Rafa won’t admit it until we’re mathematically safe, but this was the moment our Premier League survival was confirmed. A performance full of desire, commitment and fight, our third straight win, and one that took us 10 points clear of the bottom three. What a day!
We are still a few short of that magical 40-point mark (as Rafa will tell you), but, as we proved once again today, we look more like a side ready to threaten a top 10 finish than one who’ll be spending the next few weeks in a relegation fight.
We outgunned a very capable Leicester side in every department. We know they have several ‘superior’ players, being one of the best sides outside the top 6 (something Benitez wants us to be before long), but Rafa’s game plan, paired with the players incredible effort, discipline and ability to follow the gaffers orders has been second to none in recent weeks.
We’ve peaked just at the right time and, just 55 days on from being in the relegation zone, we now find ourselves in the top 10.
Quite incredible really. Not only a relief for us fans praying for a nerve-free end to a stressful season, but a well deserved reward for Benitez and this brilliant bunch of lads who have knuckled down and delivered despite some difficult circumstances.
Posting again without apology.
— Chris (@ChrisNE14ST) April 7, 2018
Not only are we showing incredible unity and fight (see clip above), so many of our players are going from strength to strength. The likes of Dubravka, Lejeune and Kenedy really look the part, Dummett and Lascelles have been consistently colossal, Diame has gone from a poor mans Amdy Faye to Viera and Kante’s lovechild and the previously inconsistent Perez and Shelvey are now delivering. And that’s missing out Ritchie and Yedlin – two who had underperformed at times this season, but are now looking full of beans.
Gayle desperately needs a goal, but even he is doing a superb job for the team without scoring. His energy levels seem high and he’s giving centre-backs something to think about. If we can get a fit and firing Islam Slimani into this side over the last 6 games then I don’t see why we can’t secure a top 10 finish.
They could’ve had a penalty (or two), but Maguire could’ve also been sent off. On the whole, I’d be absolutely baffled if there’s Leicester City fans out there who honestly felt we didn’t deserve to take all three points. A special mention should go out to Perez too – a player whose often been criticised, but one whose now won us two games in a week (all against the side he scores a last minute own goal against in the reverse fixture!).
Ayoze Perez ?? pic.twitter.com/kUPl4jJbSJ
— Jenson? (@TacticalBenitez) April 7, 2018
The scenes at the full-time whistle were just brilliant. Players punching the air and amazing scenes and noise from the away end. This feels like the moment we did what everyone doubted and confirmed our survival on our first season back in the big time.
A brilliant effort from our boys and some special scenes at the end. Bring on the last six games!
Best moment of my life pic.twitter.com/yrgnQxA8MW
— true faith #nufc podcast (@tfweeklypod) April 7, 2018