The perfect away performance and the HUGE win we’ve being waiting for to move TEN points clear of the bottom three and secure Premier League survival.
Benitez got his tactics absolutely spot on, but the players put in a monumental effort and deserve huge praise; especially on the back of last weekend’s deflating result.
The first half was played out perfectly and the theme continued. We limited Leicester to possession football in safe areas while also being dangerous on the counter and sharp on the ball when we got forward ourselves. We played with real desire and discipline but also showed real quality when and where it mattered – and that’s the key difference between tonight’s win and last weekend’s defeat to Palace.
The goal was brilliant (watch it below), with Ritchie’s delivery and Perez’s fantastic piece of movement and finish giving us that moment of quality we were crying out for last weekend:
Every player did themselves proud tonight. Rondon lead the lines expertly, proving once again why it’s imperative we sign him permanently, while Almiron and Perez were menaces in attack all night. Ki and Hayden did solid jobs in the middle, Lascelles put in a strong display after the odd wobble in recent weeks, Schar was top class once again and Javier Manquillo also came in and did a very decent job at right-back.
Matt Ritchie also deserves real credit for the job he did at both ends, defending well and playing a huge part in Perez’s goal. Play like that every week and he’ll never look out of place at this level; even as a left wing-back.
Here’s how the bottom half of the table looks after tonight’s result:
Elsewhere this weekend Cardiff face a trip to Burnley, Brighton host Bournemouth and Southampton play Wolves at St. Mary’s, but relegation fears seem non-existent now we’re practically 11 clear of Cardiff when factoring in goal difference.
Just four games left for us now, with Southampton, Brighton and Fulham representing three VERY winnable games:
- Southampton (H)
- Brighton (A)
- Liverpool (H)
- Fulham (A)
I wasn’t overly confident coming into this one, with Leicester in real form after winning all of their last four league games, but we were absolutely brilliant and fully deserved this moment.
What an effort from all involved.