Newcastle United opened 2018 with a victory over Stoke City
In their first match of the new year, Newcastle United took down Stoke City, 1-0. Jacob Murphy was able to find Ayoze Perez in front of goal and the Spanish forward knocked it home. With the win, Newcastle United now sit 13th on the table.
Christian Atsu: Playing as a forward suited the former Chelsea man. Atsu had a couple chances early and looked lively.
Jacob Murphy: The summer signing continues to impress. Murphy delivered a perfect pass to Ayoze Perez for the opening goal. His pace and skill on the ball create danger for the Newcastle United attack.
Ayoze Perez: Rafa Benitez selected Perez to start up top and he made his manager a genius by burying a goal. Finally, Ayoze’s finishing matched his work rate.
Ciaran Clark: His miss was remarkably poor. He was unmarked and inches away from the goal and sailed his effort.
Dwight Gayle: Another match, another fall in the area for Gayle. There was contact, but he can’t rely on the referee to gift him a goal every time.
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-We all know Newcastle United needs a competent striker. The match vs. Stoke City was just another example of that.
-Getting a clean sheet on the road is no small feat. Both the back line and Karl Darlow deserve a lot of credit.
-Darlow played a great match after not being tested much against Brighton.
-Rafa loves pace and you can see why. Murphy and Atsu both change the game with their speed in the attack.
-It was also a positive performance for Jonjo Shelvey. After a couple duds and losing his place in the lineup, his effort in the second half vs. Brighton and during his shift today show better form.
Newcastle United will get a break in Premier League action. They host Luton Town in a third round FA Cup fixture. The Hatters sit atop the League Division Two table and defeated Gateshead 5-0 in the second round.