The 1-0 win at home against an in-form Derby County side was a really vital win for Newcastle and the lads defended very well and especially over the last 20 minutes, when Derby went all out for the equalizer after we had again missed too many chances to kill off the game.
But we came up with all 3 points with the defense playing very solidly for our second clean sheet in the last 11 games in all competitions.
The capacity crowd of over 52,000 fans sang Rafa’s name repeatedly throughout the game.
That was to let him know we support him and want him to stay at the club – just in case he has any silly notions of leaving this club this summer – for whatever reason.
Rafa Benitez – happy after the game
After the game a happy Rafa had this to say to reporters:
“The fans have been amazing for me all year and I’m happy if they continue singing my name, but also supporting the players.”
“If the players win I win, and if the players win the fans win.” “It was important they realized that they can make the difference in a game like this.”
“From the start they were ready to back the team and cheer the players. “The players responded to it. We started the game well and the fans were happy with that.”
“You could feel the atmosphere when we scored the goal and the fans know the players will run a little bit more if they can feel this support and this atmosphere.”
“We played good football for a while and every three points is important. “It doesn’t matter how you get them.”
“In the end we had to defend really well against a really good team to get the points that we deserved.”
We are now top of the league and 3 points better off than seven years ago when interestingly enough we suffered our biggest defeat of the season in our 29th game – a 3-0 defeat at Derby County.
We then finished the final 17 games of the season without losing another game, drawing only four and winning 13 for 43 points out of a possible 51 – not too shabby.