Another brilliant day at St James’ Park as Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle see off Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal to secure our place in the Premier League for another season – also sending us just two points from 8th!
Prior to today, we’d lost our last 10 in the league to Arsenal and had never won a game from behind since 2014. With Arsenal taking the lead 14 minutes in, history suggested that we wouldn’t have it in us to turn it around, but this Rafa Benitez team, full of fight and togetherness, had very different ideas.
They were pressing for a second, but we stayed in it and stood strong, being were rewarded for our efforts in the form of Ayoze Perez’s sublime front post flick. It was a clever finish, but credit must go to Shelvey for the initial ball in behind, to Gayle for the run in behind and his piece of hold up play that followed, and to Yedlin for the brilliant ball in for Perez.
We weren’t at our best today, but one thing this group always give us is 110% – and that will always give you a chance against this soft Arsenal side.
Slimani came on and caused havoc – showing signs of being a proper centre forward with his nice blend of pace and power – and he played a big role in our winner, with his superb header guiding the ball across the box to Matt Ritchie to score what turned out to be our winner.
Diame was monstrous, Shelvey showed Southgate what his England side are missing out on, Ayoze Perez played a big part once again and Matt Ritchie made it three home goals in his last four at home, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface of this NUFC side (see player ratings here).
It was another outstanding team effort and electric atmosphere at St James’ Park as a result, putting us 13 clear of the bottom 3, moving us just one points from Everton in 9th (and two from Leicester in 8th) and putting us above that magic 40-point tally.
Just look at these scenes after Ritchie’s winning goal:
Shelvey, Ritchie, Lascelles, Slimani, Kenedy, Lejeune & Diame ALL giving it the big one after our second goal! 🙌🏼⚫️⚪️
— Black&WhiteBarmy (@BlackWhiteBarmy) April 15, 2018
Another special afternoon at St James’ Park – the day our Premier League survival was made certain.
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