Nobody was more pleased with Sunday’s victory than Alan Shearer.
Newcastle defeating Manchester United with the only goal of the game from Matt Ritchie.
However, when Newcastle face Bournemouth in their next Premier League match, it will be nine weeks since NUFC last score more than one goal in a league game.
The Man Utd game was the eighth PL match in a row when Rafa’s team had managed one or zero goals in a match, Alan Shearer pointing out that the Magpies won’t always get so fortunate in keeping the other team out.
Indeed, the previous two games had also seen Newcastle take the lead against Burnley and Palace, but the failure to get a second goal, meant they only picked up a point in each.
Shearer says that in January ‘I know Benitez wanted to strengthen his squad more than he did’ but was restricted to only loan deals.
Nevertheless, Alan Shearer has been impressed with both Dubravka and Kenedy on what he has seen so far, and is hoping that Islam Slimani can have the same impact up front.
The Newcastle legend was impressed with the ‘spirit and resilience’ shown on Sunday and thinks Rafa is doing ‘a magnificent job’.
Only 11 matches to go and this latest three points means Newcastle United’s fate is back in their own hands. Outside the bottom three and needing to stay there.
Alan Shearer talking to BBC Sport:
“When Manchester United came back at them, Newcastle also defended brilliantly when they had to.
“One of the things Benitez has spoken about in the past is a lack of experience to see games out but they managed that on Sunday.
“Benitez himself deserves huge credit for that, for the way he organised and motivated his team.
“It has been a tough season for Newcastle but they have got the right man in charge, there is no doubt about that.
“I think he is doing a magnificent job and the vast majority of fans are with him and know what he is going through, and having to put up with.
“I was not surprised the club did not spend more money in the January transfer window because of what was going on in the background with the failed takeover, and I know Benitez wanted to strengthen his squad more than he did.
“But two of the three signings he did make – Kenedy and Dubravka – have been excellent, and hopefully Islam Slimani will have the same impact in attack when he is fit.
“It has been obvious all season that Newcastle need more firepower and, although it worked against Manchester United, scoring one goal will not get them a win every week.
“It was not enough against Burnley in their previous home game when Newcastle created lots of chances and missed a penalty, only to see their 1-0 lead pegged back in the final few minutes.
“The reason they managed to hold on this time was down to their spirit and resilience, which are both positives, but they are going to need more goals to go with that too.
“This was a brilliant win, but it remains incredibly tight at the bottom of the table and there is a lot more work to do.”