Dwight Gayle had done his job.
Two goals and 78 minutes that saw him lead the line well, as well as doing his bit in defending that lead.
A very defensive substitution by Rafa Benitez, as he took his only striker off the pitch and brought on a defensive midfielder in Isaac Hayden.
Whoever would replace him, coming off with 12 minutes to go – Dwight Gayle must never have imagined that the three points wouldn’t be banked.
Newcastle had looked so comfortable and as Dwight Gayle says, even though the plan was to protect the two goal lead after half-time and look more to counter-attack, after the break United still looked easily the most likely to score.
Obviously referring in particular to sitters that Perez and Shelvey missed, Dwight Gayle says: ‘We had a lot of chances to break forward and should have put it to bed…If you don’t take your chances then they are going to make you pay for it.’
Pay for it Newcastle certainly did, as the home side rescued a late and undeserved point.
Dwight Gayle has been bothered by hamstring problems since his Palace days and it was tightness in his hamstrings that forced the striker off on Saturday.
Having ‘rocketed’ to the pinnacle of becoming Newcastle’s top scorer with five goals and showing better form, it would be cruel for everybody if Gayle is now ruled out of the Liverpool game, especially with Islam Slimani remaining on the injured list.
However, as we await news on his availability, Dwight Gayle is remaining positive, the number nine saying ‘The boys are together, we’re going to look forward to the next game…keep picking up the points we need to stay up.’
Gayle has scored more goals (four) against Liverpool than any other Premier League team, obviously a massive bonus for everybody if he is passed fit and can improve further on that record on Saturday.
“After being 2-0 up (at Bournemouth) with not long left to go, we could have kept them out…but it is (just) one of those things.
“We now need to forget about it and move on, try to look forward to the next game.
“We knew they were going to come out in the second half and put us under pressure, but at the same time, it was our game plan to hit them on the counter attack.
“We had a lot of chances to break forward and should have put it to bed.
“That is what is going to happen in the Premier League, with the quality you come up against.
“If you don’t take your chances then they are going to make you pay for it.
“It has happened this season to other people and I am sure it will happen again, but the boys are together, we’re going to look forward to the next game.
“Over the last 10 games we have only lost two (both to Man City) and we are improving week in, week out.
“We’re just trying to improve as players – keep picking up the points we need to stay up.”