It wasn’t pretty (and that’s probably the understatement of the year!), but a second half goal from Salomon Rondon was enough to give us an absolutely massive three points over relegation rivals Huddersfield – taking us SIX clear of the drop zone.
We ground out the win in the end, defending admirably and seeing out the game well against a toothless Huddersfield side, however it could have been very different if they had a decent striker or that little bit more quality in the final third.
The first half performance was absolutely atrocious. Lascelles could and should have been sent off, Kenedy struggled to complete a pass and there was only one side looking to score – and it wasn’t us. We’re just lucky Huddersfield were so wasteful, however it was a real worry to see them be the only side with any urgency and buzz about them in what was such a big game for BOTH sides.
As bad as we were early on, it’s worth mentioning that it should’ve been 0-2, with Perez scoring a perfectly good goal – only to be told he was ‘offside’ when replays showed he was level.
Player performance wise, Kenedy had a real stinker. He struggled with simple passes, allowed their full back to get far too many crosses into the box in the first half and just did not look comfortable both positionally or on the ball as a left-wing back. That said, we worked our socks off in the second half and he kept going in his defence. Rondon took his goal well (his 5th of the season and perhaps his most important yet), Lascelles, Schar and Clark stood strong and Atsu played his part once again, with him often at the heart of the few positive bits of play we had going forward.
Here’s how the table now looks after today’s results (*BEFORE Fulham vs West Ham at 5.30pm*):
Burnley lost what would’ve been a precious point in the 91st minute at Wembley and Cardiff were beaten 3-2 at Watford, so today’s win over Huddersfield combined with those two results mean it’s been a VERY positive day for Newcastle.
Another huge game now awaits us next Saturday – especially when the fixtures are set to get VERY tough for us after Christmas and into the new year:
- Fulham (H)
- Liverpool (A)
- Watford (A)
- Man Utd (H)
- Chelsea (A)
- Cardiff (H)
- Man City (A)
- Tottenham (A)