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Season 2018-19
Leicester City (a) Premier League

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Friday 12th April 2019, 8.00pm
Live on Sky Sports

 King Power Stadium

Conditions: Stoic

Programme: £3.50

 Leicester City

Newcastle United

0 - 1




32 mins The same (South) end of the ground as last season, but a rather different finish from Ayoze Perez this time round, getting away from alleged marker Wes Morgan at the front post to plant a superb glancing header beyond the helpless Kasper Schmeichel. Matt Ritchie provided the centre from the left flank 1-0

Half time: Foxes 0 Magpies 1

Full time: Foxes 0 Magpies 1

We Said


"It was a good game against a good team. We did very well. Our players worked so hard. This relationship between the players and fans means a lot to us. The players and fans tried to do their best.

"As a coach, you always have a game plan. You can prepare however you want but it depends on the players to make the difference.

"The problem against James Maddison or Jamie Vardy is you have to concentrate from the first minute to the last. We are really pleased with the clean sheet and three points. You have to enjoy today and be ready for the next one.

"We needed to do almost everything perfect and we were very close. We had two or three counter-attacks we could have done better but with this commitment from the players and from the fans it's easier.

"I have been trying to win titles everywhere, in different countries, and we have to have a team that can compete.

"You cannot go up against a team thinking 'maybe we can win' or that a draw is a good result, no. We need to be stronger. We have the city, we have all the potential.

"The city, the club, everyone in Newcastle is supporting the team so it's massive. 

"I'm not saying £200m but doing a little bit more, doing the right things, we can compete against the teams that are now maybe between seventh and 12th. But we have to do things right.

"Even if you have a lot of money, you can make mistakes in the transfer window but when you have less money, it's more difficult.

"You can do everything right, your tactics, your team selection, your substitutions but if the other team has one player who can make the difference… that is now the Premier League. If you want to sign one of the forward players from Leicester now, you have to pay £30m.

"So we have to be more competitive in the window, we have to do things in the right way and then you have massive, massive potential in Newcastle.

"You have to do your job but obviously you need some help. We are thinking about the future but we cannot go too much further. 

"This result could change a lot of things and hopefully will change a lot of things but still, we have to do the right things at the right time.

"We know what we have to do, we have experience in doing that and I think the fans appreciate that."

They Said

Former Liverpool bosses compare notes


"It was the first game of this type that I’ve seen us play in, and of course, when you’re playing an opponent that’s very deep with all 11 players in that final third of the pitch, then it’s difficult.

“It was interesting to see what we can do better. I thought in the first half, we were too slow in our passing in order to get in between their lines and unbalance their defence. In the second half, we were better.

"We found it difficult to break them down - I think it’s been a problem this season from what I’m led to believe. You can see why on evenings like that, whenever a team is camped in.

"We just didn’t quite move the ball quick enough through the thirds and like I say, the passing needs to be a bit cleaner to break through. The players gave everything.

"We had a couple of opportunities. Jamie
(Vardy) had one where he makes a great run and just clips it over the bar. We got into some good areas at times, but I think tonight was just one of them ones where we just didn’t quite make the final pass.

"We’ll analyse the goal because I think we can do better with that. The players gave everything, and it was just one of those evenings for us.”

"It (the NUFC goal) was from a goal-kick. We need to be better in terms of competing for the second and third ball in that moment. We won the first header and we won the second ball and like I say, they get onto the next ball, play it through and then they’re away.

"It was a good header by the player
(Ayoze Pérez), who comes across Wes (Morgan) and gets the header. We can be better in that.

"I thought he (Marc Albrighton) was excellent. I thought he came on and had no hesitation in getting his crosses in. When you play against that deep lying defence then you need players that can cross the ball and I thought when he came on, he was very good, so it was nice to get him back on the field again.”


Following successes at Burnley and Huddersfield, United recorded a third away win this season in the Premier League. That mirrors their return on the road during the 1997/98, 2004/05, 2007/08 and 2014/15 campaigns and means that they have avoided emulating their poorest PL total of just two, "achieved" in 2003/04, 2008/09, 2012/13 and 2015/16. They managed four last season.

Newcastle also scored for the 13th time away from home to equal their tally in 1997/98 and beat their lowest-ever PL total of 12, set in the 2015/16 season. 2017/18 brought them 18.

Magpies @ Foxes - Premier League era:

2018/19 won 1-0 Perez
2017/18 won 2-1 Shelvey, Perez
2015/16 lost 0-1
2014/15 lost 0-3
2014/15 lost 0-1 (FAC)
2009/10 drew 0-0 (Ch)
2003/04 drew 1-1 Ambrose
2001/02 drew 0-0
2000/01 drew 1-1 Speed
1999/00 won 2-1 Shearer, Ferguson
1998/99 lost 0-2
1997/98 drew 0-0
1996/97 lost 0-2
1994/95 won 3-1 Cole, Beardsley, Elliott
1992/93 lost 1-2 O'Brien (Ch)

(At Filbert Street until 2001/02. At
Walkers / King Power Stadium thereafter)

Ayoze Perez scored his eighth goal of the season - and seventh in the Premier League. His 28th PL strike moves him above Craig Bellamy and level with Obafemi Martins on our all-time PL scorers list:

Michael Owen 26
Craig Bellamy 27
Ayoze Perez 28
Obafemi Martins 28
Demba Ba 29
Gary Speed 29
Robert Lee 34
Papiss Demba Cisse 37
Nolberto Solano 37
(OG 39)
Les Ferdinand 41
Shola Ameobi 43
Andy Cole 43
Peter Beardsley 46
Alan Shearer 148



So lightning does strike twice.

Full time at the King Power Stadium, April 2018. Led by the winning goalscorer Ayoze Perez, United players celebrate the victory that takes them to the 38 point mark, saluting their rejoicing fans.

Glasses safely stowed in his jacket pocket, they are joined on the field by Rafa Benitez, who has just seen his side deservedly make a giant leap towards retaining their place in the top flight.

12 months on and everything was much the same, support off the field matched by effort on it and a shared satisfaction of a job well done, a task virtually completed. A few sore limbs in both the stands and the dressing room; refueling a priority for both parties. 

And although that points tally would leave Newcastle five places below where they were a year ago by the end of the weekend, the continued demise of Cardiff City leaves the Bluebirds in the final relegation spot - with a game in hand, but trailing the Magpies by a massive ten points.

Lingering doubts as to our status that had surfaced after successive 0-1 defeats (not least in our own minds) were thankfully dispelled by the outcome and performance here today - perhaps only eclipsed this season by the improbable home victories over Manchester City and Everton.

Whether the live post-match interview helps or hinders negotiations is unclear, but the result adds fresh impetus to talks over the manager's future, Benitez seamlessly repositioning himself from a position of delaying talks to one of waiting for answers from the club.  

While that situation plays out once again off stage, in public view United were good value for a third away success of the season, overcoming hosts who never remotely looked like recording what would have been a fifth successive league win. 

Following the setback against Palace DeAndre Yedlin was replaced by Javier Manquillo and Paul Dummett regained his starting place in a back three following the loss of Florian Lejeune.

A high tempo opening saw United almost draw first blood, Salomon Rondon's thunderous free kick on the quarter hour leaving the City crossbar quivering. Perez then headed the opener before Miguel Almiron tricked his way forward and brought a stop out of Schmeichel as City sought vainly to reply but cheaply surrendered the ball time and time again. 

Allied to some solid defending was a willingness to press the City backline that was noticeably absent at the Emirates - and it got results, Leicester well ahead in possession terms but lagging behind in shots on goal as United retained their discipline, but remained positive and threatening.

Tonight was one of those games when the front trio complemented each other; the strength and industry of Rondon allied to the nimble-footedness of Perez and the perpetual motion of Almiron. 

Perez was visibly uplifted by the improvement in those around him, approaching the levels he's enjoyed here previously when he's been unplayable in a good way. The Spanish David Kelly? 

Almiron meanwhile could do with a goal but contributed enormously here and successfully distracted the hosts at crucial times. He has to be watched. 

Rondon is such a one-off that there's nothing in the club never mind the bench that we could field to give a cameo of his work. If the financial model of the club dictates that a deal is unworkable, then the outlay required to bring in a like-for-like younger model with the required resale potential doesn't bear thinking about. The club scouts gets plaudits for the likes of Schar and Lejeune, but for them to unearth a replacement for the Venezuelan would be a real feather in their cap. 

A narrow miss by Almiron on the hour after a fabulous solo run by Fabian Schar heralded City's best period of the game as the Magpies dropped deeper and forward forays became less frequent.

At that juncture, a point that many would have taken before kickoff looked the most likely outcome, with the effort put in across the field starting to take its toll, Almiron perhaps left on too long.

Chances for a clinching second continued to arrive though; a mazy Perez run in the box ending with the 'keeper denying him from close range and substitute Christian Atsu bursting forward but then trying in vain to find Rondon rather than shooting himself.

Thankfully though there was to be no repeat of the late agony suffered at Old Trafford and Molineux this season, Jamie Vardy's 79th minute effort ballooning over the crossbar to encapsulate an evening when the hosts badly misfired.

The victory was also a personal triumph for Benitez, strongly linked with the vacant Foxes' post in February before Brendan Rodgers was installed. As to whether the two former Anfield bosses will meet again next season when these clubs clash though....

Part of the over-reaction to and over-glorification of results like this for Rafa's side is that it provides a tantalising glimpse of the world Newcastle followers aspire to; of being genuinely competitive and finally fulfilling the potential that our fanbase indicates is still there despite everything. 

Floating out of here for the second season running, it's impossible not to wonder what our destiny would be if everyone in our corner aspired to more than survival. That's as true now as it was in 2018, only we're all a year older and more cynical, if that were possible.  

Until that directional change, occasional glory nights like these be will the limit of our endeavours.  


Page last updated 22 April, 2019