Newcastle 4-1 Preston: The Mags march on as promotion to the Premier League is confirmed!

We’ve done it! Following last night’s 4-1 win over Preston, Newcastle United’s promotion back to the Premier League has been confirmed, regaining their top flight status at the first time of asking.

Goals from Ayoze Perez (2), Christian Atsu and Matt Ritchie were enough to get us over the line, seeing joy and relief spilt out across the 50,000 crowd at St. James’ Park.

You could see how much it meant to everyone connected to NUFC when the full time whistle sounded. Promotion has been a collective effort and this was evident as the entire squad, the staff and Rafa Benitez came together to celebrate on the pitch.

Once Rafa congratulated all of his players, he headed over to personally thank the Geordie faithful in a special moment at the Gallowgate end.

Not only was he met with a rapturous applause and chants of his name, I noticed him congratulate the groundsmen taking down the goals and the stewards, shaking each and every one of their hands in a display of appreciation for everyones efforts.

Benitez unites our club and this act just highlights further the sheer class of the man.

Player ratings

Rob Elliot – 7 – A surprise inclusion for the 30 year-old stopper who made his return to the side after spell on the sidelines.  He was generally a spectator but showed his class in the first half, making a crucial one on one save to deny Preston.

Vurnon Anita – 5 – Looked out of sorts. Was caught in no mans land too many times defensively and was slow to respond to Preston counter attacks. He was sloppy in possession and offered little going forwards. Poles apart from his alert display against Leeds.

Jamaal Lascelles – 7 – Appeared more comfortable alongside Clark and put in a far more assured display. Dealt with the physical threat of Hugill well, winning most of his aerial duels. An improved performance from the NUFC skipper.

Ciaran Clark – 7 – Carried the ball out of defence well and intercepted some of Preston’s attacks. A steady display on his return.

Paul Dummett – 6 – Stuck to his task and kept it simple. Unspectacular but solid.

Jonjo Shelvey – 6.5 – Tried to make things happen in frustrating periods of the first half. Switched up the play with some punchy passes but a quiet game by his standards.

Isaac Hayden – 6 – Not quite the all action performance we’ve been used to seeing from him but a brilliant tackle to spark the build up to Atsu’s crucial goal before half-time.

Matt Ritchie – 7.5 – Inventive and energetic as ever. Threw several dangerous crosses into the box and made no mistake from the spot to extend our lead.

Ayoze Perez – 7 – Was in the right place at the right time to score 2 vital goals. Struggled to get into the game prior to the sending off but grew in confidence as the game went on.

Christian Atsu – 6 – Took confidence from his goal, which was well taken, but generally looked short of confidence or ideas.

Aleksandar Mitrovic – 6 – Didn’t quite happen for the Serbian tonight, who’s efforts to score often came up short. Instrumental in our second goal however, showing great awareness in providing the assist for Atsu.

Player performances, our style of play or our home form may have created cause for concern at times, but last night’s achievement proves this season has been one thing – successful.

Newcastle have became just the 4th club from the last 30 relegated to bounce straight back up. The title may just allude us, but Aston Villa and Norwich’s indifferent seasons act as a telling reminder of just how different things could’ve been following relegation.

Benitez has guided us back to where we belong and given us a platform to build on.

Significant investment will be required next season, with the biggest tests yet to come, but part 1 of the Rafalution is complete as the Mags march on the Premier League!

(Fancy having your say? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

56 thoughts on “Newcastle 4-1 Preston: The Mags march on as promotion to the Premier League is confirmed!

  1. Eric I like having the Aussies around. Diverse opinions are good for the blog. Said yesterday that Rafa had a habit of springing surprises but I never expected Elliot to be in goal. It was clear that Elliot was very vocal and he made very few punts upfield something Darlow does too often. Pleased for Rafa and the lads. Our back four had difficulty in coping with the speed of the Preston forwards and I think the mark of 7 is very generous.

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  2. Groucho: they never talk football, mate. Just come on and ****.

    I was shocked Elliot played as well. Darlow is not bad, but Elliot is better.

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  3. I thought Mitrovic was ok in general play. He really needs to get his act together when in front of goal, though. He needs some composure. I think he could be a good player, but he seems to be blind when an opportunity to score comes his way.

    Anita was very suspect. Far and away the worst Newcastle player on the pitch. Everybody else was professional and solid. It wasn’t a great performance, but it was what was needed at the time, and there were some nice touches at times. Mostly pretty humdrum, though. I don’t expect a majority of the starting line up to be near the first team next season. Anita, Atsu, Mitro, Perez certainly not.

    By the way, Colback did well for the short time he was on.

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  4. Very happy, hellish league to get out of. Some of our play has been below par at times but in the main we coped well in a league I have no wish to see us return to anytime soon. Awful officiating and every team treating us as a cup game so will be a nice change to go back to being under dogs for a bit.
    As for next season, lets just enjoy our moment before we start worrying if Rafa is gonna leave or the Fatman is gonna sell up. Likewise we can all moan that this team won’t survive the PL but it will change, it has to and Ashley will know that. It’s very simple really either he strengthens the team or he doesn’t and I’m pretty sure he won’t want to oversee another relegation having done it twice now.
    He let Rafa get in what was required to get out this league and hopefully he’ll let him bring in what’s needed to sustain PL status. Let’s start with a clean slate and see where it goes, but I’m content to just enjoy the moment for now.

    Nice to see some old faces on again too, where’s Ice, Big Dave and Sharpy all gone ?

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  5. Bris, I like Mitro very much, he does need to score more to be deemed a success but he gets little credit for his general play which at times is excellent. Anita was below par as you say but generally he has been very good at RB this season.

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  6. On the whole I agree with the ratings, with the exception of Clarke and Hayden.

    Hayden was all over the opposition, both defensively and offensively. He made many well timed interceptions or tackles and kept his nose clean. He almost scored, got down the byline and whipped a great ball across the face of the goal (only for the attackers not to have the intelligence to make the run into the box) and although people will talk about Mitro’s pass for the Atsu goal, it was all instigated and set up by Hayden’s reading of the game, interception, driving run and ball into Mitro. He makes a huge difference when he is around and for me was a candidate for man of the match.

    Clarke was part of a defense that was repeatedly exposed and he was in no mans’s land for their goal, when he lost the player he was marking by looking around for incoming threats and compmetely forgot about the striker stood next to him, who casually sauntered off to receive the ball and stick it in the net. Awful defending.

    Mitro was full of effort but made several questionable fouls and could easily have accumulated cards. He also had several chances at goal including an open header and fluffed the lot. Hard work alone will not cut it in the PL. He needs to take more of his chances but he is probably worth keeping in the squad as he is still young and does bring something nobody else does up front with his physicality.

    Rob Elliott looked calm and composed. Showed he still has his reactions too and it felt more assuring to see him back between the sticks. I agree with Bris in that Colback played well when he came on. For a change. Might be because he had no defensive work to do and we were on the front foot against 10 men but he can only deal with whats in front of him.

    Job done and time to rebuild. Looking forward to seeing who comes in and who goes.

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  7. I wonder whether Rafa will give Mbemba another run out against Cardiff and if he will try the odd reserve such as Sterry? Depends on whether Rafa thinks we still have a chance of top spot. For myself I am happy enough with promotion.

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  8. Eric – give the Aussies a break man. Just be grateful we’ve got fans all over the world. By the way what exactly do you do? By my reckoning you’re posting at around 3 or 4 in the morning from Chicago.

    Looking forward to an eventful summer now. Well done Rafa!

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  9. georgio: if they ever talked about football rather than just ****ing I would give them credit. Why do you care what time I stay up until? I took some time off work to do some trading for my own account. I figured that at 50 years old it would be better to spend some time travelling and seeing friends and family rather than waiting until the regular retirement age when my bones will be old a creaky.

    And, well done Rafa.

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  10. Hey georgio: it is now 5.45 in Chicago so I must be an early riser 🙂

    There is no basis to defend the Aussie(s); perhaps they are one and the same. They don’t ever talk football or NUFC, they just have a bit of a whinge, every time!!!!

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  11. Sham, I had the same feeling about Elliot. I just had more confidence in the defence when we were under pressure – not that it happened too often. If I have that feeling from 10K miles away, I wonder how it affects the players 10 feet from him 😀

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  12. I am not always in the same time-zone either georgio. I have been back to the toon twice for 6 weeks each time in the last 2 years, my brother lives in Thailand and I saw him for 2 months on 2 separate occasions. Does that explain anything?

    I have also met many Aussies on my travels. It is their main thing to want to see the world. But, they are the worst world travellers. They **** and moan all of the time. I was in Egypt with about 10 of them and they wanted to get the tour guide sacked. For no reason.

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  13. Groucho, I was also wondering about Mbemba. He seemed a canny player in the PL. I wonder what the story there is. I remember an old podcast when we signed him and the guy on there – a Euro watcher – thought it was just about the best deal of that window.

    It’s a strange one, that.

    Mind you there was an article on a website here last season that had Mitro in the 10 best prospects in Europe.

    One of these days one of the highly rated prospects will come good for us.

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  14. shamrock:
    On the whole I agree with the ratings, with the exception of Clarke and Hayden.

    Hayden was all over the opposition, both defensively and offensively. He made many well timed interceptions or tackles and kept his nose clean. He almost scored, got down the byline and whipped a great ball across the face of the goal (only for the attackers not to have the intelligence to make the run into the box) and although people will talk about Mitro’s pass for the Atsu goal, it was all instigated and set up by Hayden’s reading of the game, interception, driving run and ball into Mitro. He makes a huge difference when he is around and for me was a candidate for man of the match.

    Clarke was part of a defense that was repeatedly exposed and he was in no mans’s land for their goal, when he lost the player he was marking by looking around for incoming threats and compmetely forgot about the striker stood next to him, who casually sauntered off to receive the ball and stick it in the net. Awful defending.

    Mitro was full of effort but made several questionable fouls and could easily have accumulated cards. He also had several chances at goal including an open header and fluffed the lot. Hard work alone will not cut it in the PL. He needs to take more of his chances but he is probably worth keeping in the squad as he is still young and does bring something nobody else does up front with his physicality.

    Rob Elliott looked calm and composed. Showed he still has his reactions too and it felt more assuring to see him back between the sticks. I agree with Bris in that Colback played well when he came on. For a change. Might be because he had no defensive work to do and we were on the front foot against 10 men but he can only deal with whats in front of him.

    Job done and time to rebuild. Looking forward to seeing who comes in and who goes.

    totally agree with your assessment shamrock. good markings apart from Clark and Hayden.

    we have an OK team IF we add some real quality. I’d try and hold onto Anita..

    Goofran will probably leave, not too fussed if he did.
    Atsu isnt good enough for me. couldnt beat his man all game although his goal was decent.

    Others:
    Yedlin / keep, he’s only young and should get better with decent coaching
    Lazaar / not sure really, hardly featured
    Sels / let him go, we have others that are ahead of him
    Haidara / let him go, injury prone
    Murphy / should be replaced with quality
    Mitro / not good enough, we cant have two average forwards on the bench if Rafa only plays 1
    Diame / not good enough for the prem
    Hanley / back to the championship
    Mbemba / I’d like to keep him
    Gamez / same as Lazaar, probably will leave
    Anita / keep, good versatile player
    Sammy / bye bye
    Arrons / give him another year to prove his fitness

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  15. Eric – just wondering if you stayed up late or got up early . . . no matter.

    Bris – nice to see ya back on. I still see Mbemba as a top player we should be glad to have. I’ve never understood Rafa’s point about him unless his English really is still bad or he’s just plain thick. Like Mitro too, if only he was a tad quicker or could jump!

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  16. Brisvegas:
    Sham, I had the same feeling about Elliot. I just had more confidence in the defence when we were under pressure – not that it happened too often. If I have that feeling from 10K miles away, I wonder how it affects the players 10 feet from him

    Very good point! ?

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  17. Fair points made re. Hayden and Clark – I thought Hayden wasn’t as impressive as he was against Leeds but what you say is fair. He’s the sort of player who will put in a very decent shift even when he’s not as noticeable.

    Clark looked rusty in parts but I thought it was a steady display. Our biggest problem defensively was Anita, who was often struggling to get back after being caught in no mans land.

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  18. So, I was reading a Football365 article and it was a bit of a piss take and named Man United’s worst fan. It turns out that Mick Hucknell says he has slept with over 3,000 women. He didn’t say that zero had also said they couldn’t look at themselves in the mirror the next day, or that they had slept with a treacle pudding.

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  19. Agree that Anita did not have one of his better games. For me still the most accurate and intelligent passer of the ball in the squad. I think last night he was up against an extremely fast winger. Yedlin might have kept pace with him better but I am not impressed with his defensive qualities. Definitely need a top quality RB and LB.

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  20. And why does Pet Sounds always make the best album of all time list? It is a cross between A Cappella and choir boys.

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  21. And… Whenever people say “for me” I don’t understand why they say it. Who else would their statement be “for”. Their Aunty Grace?

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  22. Eric I like most of your comments most of the time but you can be a grumpy pedantic bugger at times. The English languages is full of nuances. When I say ” for me” I am suggesting that I accept not everyone will agree with what I say. I know you have been on this particular hobby horse before. For me I couldn’t care less, but stick to football chat please.

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  23. Groucho: my mother called me a grumpy, pedantic bugger last week as well. And I am on my high horse and not my hobby horse! There’s me being pedantic again 🙂

    I enjoy most of what you post on here, so don’t get too offended. I am not sure why I even notice when someone says “for me” or “to be fair”.

    But back to football – that el Clasico was probably the best game I have seen since Germany and France in the world cup 30 years ago.

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  24. And … again. AGAIN. I don’t understand why I have to explain why Bris Vegas can disappear for 6 months and then come on and have a big **** about nowt?

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  25. I’ve never been a big fan of Anita, Kim, and I haven’t seen enough of him this season to comment on whether he’s been good in the Championship, but he hasn’t impressed me at in the vast majority of games I’ve seen him play since he came here.

    I remember the last game of 2 seasons back (or was it 3?), we beat West Ham to stave off relegation. He had a blinder that day. That was the last time I was t James’ Park. That was the trip I met up with Troy I think. Must make another visit soon.

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  26. Is that The Troysta who was 115% wrong all of the time? Arrogant Alan’s biggest fan and even backed Ugly John?

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  27. Olly. Who would you pick then? Surely not Shelvey on recent performances. Someone told me that the coaches at Newcastle had a similar opinion of Anita but I would not swear to the veracity of this information.

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  28. thought i would make a comment after while off,great to go back where we belong,but how long will it last this is nufc remember,Penfold has been nicked for transfer fiddles,now one of three things will happen,first one is a swine it could result in points being deducted,two it could mean a transfer block from signing players or selling players,third it could be a large fine,i hope its the third one,this is the toon good news never lasts.now will jabba give Rafa what he needs if we get over this trouble,i dont know its not just for the new season it will need more in Jan if needed??we know what happened last Jan,bloody problems all round ❗ ❗

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  29. These latest headlines are very worrying indeed. Potentially we could get a points deduction if something is proven. Preferably they could just throw Charnly in the nick… I really hope we don’t get a penalty like this …

    Additionally Rafa could up and leave with this kind of trouble brewing.

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  30. Any points deduction is unlikely to come into force for the coming season because it wont have been investigated by both the Police and FA in time for them to make judgement by September. We wont be denied promotion.

    That means we will have time to prepare for any punishment and time to establish a foothold in the PL.

    Unfortunately if Charnley has done wrong, it will mean a new Chairman is possible, which could upset the apple cart with Rafa, which is a massive worry.

    Another possibility is Ashley holding funds back from transfers pending any fine. That may result in Rafa leaving. However that tactic is a fine balance because Ashley could find himself with a relegated football club again, a fine, tarnished reputation and a huge hole in the finances.

    Why can’t we just have a couple of seasons without people having reason to dismiss us as a joke ffs.

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  31. A transfer ban is also possible, but unlikely to come into force this summer. If I was advising Ashley, I would say spend big this summer in order to protect his investment and keep Newcastle in the PL, with a transfer ban beginning in January possible, but unlikely.

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  32. This is total speculation on my part but since the French are involved this must be some sort of kickback to that sports agency Mundial who we got so many players from.

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  33. I think we need a true giant in the investigative reporting field, similar to Bernstein and Woodward with Watergate. Time to step up Lee Ryder.

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  34. 5 things Lee Ryder learnt about the NUFC tax fraud investigation:

    1. f-all.

    2. bugger all.

    3. Nothing, I am only the chief sports writer.

    4. Nowt, why do you keep asking me difficult questions?

    5. Errrmmm… that’s it. In the spirit of the 5 things learnt articles I have just run out of things I learnt.

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  35. Let’s hand this over to the other Chronicle special reporter, Chris Waugh. What did you learn Chris?

    “Nada”

    “Neit”

    “Nil”

    “zilch”

    “diddly squat”

    Have I reached my quota of 5 things I learnt yet?

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  36. ATM: On this very website, didn’t Olly say that Joey was actually a cool cat after his visit to a hospice that he was asked to make by Burnley?

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  37. Yep: here is the headline from Olly only 6 days ago on April 20th:

    “Joey Barton shows he is not such a bad Guy after all in touching show of kindness”

    Yes. That is the same Joey that has a sh!t twitter site, stubbed a cigar out an a kid’s eye and was jailed for a violent attack outside of McDonalds and was still paid by NUFC (amongst other things).

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  38. Why is it that no matter how long ago it was he played for us and no matter how many clubs in between, if an ex player gets in trouble he is alway an ex Newcastle player just to try stick the **** to our club. How many time have we heard Barton did this or that or Ranger an ex Newcastle player did this or that even tho we got rid yrs ago. Boils my piss. ?

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  39. Can u believe it. Xisco (remember him?) just scored for some Thai team in the AFC champions league ha ha. They r showing the match on TV here in Shanghai

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  40. With the investigation involving us and West Ham and somebody in France it all points to Marseille. Thauvin and Payet? Apparently it’s to do with image rights of players. I just cannot see this leading to any action from the the FA although the club may get a hefty fine from HMRC.
    The FA rules on points reduction all seem to be about insolvency only. Fingers crossed it doesn’t effect Rafa in any way. Likely to drag on for months through the courts anyway and possibly the fixtures will be out or the season even started.

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  41. Plus it’s 18 months since we signed a French player in Saivet and he played no part in this season’s promotion.

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  42. georgio:
    Apparently it’s likely to be Marseille in trouble.

    I hope you’re right, but the fact that Charnley has supposedly been arrested worries me a bit. I read something else that said West Ham released an official announcement that no one from their club has been arrested.

    Also read another article that mentioned March 4 as the deadline for docking points in the current season. So given that this is likely to drag on for at least a few months, there’s virtually no chance of us not being promoted.

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  43. Charlie Prince: I hope you’re right, but the fact that Charnley has supposedly been arrested worries me a bit. I read something else that said West Ham released an official announcement that no one from their club has been arrested.

    Also read another article that mentioned March 4 as the deadline for docking points in the current season. So given that this is likely to drag on for at least a few months, there’s virtually no chance of us not being promoted.

    thats the bit that gets me mate,why just Penfold??

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  44. georgio:
    Apparently it’s likely to be Marseille in trouble.could it be the carry on with the big wuss that went back there and is due to re-sign for them???

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  45. I would like to say well done to the players and Rafa for winning promotion back to the premiership. However I can’t see Ashley spending big in the summer as that will probably mean the PL money wont be available until the following season. I hope Lee Charnley hasn’t kicked the club in the teeth with this tax invasion and national insurance fruad. Last thing I want is Pardew back this summer and it’s a strong possibility.

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