- Lascelles heads home winner
- Fabianski denies Joselu, Perez
- Lascelles cleared off line from Abraham
- Two-straight wins for Newcastle
Newcastle beat Swansea City 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday as the Magpies battled to victory without manager Rafael Benitez.
The Spanish coach was watching on from home as he recovers from surgery and his skipper Jamaal Lascelles stepped up to thunder a late header home to give Newcastle all three points.
Swansea went close through Tammy Abraham but Lascelles cleared off the line at the other end as their new signings Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony struggled to have an impact.
With the win Newcastle now have six points on the board, while Swansea remain on four points and Paul Clement‘s men have failed to score in three of their first four games of the season.
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An even start to the game saw Swansea have more possession but Newcastle looked dangerous on the break.
Jacob Murphy hooked a shot over the bar after Federico Fernandez was caught out of position defensively as Newcastle’s direct approach started to cause Swansea problems.
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Before the break Newcastle pushed forward for the opener and Joselu’s header was brilliantly saved by Lukasz Fabianski at full stretch. Mikel Merino then went down in the box under a challenge but referee Craig Pawson correctly waved away the penalty kick calls.
Swansea then had two good chances as Jordan Ayew broke free but Rob Elliot tipped his show wide and from the resulting corner Alfie Mawson sent his free header inches wide.
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Ritchie was then lucky as his raised foot almost caught Alfie Mawson in the face (a la Sadio Mane vs. Ederson) but Mawson ducked the challenge and Ritchie escaped with a yellow card.
The game then opened up as Swansea went close through Tom Carroll as his near-post effort was palmed away by Elliot after Kyle Naughton‘s drilled effort was half cleared.
Moments later the Swans looked certain to take the lead as Tammy Abraham latched onto Leroy Fer‘s through ball, rounded Elliot and then knocked the ball towards the empty net but Newcastle’s skipper Lascelles slid in to clear superbly off the line.
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Swansea brought on Wilfried Bony as they tried to push for the winner but at the other end Ayoze Perez broke free in the box but his low drive was saved by Fabianski.
Lascelles then popped up with the game-winner as he headed home Ritchie’s corner powerfully. 1-0 to Newcastle as their fans sung Rafael Benitez’s name with glee.
They will do that the whole back to Newcastle on their 350-mile journey.