It was the best result we have had this season, and maybe one of the best results Rafa Benitez has had at Newcastle, although the last game of the Premier League season in 2016 is probably still the top one for Rafa.
That’s when we hammered second-placed Tottenham 5-1, and that dropped them to 3rd for the season.
And we beat another second-placed team in the league yesterday – Manchester United – and dispatched them by a score of 1-0.
The performance yesterday was excellent, and we are now in 13th place in the table for the next two weeks before our next game at Bournemouth on 24th February.
Jamaal Lascelles challenges Romelu Lukaku yesterday
But note that if we had only drawn yesterday, we would have been 3rd bottom (18th) and just below Southampton, with an equal goal difference but we have scored fewer goals.
The mood would have been a lot different with only a draw or a defeat.
This is what captain Jamaal Lascelles has said today about the game:
“It was a huge win but it wasn’t a shock for us.” “Most games we have played this season we have been really good.”
“Man United have some world-class players but it seemed like we just wanted it a lot more. With the bigger teams, teams like us will always want it a lot more.”
“And today their quality wasn’t enough to beat us and our hard work and endeavor was enough to get us over the line.”
“All week the manager had been working on how we can beat these guys and we stuck to his tactics and got it exactly right.”
“We can’t go to toe-to-toe with these teams and try to play football – it is not going to happen.”
“What we can do is work hard, make it nasty for them and try to make them play how we did and I can only praise the boys for that today.”
“They have got some great players but I don’t think United turned up today.”
“We have played against Arsenal and Man City and you can really see the quality and one mistake or a lack of concentration and a goal will go in.”
“Today, I don’t think they were at it from the start of the game – a lot of their players went missing.”
“It was probably the way we were playing, we made them play like that.”
“In the first-half they were making a lot of mistakes, passing the ball around but it was down to our pressing.”
“We were aggressive and they didn’t like it. You could see their center-halves on the ball and they didn’t really know what to do with it.”
“We set up really well and we matched up really well against them. The manager got it spot on today.”
“Matt has been pretty frustrated recently but he finally got his goal and hopefully, he can start finding the net a bit more often.”
“But overall, it was a massive team performance and Man of the Match could have gone to anybody.”
This is the new standard for Newcastle, and we have to play every single game with this same intensity.
If we can do that and have Dubravka, Kenedy, and Slimani in the side, then we could get a few wins in the final 11 games of this season.
We could really surprise ourselves.