important 3 points today, though.

        • Geordiegiants

          Ha ha ha

      • Pozz Mozz

        Yeah Joselu was unfit that’s why Perez had his chance, not Rafa’s plan though.
        Saivet played against West Ham cos Rafa had no choice, not his plan though. The man fluked his CV.

        • Clarko

          “Yeah Joselu was unfit that’s why Perez had his chance”. Correct.

          “Saivet played against West Ham cos Rafa had no choice”. Correct.

          Those selections were forced, if other players were fit enough to play the teams fielded would have been different.

          • Pozz Mozz

            So Rafa stumbled upon the formation and fluked the win eh?
            He must have a special gift for that aint it. F. Genius

          • Clarko

            The formation that he’s been using 90% of the time for the past 18 months? No mate, he didn’t just stumble upon it.

  • Jimmy_toons

    Would have taken 7 out of 12 points over last 10 days and over Christmas period before playing the ‘ammers. Feel we need max of 16points to stay up. HWTL.

  • TheNutJob

    The Toon fans come from all over the shop, on the chron there`s Canooks & Yankees on here they`re all over Britain & then we have Clarko he`s either in area 51 or Spocks assistant on the Enterprise.
    great 3 points yesterday, now we can look forward to chucking the cup match on Saturday
    😂😂