“It’s gettin’ better, man!”
Newcastle United and manager Rafa Benitez entered the FA Cup Third Round on Saturday against Luton Town, looking to advance with a victory. The Magpies accomplished that goal, and also put in one of their best overall showings of the season.
Benitez’s squad secured their place in the Fourth Round with a 3-1 win over the Hatters. Ultimately, a strong first half helped to set the stage for United and they were in control of the proceedings for most of the encounter.
Ayoze Perez opened the scoring in the 30th minute, as he put himself in the perfect position to put away a rebound effort.
The celebrations were cut a bit short though. Team captain Jamaal Lascelles was subbed off early for Isaac Hayden due to injury.
Perez would double the lead only minutes later, in very similar fashion as a classic poacher in front of goal. Jonjo Shelvey added a third strike before half-time, as Newcastle fans were feeling as confident as can be.
The second half
Despite this strong start to the game, the second half would not be perfect for the Magpies. Danny Hylton cut into the advantage with an early goal, and another for the Hatters was in the back of the net only to ruled off-side.
The Toon Army’s support was felt throughout, and the home crowd was making their presence known.
Young goalkeeper Freddie Woodman had a fine outing, and made a critical save late in the match. Newcastle will learn their Fourth Round opponents during Monday’s draw.
The club return to Premier League action next weekend against Swansea City.
Newcastle United have a tremendous history in the FA Cup. Now, Rafa Benitez and his side hope to add more wonderful moments in 2018.