Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez was very happy with the overall performance of the team today at Eland Road, in what was expected to be a very tough game for the Magpies.
Newcastle started off well in the first 20 minutes and were then gifted a goal by goalkeeper Robert Green, when he dropped a high lob into the box by Jack Colback and Newcastle’s number 9 Dwight Gayle was on hand to take what was an absolutely gift of a goal.
Leeds United came back into the game after that and pressed Newcastle, but then a beautifully worked goal after the break by Newcastle saw a great cross from Vurnon Anita turned home by Gayle on 54 minutes.
Dwight Gayle hits home the first goal
That made it another Newcastle win – the 9th in a row and the 8th successive win in the league.
That’s only the second time that has happened in Newcastle’s long history, with Kevin Keegan achieving that 22 years ago.
Newcastle controlled this game well for the most part and we can see improvements in the team as the lads play together more often – and some of Rafa’s points in training get through.
Rafa was very happy with the performance after the game and this is what he had to say to BBC Newcastle:
“I have to say thanks to every player, we could see a performance today against a good team – we saw the effort, the mentality was good and the understanding of the game was very good.”
“The atmosphere we were talking about was intimidating, but we controlled ourselves.” “We knew what they could do, but the players applied themselves and it’s a credit to them.”
“Everything we tried to do we did well, set-pieces, control of the game and counter-attack.”
“There is room for improvement, but I can’t complain because we did very well.”
That’s about as complimentary as Rafa can get.
Here’s the positions at the top of the Championship after this weekend’s games.
And Dwight’s two goals take him to 13 for the season – the most in the Championship.