Newcastle won their fifth pre-season game this afternoon with a good 3-1 win at Wolfsburg, and it seems from the reporters at the game the lads put on a much better show today than last Saturday at Mainz.
That’s exactly what Rafa had asked for, and that’s what he got with Newcastle showing up well and keeping their shape well – just like a Rafa Benitez side.
It was goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic (37 mins), a fabulous goal from a free kick from Matt Ritchie six minutes later that had Newcastle 2-0 and comfortably ahead at half time.
The first goal was made by Atsu who has looked good in the last couple of games as he crossed the ball for Mitro to put the ball into the with class.
And then it was a free kick special from Matt Ritchie – our Player of the Season last term who curled the ball magnificently into the back of the net showing we do have some real class players already in the Newcastle side.
It was 2-0 at the break, and after the home side had started well, Newcastle had come more and more into the game as the first half progressed and two good goals from the Magpies.
At the commencement of the second half, Rafa made one change when he brought on Mo Diame for Mitrovic who had picked up a yellow card in that first half – so it looked like a safety-first move by the Newcastle manager.
But then local lad Paul Dummett gave away a penalty after 53 minutes, and it was Malli who was on target to beat goalkeeper Rob Elliot and put Wolfsburg right back in this game at 2-1.
But the game was wrapped up 15 minutes later when the mercurial Jonjo Shelvey put a fantastic through ball to Christian Atsu, and the talented Ghanaian International took his chance well and scored to make it 3-1, and it was really game over.
After that Rafa made lots of changes after 70 minutes as Siem de Jong, Rolando Aarons, Jamaal Lascelles, Mikel Merino, Jesus Gamez, Jacob Murphy and Chancel Mbemba all got some second half playing time.
This seems to have been both a good performance and a good result for Newcastle, and it will give our lads confidence for the start of the Premier League.
The next and last preseason game is at home to Italian club Verona on Sunday afternoon, so maybe we’ll see a top performance then from the lads?
We also hope it’s going to be televised live!
Teams and stats:
Wolfsburg: Grun, Ntep, Malli, Gerhardt, Blaszczykowski, Uduokhai, Osimhen, Guilavogui, Arnold, Seguin, Jaeckel.
Newcastle: Elliot (Darlow, 70), Manquillo (Mbemba, 70), Lejeune (Lascelles, 70), Clark, Dummett (Gamez, 70), Ritchie (Murphy, 70), Shelvey, Hayden (Merino, 70), Atsu (Aarons, 70), Perez (de Jong, 70), Mitrovic (Diame, 46).
Subs not used: Colback, Gayle.
Goals: Mitrovic 37, Ritchie 43, Malli 53 (pen), Atsu 68
Referee: Robert Schroder