Newcastle returned to the summit of the Championship table on Saturday evening with a vital win over Brentford at the Griffin Park, but it didn’t come easy as the hosts came from behind to almost secure a lead only for Vibe’s effort to hit the bar and roll along the Newcastle goal-line.
Gayle opened the scoring in the 20th minute to bag his 20th Championship strike of the season, but Vibe pulled Brentford level 7 minutes after the restart to restore parity. It had appeared the Magpies would settle for a share of the spoils, only for Murphy’s header with 10 minutes to go, snatching crucial 3 points for Benitez’s side.
As Brighton slipped to a 2-nil loss against Preston, it allowed Newcastle move a point clear on the log, though the 2nd placed team has got a game in hand.
How did the Geordies do in the pulsating encounter?
While he could have done more to prevent Brentford’s equalizer, the man in between the sticks pulled off fine several saves to deny the hosts, with a late one ensuring Newcastle left Griffin Park with all 3 points.
Was given the chance to start ahead of Anita but didn’t make the best of it as he was obviously the weak link in the defence.
Was almost out of sorts as he appeared low on confidence and failed to inspire the team in any way whatsoever.
The best defender for the day hands down, with his clearances and interceptions helped to keep the hosts at bay.
One of Newcastle’s most consistent player thus far this term.
For all the willingness he had to burst forward, his end product betrayed him, and his inconsistency through the game was a highlight.
Before picking up an injury minutes after the hour mark, the midfielder was brimming with confidence as he took charge of affairs in midfield, holding possession well and putting in the type of performance Shelvey would have been proud of.
Unfortunately, both might not line up together when the English midfielder returns in the next game.
Was again underwhelming.
Didn’t do anything worthwhile all game and had to play the latter end with a discomfort with all 3 subs used.
Could only make few contributions defensively but couldn’t exert a creative impact on proceedings as it would have been expected of him.
Didn’t impress until the closing stages of the game, but did well earlier to hold on to possession in the build-up to Murphy’s goal.
Unlucky not to have finished the game after succumbing to a knock barely after half an hour, but did make history by becoming the 2nd Newcastle player to score 20 league goals in a season since the 03-04 term when Alan Shearer first did.
Set up the winning goal with a brilliant assist while also starting a couple of attacking moves, but did squander an opportunity earlier on that might have proved costly.
Wrapped up an important victory for the team.
Came on and got subbed off 10 minutes afterwards.
Rating: Not Available
Proved a useful defensive introduction at the end.