Rafa Benitez reacts to Joselu's performance against Stoke - and those missed chances

Alyssa Bailey
September 18, 2017

It's been a tough time for Newcastle United off the field with various headlines surrounding both owner Mike Ashley and manager Rafa Benitez.

Skipper Lascelles powered home a 68th-minute header to help Newcastle edge out Stoke 2-1, in the process securing a third back-to-back top-flight win for the Magpies for the first time since November 2014.

Lascelles putting pen to paper on a new lengthy deal is, as Daily Telegraph reports, an indication that Benitez plans to be at St James' Park for the long haul despite tensions between him and the powers that be - which surfaced in the summer due to their transfer business. I said one game at a time and now it's just to be sure that the fans enjoy it.

Christian Atsu earlier opened the scoring inside 19 minutes from a superb Ritchie cross, before Xherdan Shaqiri's excellent strike restored parity after the restart. "The captain leading by example is something we must be pleased about".

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The Magpies might have won more comfortably had former Stoke striker Joselu taken any of the three chances which came his way, although they were grateful to keeper Rob Elliot for three saves to deny Shaqiri twice and Mame Biram Diouf.

Following the loss, Stoke City now occupies the 13th league spot, and is set to face Bristol City in the EFL Cup on the 19th of September. We'd be looking at each other like 'who's going to step up?' But obviously the right ball right on to his head, it's hard to defend under those circumstances.

"But in the end, it wasn't to be".

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