Five Things We Learned Last Night At Brighton

It was probably our best and most important win of the season and it came away from home as we powered back from being 1-0 down after only 14 minutes to getting two goals in the last nine minutes of the game at Brighton last night to surge once again to the top of the table with 3 vital points.

There were a lot of good things to take out of this game from a Newcastle viewpoint, although to be fair Brighton showed why they are at the top of the league with a good and well organized performance from the Seagulls.

Both managers have their teams playing well and it was no surprise based on the game last night why Newcastle and Brighton have been leading the Championship this season.

Rafa Benitez last night – not pleased with poor officiating

Here’s some things we learned last night:

  1. We have never seen Rafa so annoyed on the touchline this season, but it was Robert Madley who gave Brighton a soft penalty after only 14 minutes and the decisions seemed to be going against Newcastle, especially in the first half.
    Rafa berated the fourth official constantly during the game and he kept going back to the bench shaking his head and remonstrating with his other coaches.
    But Rafa knew the importance of this game and finally his players came through with what was a fabulous come from behind win in the most important game of the season.
  2. Rafa brought on Darrel Murphy and Ayoze Perez in the second half and it was mainly Murphy who made the big difference up front and he nearly scored a couple of times from headers.
    His experience is there for all to see and he should get the nod over Mitrovic because of that.
    Murphy looked good last night and he deserves another chance on Saturday if Dwight Gayle is still not ready for Huddersfield.
  3. Karl Darlow made about six great saves in the game and especially in the first half, after he had made a couple of mistakes in earlier games.
    This lad is still improving and Rafa was right to keep him in the side – we thought Rob Elliot would come in but let’s be fair: Karl saved us 3 points with some excellent goalkeeping last night – he deserves huge credit for that and he showed he’s a mentally tough goalkeeper.
  4. The defense played really well with Paul Dummett having one of his best games in a Newcastle shirt. The local lad is first choice this season and he seems to be continually learning from Rafa, who is turning the Denton lad into a very good left-back.
    Paul did great against star man Anthony Knockaert last night – and the Geordie showed he’s made of the right stuff – but we already knew that.
  5. Rafa did everything he could from the touchline to help win the game for Newcastle as he continually urged his players on in that second half.
    The lads never lost their nerve but kept playing and moving forward and you could see Newcastle getting more and more on top and the goals were not really  a surprise when they eventually came.
    We had worn the opposition down.
    Rafa with his experience and management prowess helped us get a huge 3 points last night and there’s just no way this man should be leaving Newcastle anytime soon.
    Rafa could become the best manager Newcastle have had in their 125 year history – he’s that good and that suited to the club.
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What do you think?

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • G

    Mar 1, 2017 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #1

    On point 4, from my point of view, I wasn’t certain if Dummett had him in his pocket, or if Knockeart was having a shocker? I do believe that Dummett, along with Colback get a lot of grief that they do not deserve. Dummett has been pretty consistent for me, so I am pleased to see a lot of fans on the blog today giving credit where its due.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 1, 2017 at 7:55 AM

    Comment #2

    Essex Geordie Bill ( from previous post ) – don’t know how your missus would have put up with 80minutes of verbal abuse at the TV but no doubt the last ten minutes were all wine and roses.
    Hope you made her pancakes as restitution

  • Ian Toon

    Mar 1, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    Comment #3

    42Ian Toon // Feb 28, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Two left feet and all the Lilly livered- You certainly do not inspire confidence that we will not lose ground tonight. Is our current form really that bad? Or is it because you see tonight’s game as being crucial to securing promotion automatically- which of course it isn’t.
    Benitez believes that when you get to a fork in the road, take it. We are hardly faced tonight by a football Goliath this is not a competition where the weak face the strong. David survived by being innovative and doing the unexpected.
    Successful managers like Benitez understand that there is no “best way” to play football. Tactics are not the same as strategy. 4-2-3-1 is a formation to employ pretty much over a season whilst tactics are utilised in the course of a particular game. Tactics should fit your team and your opponent and Benitez constantly is seeking to unearth the value in his squad. A good example of this is Goofy – deconstruct tactics and minimising a team’s weaknesses while maximising its strengths. Rafa while at L’pool spent hours teaching Babel how to vary his wing movement more effectively. Benitez is fostering skill and development overall which means whilst very much a work in progress. Don’t panic and stay calm it’ll be alright on the night!


  • clinath@ed

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:00 AM

    Comment #4

    Was it just me or did Diame look a lot more comfortable (and accomplished) running with the ball from midfield than as a forward?

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Comment #5

    Na not just you mate. He struggles to retain the ball when he gets it up front, static with his back to goal. He’s a beast when he’s got a few yards in front of him to burst into. But as a midfielder alongside Shelvey he will need to more defensive work, and he does give it away more easily than the others in my opinion.

    Dummett..well done. Fine margins mind – he sliced that goal line clearance in half and it fortunately cleared his crossbar or he would have got pelters 🙂

  • firebug666

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:08 AM

    Comment #6


    I agree mate he is much better coming from deep, I have never thought of him as a No10, nor should he be imo. Keep him in the middle with Shelvey that’s where he produces his best football.

    On the game last night, we showed yet again that once we build up to speed we can turn on the style and dominate any team, just really needs Gayle back in the side to finish of some great attacking play.

  • toontaff2

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:09 AM

    Comment #7

    Well done, Dummett! That’s twice he’s kept Knockaert quiet!


    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #8

    Yeah he did diame touch at times is comical…and at times in tbe first half he looked like he was 2-3 seconss off the pace tbh….did laugh my heed off at the equaliser tbh….as i thought it was a little pay back for some of the decisions we have had from dodgy refereeing we have had to endure this season….not so sure goofy up front works from the start…..when Murphy came on we seemed to be more balanced and gave us an out ball to work off……but we won,but we have to be more clinical in front of goal is my only gripe

  • Ian Toon

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:10 AM

    Comment #9

    Benitez’s subs changed the game with time running out. What a class act.

    Rafa is not going to get it right all the time just most of the time and certainly hopefully when it comes to games against our biggest threat to winning the Championship and promotion . I am all for healthy debate on the strengths and weaknesses of Benitez but not the no nowt abuse. The 2,500 toon army fans were joyous at the end of the game and Rafa went out of his way to recognise their contribution. Many of the diehard fans had seen us lose at Brighton twice in recent years in the FA cup – no sign of Tads and his Dad though.

  • toontaff2

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:11 AM

    Comment #10

    80 minutes of frustration, shouting at TV, followed by glorious 10 minutes. Well deserved.
    Well done Darlow and Lascalles.
    Atsu very good.
    Ritchie showing his class. And not getting his 10th yellow, phew!

  • hibbit

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #11

    it seems funny to me that Knockaert had a quite game not Dummett had a good one ???????

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Mar 1, 2017 at 8:16 AM

    Comment #12


    totally agree with you about Goufran. He chased everything up front constant thorn in there side was involved in most f our moves – yes he missed a one-on-one but hell he created the chance himself.
    Dime yes he looked lazy at times and lost the ball, but he put in a hell of a shift in central midfield closing down getting in tackles.

    With Diame and Goufran up centre it stopped the opposition running down our centre so had to go wide and also gave Shelvey and Ritchie a lot more space. Atsu now has had a couple of good games – keep it up lad – prefer you on the left though as who can get in the crosses without doubling back on yourself.
    Murphy changed the game when he came on scared them sh*tless kept on losing their marker – lesson for Mitro on centre forward play.

    Ps Ritchie best game in TOON shirt
    Dummett my MOM
    and Darlow had a good game

    For once in a long time the spine of the team was strong Goufran, Diame Colback Clark, Lascalles and Darlow.

    Mind you Lascalles has to stop dithering on the ball.

    Also last night a lot a lot less back passes to Darlow and there was movement to collect the ball off him instead of HOOOOOOfs all he time

  • Sgt. Hag

    Mar 2, 2017 at 3:21 AM

    Comment #13

    Besides the corner he didn’t get to, that Dummett cleared off the line, I thought Darlow had a great Boucher back game! Not sure what kind form ir shape Elliot is in but Darlow earned his Shirt back. Thought maybe the couple howlers he’s had could have been the result of a grinding season. Gonna be hard for Rafa to replace him for Huddersfield after a performance like that. Thought Yedlin was outstanding again down the right flank especially defensively. Thought he was much more solid on the defensive side and he still got forward with pace and whipped in a couple brilliant balls including one that Atsu should have buried. But Atsu played well too for not having started much lately. Heck, great team win! Unreal match, still buzzing over it and so glad I got to see it here stateside where the games have been hard to come by! Howay the Lads!


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