Saturday finished Leicester 1 Newcastle 2.
Rafa’s team taking a deserved first half lead, then doubling that lead with a perfect Perez finish.
Vardy’s late goal giving Newcastle fans an uncomfortable final 10 minutes, but only in the mind, because we expected to concede another!
The Editor asked me beforehand to write about 3 positives and 3 negatives from the game.
Jonjo Shelvey scoring
A first league goal in 364 days, the last one coming a year today (8 April 2017) when getting the consolation effort as Newcastle lost 2-1 at Sheff Wed.
Great work by Gayle and Perez saw the ball fed to Shelvey on the edge of the box and after selling a perfect dummy to two defenders, guided the ball past Schmeichel via Chillwell’s elbow (would/should have been a penalty and red card if the goal hadn’t happened as the Leicester defender moved his arm towards the ball).
Jonjo Shelvey should be scoring far more goals, he needs to if he is to really rubber stamp his value to Newcastle, as well as make an overwhelming case to Gareth Southgate,
Coming of age
Apart from that Man Utd game which is a bit of a one-off (throwing everything at a superior team and getting a shock result), this is the first victory that isn’t against a relegation struggler.
For me, a bit of a coming of age for this team. Newcastle, especially away from home, going to one of those clubs who are outside the top six, and being by far the better team and deservedly winning.
If you wanted a passage of play to sum up Rafa’s team…midway through the second half there were four of five juicy (fair) challenges in the midfield area where Newcastle won the tackle, even though they were second favourite each time.
One after the other in the space of around 15 or 20 seconds, with even Perez(!) winning of them, the ref in the end giving a foul on around the fifth or sixth one.
Obviously, conceding a goal is always going to be a negative but that was especially true today.
Newcastle were so on top and Dubravka a rock at the back, no way did the home side deserve anything.
The fact it was the only Leicester effort on target tells you everything.
Match of The Day coverage
Got back late last night after the game and this morning was really looking forward to the MOTD highlights.
What a disappointment!
Instead of focusing on Newcastle’s excellent play and quality goals, it was one of those where they droned on endlessly about whether Mahrez should have a penalty (yes he should have), plus whether Maguire deserved a red card (he didn’t, though both he and Gayle deserved yellow – the Newcastle man for holding him back and Leicester defender for pushing him in the face).
Paul Dummett trying to…
Paul Dummett has been very good and was excellent today against possibly the most difficult opponent possible.
However, he had two moments of madness.
Sliding in on Mahrez was daft, he should have stayed on his feet. It should have been a penalty and it could have given Leicester a very undeserved route back into the game.
Then on the goal, I have no idea what he was doing. Gray’s ball into the box saw Dummett, who is excellent in the air, fail to even jump and this gave the Leicester player a free header across for Vardy. Atsu was the player behind the pair and so no way he shouted at Paul Dummett to leave it for him to sort. Newcastle and Dummett deserved to get away with these couple of lapses but another time they would be punished more severely.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Leicester 1 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Shelvey 18, Perez 75
Leicester: Vardy 83
Possession was Leicester 66% Newcastle 34%
Total shots were Leicester 8 Newcastle 8
Shots on target were Leicester 1 Newcastle 4
Corners were Leicester 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 81), Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Joselu 70)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Merino
Crowd: 32,066 (3,200 Newcastle)
(Read Alan Shearer’s reaction to the result HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 2-1 victory HERE)
(Leicester boss Claude Puel reacts to the defeat HERE)
(Rafa Benitez verdict after picking up yet another three points – Read HERE)
(Match ratings of all Newcastle players after the match HERE)