Feels good doesn’t it! An organised and energetic display has earned us a precious three points and 1-0 win at Swansea this afternoon, with a thumping Jamaal Lascelles header being enough to hand us our first top flight victory on the road since December 2015.
Swansea started the game with a considerable amount of possession, however we kept our shape well and rarely looked like giving them any opportunities, even if we looked equally unlike scoring ourselves in the opening stages.
We remained organised, but grew into the game offensively however, with Joselu coming unbearably close to opening the scoring with a glanced header superbly saved by Fabianski.
It’s fair to say the eagerly anticipated debut of Swansea’s Renato Sanches did not go well, with the Portuguese sensation appearing way off the pace. The commentator alluded to the fact he’d surrendered possession on 14 occasions at one point, and it was still only the first half. In contrast, opposing midfielder Mikel Merino was sensational once again, showing his quality on the ball and effectiveness off it, winning back possession several times.
Collectively we looked organised and combative, rarely losing grip on a game we controlled without dominating. There were several positive displays, with Gamez, Clark, Merino and Joselu deserving mentions, however it was Lascelles who proved to be the key man.
Tammy Abraham looked all set to score having rounded the keeper after latching onto a clever Leroy Fer through ball, but Lascelles had not given up hope, recovering superbly to clear from a certain goal.
At the other end, less than 15 minutes later, he met a Matt Ritchie corner to emphatically head us into a 1-0 lead, and one we’d hold onto for another huge victory.
Hero at both ends, @Lascelles16!
— NUFC Global (@NUFC_Global) September 10, 2017
Events off the pitch may have hampered our momentum and the feel good factor created from the West Ham win, but that’s back to back wins and clean sheets, a victory over potential rivals and a precious away win that takes us up to 10th.
A great shift from the lads whose efforts and discipline would have pleased the absent Rafa Benitez.
Next stop, Stoke at St. James’ on Saturday!
NUFC XI: Elliot; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Gamez; Merino, Hayden; Ritchie, Perez, Murphy; Joselu
Swansea XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandes, Mawson, Olsson; Clucas, Sanches, Carroll, Fer; Ayew, Abraham.