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.

Here goes…

POSITIVES

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.

Challenging behaviour

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.

NEGATIVES

Conceding

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

Goals:

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

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame (Hayden 81), Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Joselu 70)

Unused Subs:

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)

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    It was a red card, read the rules !
    😠

    • Down Under Mag

      I know what would have happened if it was Shelvey who pushed someone in the face!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Banned, he said so himself last night

        • Geordiegiants

          And he was right, if he done that he would see a straight red immediately.

          • TheFatController

            Yes, and If stepping (not stamping) on an ankle is a red, then I can’t see how a hand in the face isn’t either.

            Both are more petulant and from frustration than intent and damaging, but both break the rules.

            Maybe the ref thought there was some antagonism in being held back (shouldn’t be a factor in any booking though) or thought he didn’t intend to put his hand to Gayle’s face (he clearly did)

            Soft red card, but no softer than Shelvey v Spurs which all accepted was a stupid, but correct, red card.

    • Damon Horner

      Agreed. Sutton on BT was saying a red card was unfair because of his height but his height didn’t make him move his hand into Gayle. Rules say it’s a red for me.

    • sphinxhunter

      The media haven’t made enough of this – too much about poor Mayrez – almost nothing about how Leicester shouldn’t been down to 10 men – nothing at all about an official review of Maguire’s indiscretion – its all just pay back to the Leicester owner on his birthday – he and Leicester have gone to lengths to court favour with the media

  • Rob

    Incredibly lucky to have had Rafa as manager.

    Will always be left wondering what could’ve been if the takeover and real investment had happened.

    Still things are looking positive for the future let’s hope it stays that way.

  • robbersdog

    Those 3 x ‘negatives’ are a bit tenuous, aren’t they? Talk about scraping the barrel for something to write!

  • Desree

    3 negatives. Articles about Fulham/mitrovic.
    Articles looking for 3 negatives.
    Articles where one fan rates the players.

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      When do you want to pay that debt? Ill be at Everton away.

  • Andy Mac

    I agree on the MOTD point. Time spent blathering about whether it was a penalty or red card yet no mention of Ayoze’s vision, technique in lobbing their keeper for a quality goal.

  • Mike

    we won away game 3 points nothing negative to report FFS enjoy it!!!!

  • sphinxhunter

    Complacency beat Leicester – one of the main things Rafa keeps banging on about – those that say Rafa won the game, by beating Puel, are correct.