When the game against Manchester City started last night, Newcastle fans were a little more hopeful than usual with the news that Miguel Almiron was on his way to sign for Newcastle, after a deal had been agreed with Atlanta United.
But after 25 seconds of the game last night we were 1-0 down through a goal from – who else – Sergio Aguero.
It was poor defending from Newcastle and certainly not part of Rafa’s game plan.
Man City pressed but couldn’t get another goal before half time and Newcastle created about three promising breakaways in that time: Perez fluffed a decent chance in one of those when he fired wide and should have done better.
As the second half progressed City could not get that crucial second goal and after 66 minutes it was Salomon Rondon who scored for Newcastle to get his 6th league goals and 7 in all this season.
The City players were stunned.
It was the first goal City had conceded in 630 minutes of football.
Salomon Rondon – turning away after scoring Newcastle’s equalizing goal
Newcastle fans got into action and roared their side on.
It’s some sight to see Newcastle playing well against a top team and being roared on by the Geordie fans at St. James’ Park – even if it just on TV for us expats.
And would you believe it, but the impressive local lad Sean Longstaff was tripped in the box by Fernandinho after 78 minutes, and the referee gave a penalty.
The goalkeeper showed himself up by faking an injury to hold up play and put our penalty taker Matt Ritchie under some pressure.
But Matt slammed the ball into the back of the net with that tremendous left foot of his and Newcastle defended well as City came at us with everything they had in the final 10 minutes plus 5 minutes of stoppage time.
We won the game 2-1 – and shocked the football world – as they say.
It halted Man City’s 8 game winning streak in all competitions and the first time we had beaten them in the league in 22 tries going back to 2005.
Salomon Rondon led the line well (as usual), and he was a threat all night to the City defense and he’s our Man of the Match with 42% of the vote.
He now has 7 total goals on the season.
In second place is our very own Sean Longstaff who outplayed the Manchester City midfield for large portions of this game.
This lad’s potential is enormous, and we expect to keep his place even when Shelvey is fit again.
Sean is learning every day from the gaffer – and it’s showing as he continues to play so well for his hometown club.
And third in the voting is our other goalscorer – Matt Ritchie – who epitomizes a Rafa Benitez player and what fans want to see from all players – passion and 100% effort in every single game he plays.
He gets his energy from the Newcastle supporters, and Rafa rarely leaves this lad out of the starting lineup.
Matt got 9% of the vote.
It was an outstanding win for Newcastle and hopefully will help turn our season around.
And even keep Rafa at Tyneside – maybe.
Rafa had the perfect game plan, and after losing the previous 8 games against top-six opposition, we finally got a win.
Now we have to try to get all 3 points at Wembley on Saturday afternoon against Spurs.
That’s not impossible.
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!