Newcastle took a step closer to retaining their Premier League status after Ayoze Perez’s late goal secured a narrow 1-0 win over Huddersfield at St James’ Park on Saturday.
- Newcastle United 1 Huddersfield Town 0
- Lossl keeps out Ritchie early on
- Gayle fails to take his chances
- Perez scores an 80th-minute winner
Rafael Benitez’s side was the better team on the day and Dwight Gayle passed up a few chances to get on the scoresheet before Perez pounced late on to snatch all three points.
The Magpies moved above the Terriers up to 12th place in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.
— Isaac Hayden (@IsaacHayden65) March 31, 2018
The hosts looked full of energy and they bossed proceedings on Tyneside, although David Wagner’s men had an early sniff at goal when a loose ball broke for Alex Pritchard on the edge of the box on four minutes, but his scuffed shot was comfortable for Martin Dubravka.
The Toon almost broke the deadlock 10 minutes later as Jonjo Shelvey’s low drive was diverted just wide of goal by Gayle with Jonas Lossl beaten before Matt Ritchie tested the Danish keeper from a tight angle on 16 minutes.
Lossl made a more routine save from Gayle on 24 minutes after he latched onto Shelvey’s long ball down the left and cut inside to get off a shot, while the forward missed the target with a lob from close range four minutes later after controlling a quick Shelvey free-kick.
Gayle threatened again on 33 minutes as he stretched to get on the end of DeAndre Yedlin’s cross, but he could only turn the ball over the crossbar. The duo combined in the 42nd minute when Gayle flicked Yedlin’s cut-back wide of the target with his back to the goal.
After Shelvey skewed an effort well wide from Gayle’s lay-off early in the second half, the visitors had a rare chance on the hour mark as Laurent Depoitre dragged a shot to the left of the goal after spinning on Pritchard’s pass.
The Magpies finally struck 10 minutes from time following a quiet spell in the match. Perez started and finished the move as he played Christian Atsu into space and slid home Kenedy’s low pass after the ball came out to the Brazilian on the left.
They survived a late scare as Scott Malone was blown up for a foul in stoppage time after challenging Dubravka for the ball at the back post when the keeper spilled the ball.