- Atsu gives NUFC lead
- Shaqiri equalizes
- Lascelles nabs winner
Jamaal Lascelles scored late and Christian Atsu nabbed his first Premier League goal as Newcastle United held off Stoke City to win its third-straight with a 2-1 decision at St. James Park on Saturday.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored for Stoke, and was the center of attention for much of the match.
Newcastle rises fourth for the time being with nine points, while Stoke sits 13th with four points.
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Rob Elliott intervened in the fifth minute as Stoke made its first dangerous charge into the Newcastle end.
While Stoke was in control, many American eyes were focused on DeAndre Yedlin as the right-sided man returned from injury. Deployed as a right back, he made a huge interception outside his 18, then fired an overlapping run alongside Matt Ritchie to find the ball in the Stoke end moments later.
And Newcastle scored on a counter, with Ritchie delivering the ball to Atsu.
Ritchie had a 31st minute free kick from the right, but his effort cruised into Butland’s arms.
Joselu had another crack at it in the 34th minute, but couldn’t push the effort beyond a sliding Butland. That turned into another free kick from the right, but Erik Pieters blocked the hard-hit cross.
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Joselu continued his snakebitten day versus Stoke in the 46th minute when Atsu found him inside the 18 only to watch the Spaniard blaze over the bar.
Stoke leveled it up through Shaqiri, who had been remonstrating at the referee during the first half and carried that fire and the ball for a 58th minute strike that curled around Elliott.
Ayoze Perez had a goal ruled offside a minute later. And Atsu was denied a goal and the crowd a penalty when Kurt Zouma got the slightest of touches on an intervention before chopping down the attacker.
Newcastle reclaimed the lead through its captain, as Lascelles rose high for a corner to nod off Kevin Wimmer and into the net. It was 2-1 in the 70th.