First Rafael Benitez Win Boosts Newcastle Survival Hopes

First Rafael Benitez Win Boosts Newcastle Survival Hopes

Newcastle United earned Rafael Benitez a first win as manager and boosted their Premier League survival prospects with a vital 3-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday.

Newcastle’s hopes of remaining in the top flight had looked slim following a dire performance in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat at Southampton.

Benitez made five changes to the starting XI in response to that display and the Spaniard’s team selection was vindicated on his birthday, with Newcastle earning their reward for a much-improved showing.

Jamaal Lascelles, who came in for Steven Taylor in the back four as part of the alterations, opened the scoring in the 40th minute, heading home only his second goal for the club from Andros Townsend’s corner.

Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis both spurned big chances for Swansea before Moussa Sissoko’s first goal of the campaign and Townsend’s late third sealed a result that, combined with north-east rivals Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Norwich City, moves Newcastle within three points of safety with five games to play.

The hosts made a bright start at St James’ Park and drew Lukasz Fabianski into action as Vurnon Anita’s cross-cum-shot forced the former Arsenal goalkeeper to claw the ball away from goal.

The hosts continued to have the better of a scrappy first half but struggled to make the most of their periods of superiority, with Jack Colback’s tame effort after the midfielder had latched onto a flick on from Papiss Cisse indicative of Newcastle’s issues in the final third.

But they were finally rewarded for their good play in the opening 45 minutes when Swansea failed to deal with Townsend’s corner from the left, which was turned in by Lascelles at the near post despite Fabianski getting a heavy touch to the ball.

Benitez’s men would have doubled their lead early in the second term had a Newcastle player been able to get a touch to a delivery from Townsend, who then found Colback on the edge of the area, only for the ex-Sunderland midfielder to curl over.

With the missed chances piling up, nerves began to set in for Newcastle, as Swansea enjoyed some threatening passages of play without really testing goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Newcastle struggled to retain possession in the second 45 minutes and should have been punished in the 71st minute, Swansea captain Ashley Williams lashing narrowly wide after Chancel Mbemba failed to properly clear a cross from the left wing.

Montero then hit wide at the far post with only Darlow to beat and Gomis blasted over following great work from fellow substitute Modou Barrow.

And Swansea were made to pay eight minutes from time as Sissoko fired in from close range after Aleksandar Mitrovic’s blocked header bounced into his path, with the Serbian then setting up Townsend to slot home and wrap up the points late on.


  1. skysquirrel2077 says:

    I don’t get the whole sexism has to do with power dynamic. If that were so, the whole fucking argument is moot. If power shifts, the other gender becomes the sexist, so that there is no solution.nWell, I suppose one could abolish gender, but then people would just find something else to dislike or complain about. Perhaps the color of ones hair, or which hand is the dominant (those damn ambidextrous folks; left hand love1 all of em!)nReally the only thing the whole power dynamic/sexism proves is that some people are just flat out unwilling to admit that they are sexists assholes (male or female) and so pass the buck. Oh, it’s not my fault. It’s the rich white ma1. And if it’s not his fault than it’s the protestants fault. And if it’s not their fault than it’s Romes fault. And if it’s not their fault it’s some neolithic bums fault who died out with the dinosau1 (he after all, thought it was clever to claim his mate by clubbing them over the head).nNo, we are all prejudice assholes who think we are better and deserve more. Anybody who denies this is a liar.

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    LoL is an ugly ve1ion of Dota,
    Dota2 is an ugly ve1ion of LoL
    LoL is…. for stupid and ugly game1

  3. You guys are aware that there is no Czechoslovakia anymore? They split to Slovakia and Czech Republic long time ago.

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