Ayoze Pérez

Newcastle United 1-1 Swansea City: Level at St James’

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  • Newcastle one loss in six
  • Swans score just 14th goal of season
  • Super sub Joselu levels

Joselu played the role of super sub to deny the visitors a rare win as Newcastle United drew Swansea City 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Jordan Ayew gave the Welsh visitors a surprise lead, but the concession has Carlos Carvalhal’s club last in the Premier League with 17 points. Newcastle moves three points above the drop before its visit to Manchester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The hosts were all over the basement dwellers to start the match, but time and again the final pass was a bit off the mark.

When it was on, like when Ayoze Perez did dynamite work in the 12th minute to cue up a point-blank header, the finish was missing: Dwight Gayle headed nowhere near the goal.

Perez was very good early, denied by Lukasz Fabianski following a delightful feed from Matt Ritchie.

Christian Atsu was ripped down atop the 18, dead center, in what was dangerously close to a penalty area. Jonjo Shelvey ripped his effort over the goal, and it was Newcastle who were off the hook for a PK when a Mohamed Diame handball was deemed acceptable at the other end.

After a rare Swans chance, a lazy Gayle was offside to nod in what would’ve been an opener.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Perez intercepted a Sam Clucas miscue and set Gayle up for a 49th minute chance but the Englishman missed yet another opportunity.

Of course, Swans found the opener. Karl Darlow stopped Jordan Ayew’s opening header with a fantastic palm save, but cold only get a finger to the rebound on its way to goal.

Joselu tied the score through traffic at an acute angle after Shelvey sent Perez over the top with a diagonal ball. Fabianski was tight to his post and missed the shot.

Fabianski then thwarted Perez’s bid for a back post goal, and the ball went off the Spaniard for a goal kick.

It was mostly Newcastle without incisive threat for the final 20 minutes. That changed when Ritchie and Atsu lorded over an 88th minute free kick, but no one followed his offering to the back post.

Yet a stoppage time counter nearly defied the Magpies dominance but for Karl Darlow’s aggression and a DeAndre Yedlin clearance off the line.

Stoke 0-1 Newcastle: Magpies fend off second-half rush from hosts

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Newcastle picked up a crucial 1-0 road victory on Monday at the bet365 Stadium against Stoke City, bringing the Magpies up to 13th place in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Leicester cruises past Huddersfield behind Mahrez, Slimani brilliance ]

Ayoze Perez was the hero for the Magpies in the attacking third, after finishing off Jacob Murphy‘s low cross. Perez did well to get a right foot to the bouncing ball, and smashed it past Jack Butland.

Meanwhile, Karl Darlow‘s brilliance in net helped preserve the Newcastle lead on the road despite a massive amount of pressure from Stoke’s attack in the second half.

The Magpies were the far superior side in the opening half, with Christian Atsu providing a great deal of pressure early and often against goalkeeper Butland and Stoke.

Atsu’s best chance came in the 14th minute, when he broke free down the right side before forcing a brilliant save by Butland with his legs.

At the half hour mark, Ciaran Clark had a wonderful opportunity to break the deadlock after Ayoze Perez flicked on the initial corner kick, however, Clark put the close-range effort over the crossbar.

The second half surely flipped more in favor of the hosts though as Stoke began to test goalkeeper Darlow on a more regular basis.

Maxim Choupo-Moting nearly gave Darlow a fit six minutes into the second stanza, but the keeper did well close down the attacker and made the subsequent save.

Kurt Zouma had a legitimate header that trickled just wide off of a free kick in the 68th minute, which kept Stoke off the scoresheet.

Newcastle United 2-3 Leicester City: An own goal divides them

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  • Joselu scores early
  • Mahrez levels, 20′
  • WATCH: First two goals
  • Gray, Gayle trade goals
  • Ayoze own goal the difference

An 87th minute own goal doomed the hosts as Leicester City’s fine form continued with a 3-2 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray scored after Leicester had gone down 1-0, and Leicester is on 23 points after the win.

Joselu and Dwight Gayle scored for Newcastle, which is now just two points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Matt Ritchie won a free kick in the first minute with a darting dribble, and the dangerous midfielder lorded over a chance from the right. Ben Chilwell headed it out for a corner, and Ritchie’s offer from the right was cleared by Leicester.

Dwight Gayle led Newcastle in front with a well-timed run down the left complete with a cutback for Joselu. The Spaniard didn’t have much to do but finish: 1-0.

Wilfried Ndidi and Demarai Gray both speculated in the first 20 minutes, but neither found the Newcastle frame.

Mahrez scored a fantastic goal to make it 1-1 in the 20th minute, walking past Isaac Hayden and ripping a left-footed effort beyond Darlow’s grasp.

Jamie Vardy believed he’d done enough to win a penalty from DeAndre Yedlin, but Neil Swarbrick was unmoved by the 28th minute plea.

Leicester controlled the the match until a horrific giveaway allowed Jacob Murphy a chance from the catbird seat. Kasper Schmeichel poked the ball out for a corner, and Leicester dealt with the set piece.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Joselu headed a corner kick wide of the frame in the 52nd minute as Newcastle looked to retake control.

It was Leicester who’d next seize the lead, as Gray ripped a shot off Florian Lejeune‘s rear end and into the upper 90. 2-1 visitors, 60’.

Darlow stopped Mahrez’s 66th minute bid to expand Leicester’s lead.

Gayle made it 2-2 after a ping-ponging corner fell for him at the right. The 23-goal Championship man saw his right-footed rip deflect past Schmeichel.

The scorer nearly sent SJP into bedlam when he dragged a shot just wide of the far post in the 78th.

Substitute attacker Ayoze Perez put the ball in his own goal in a bid to break up a 4v2 from Leicester.

Southampton 2-2 Newcastle United: Spirited split of spoils

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  • Magpies lead 1-0 at half
  • Gabbiadini bags brace
  • Perez scores 86 seconds later
  • 31 total shots (19 for NUFC)

Manolo Gabbiadini scored a pair of equalizers, and Southampton came within a hair of a deserved win against Newcastle United in a 2-2 draw at St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez scored for the Magpies, who led in each half.

Newcastle inches to 11 points, staying ninth on the table, while Saints are dead-even with 10th place West Brom ahead of the Baggies’ Monday match versus Leicester City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was good pace to the game early, and Christian Atsu missed the left post with a hard left-footed shot off a Newcastle corner kick.

Dusan Tadic had a chance for Southampton inside of 15 minutes, but his effort sailed over Rob Elliot‘s frame. Moments later, Tadic failed to head a Nathan Redmond cross into the goal.

Newcastle claimed a series of corner kicks as the match neared 20 minutes, but Jamaal Lascelles‘ header was claimed by ex-Magpies backstop Fraser Forster.

Hayden then scored, depositing a blocked Christian Atsu shot past a helpless Forster.

Saints began to assert a hold on the game over the next 10 minutes, and Maya Yoshida sent a tempting cross that found no bull’s eye in the 29th minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Forster saw a Joselu shot hit the cross bar and then pushed a rebound out for a corner kick.

That’s when Gabbiadini worked Javier Manquillo on the right edge, working to the top of the 18 and hitting a low left-footed shot past Elliot.

It was a fine goal.

Perez made sure the stalemate lasted barely more than 60 seconds, with Jonjo Shelvey starting a sequence that saw the Spaniard bury his own rebound from an acute angle for his first Premier League goal since March 5, 2016.

DeAndre Yedlin should have been sent off in the 56th minute when, on yellow, his studs-up challenge was let off with a warning.

Gabbiadini leveled for Saints when Shane Long hit the deck in the box after contact from Florian Lejeune.

The French defender had a header cleared off the line by Steven Davis in an 89th minute bid for redemption. It came during a stretch of near-complete Saints domination.

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Newcastle United

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Newcastle’s not your typical newly promoted side.

After bouncing straight back from relegation and returning to the Premier League, where they spent have spent every season except two since the league’s inauguration in 1992. Both times Newcastle were relegated, they won the Championship and came straight back up.

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This time, they have as experienced a manager as a newly promoted side can have along for the ride. Newcastle proved strong in their bid to keep Rafa Benitez after relegation, and he delivered on his promise to get them back to the top flight. Now, staying there will be another battle altogether.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best-case scenario is that Newcastle returns to its former pedigree as a perennial top-half finisher. That’s not out of the question at all, considering they have a strong side that pulverized the Championship at times. Newcastle can break down any defense, with attacking talent that could surprise the Premier League with its quality.

Worst-case, this team flops hard and battles relegation again. The Magpies’ biggest weakness is facing a team like them, that possesses the ball and storms forward. They lost twice to Fulham last season in Championship play, a team most comparable to Newcastle’s style at that level. Should teams look to replicate this strategy, Benitez would be powerless as he watches his team pinned back and unable to push forward. This team isn’t vastly changed from when they were relegated, and that could prove a major downfall.


Best possible XI is…

Elliott

Yedlin — Lascelles — Lejeune — Dummett

Shelvey — Diame

Ritchie — Perez — Murphy

Gayle


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: Jacob Murphy (Norwich City, $13.3 million), Florian Lejeune (Eibar, $11.7 million), Christian Atsu ($9 million), Javier Manquillo (Atletico Madrid, $5.9 million), Mikel Merino (Borussia Dortmund, Loan).

Transfers Out: Florian Thauvin (Marseille, $12.9 million), Daryl Murphy (Nottingham Forest, $2.7 million), Sammy Ameobi (Bolton, Free), Vurnon Anita (Leeds United, Free), Haris Vuckic (FC Twente, Free), Yoan Gouffran (Goztepe, Free).

Last season:

— 1st Place finish in Championship (Automatic promotion)
— FA Cup 4th Round (Lost to Oxford United)
— League Cup quarterfinals (Lost to Hull City)

Star player: Ayoze Perez — If asked for most important player, I probably would have gone with one of the two central defenders, who anchor this club. Florian Lejeune is a quality addition and will strengthen this defense considerably. However, it’s “star” player and that is without a doubt playmaker Ayoze Perez. The 22-year-old Spaniard can both create and score, and he racked up 12 goals and 7 assists last season in the Championship despite playing 1,400 less minutes than leading creators Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. Perez will be a critical part of this Newcastle squad, and he’ll need to blossom this time around after misfiring in his first go at the Premier League campaign the Magpies’ relegation season.

Coaches’ Corner: Rafa Benitez is as experienced as they come for newly promoted sides. He is the only manager in history to have won the Champions League, Europa League, Club World Cup, and Super Cup titles, and he has Newcastle in good hands. While he fell from grace at Napoli and Real Madrid, taking charge of Newcastle is a completely different animal, and he passed the Championship meat grinder with flying colors. Back in the Premier League for a full season for the first time since 2010, Benitez has a quality squad to work with as Newcastle looks to continue its slow build back up.

PST predicts: This is a very deep team, which will be of utmost importance when the injuries inevitably hit. The attacking trio of Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, and new signing Jacob Murphy have plenty of support in Christian Atsu, Siem De Jong, Henri Saivet (should he stay). In addition, the midfield is strengthened by Borussia Dortmund loanee Mikel Marino and Jack Colback. The quality in depth coupled with Rafa Benitez’s guiding means this squad should be comfortably in the Premier League, with a safe bottom-half finish. The only slip could be if the players who failed to keep the club afloat last time perform below standards a second time.