Matt Ritchie scored after 65 minutes in this game this afternoon against Manchester United to give Newcastle all 3 points at home for the first time since back on October 21st.
This was a great win by a well organized and hard-working side in which goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and center-back Florian Lejeune had excellent games.
Dubravka, in particular, had an excellent debut and he looks like a goalkeeper who can improve the Newcastle side.
With Huddersfield having won 4-1 at home to Bournemouth we started the game in 3rd bottom place (18th).
But moved up to 13th place with the 3 points – the first win at St.James’ Park in the league since October 21st when we also hammered Crystal Palace 1-0.
As we had hoped, Newcastle started very well against the strong Red Devils side, and the surprise (to us at least) was that Jonjo Shelvey had an excellent game for us.
Jonjo forced a good save early on from world-class goalkeeper De Gea.
Matt Ritchie – scored winning goal
New goalkeeper Martin Dubravka then turned a shot that was deflected from Jesse Lingard round his post and then he made another save from Anthony Martial.
Dubravka made a big difference at the back today and looks like an excellent acquisition for us, and if this lad keeps playing like this, we’ll sign him before the end of the season.
Newcastle should have had a penalty when Chris Smalling tripped Dwight Gayle in the corner of the penalty box, but amazingly referee Craig Pawson disallowed it – and we had Matt Ritchie in the side too!
Newcastle finally went ahead in the 65th minute when Shelvey put a free-kick into the box for the impressive Frenchman Florian Lejeune, who headed it down to Gayle.
The striker laid it off nicely for Ritchie, who hit the ball home past De Gea and he then went crazy.
But the Red Devils are a good time, and as expected they started to throw everything at Newcastle.
In the final 20 minutes or so Newcastle defended valiantly and well and yes – we had some luck with some of our blocks, but that’s what you get when every single player gives 100% for the team.
Newcastle held onto what was a vitally important 3 points for us.
And you saw this afternoon what it means being a fan of a (very) famous club where every player gave everything they had.
It was an excellent game for Newcastle, and finally, we got the right result – a win.
Our hats go off to every single Newcastle player.
And to Rafa of course who orchestrated the win.
Now we have a two-week break so I’ll be able to watch this game to my heart’s content – did I say Newcastle were just brilliant today?
There were some great performances today form our lads, and some who gave great displays were Martin Dubravka and Florian Lejeune who came into the defense for this game.
Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey were also excellent for us in central midfield.
A magnificent team display from our lads today and credit goes to them and to Rafa and the coaches – this is just exactly what we needed – we can still win tight games.
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett; Shelvey, Diame; Ritchie, Perez (Hayden, 90), Kenedy (Atsu, 84); Gayle (Joselu, 79).
Subs not used: Darlow, Manquillo, Merino, Murphy.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young, Matic (McTominay, 77), Pogba (Carrick, 66), Martial, Lingard (Mata, 66), Sanchez, Lukaku.
Subs not used: Romero, Lindelof, Rojo, Shaw.
Referee: Craig Pawson (South Yorkshire)
Attendance: 52,309 – sell-out