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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
What do you think?