Yesterday, Newcastle triumphed against mid-table Brentford. Goals from Dwight Gayle and Daryl Murphy helped secure the win that sends the Magpies back up to first place. The big pre-match talking point was the fact that West Ham transfer target Scott Hogan was dropped to the bench.
Dwight Gayle opened the scoring 20 minutes in when he lead a counter attack and slotted the ball past goalkeeper David Bentley. That goal marked Gayle’s 20th goal of the season, the last Newcastle player to score 20 in a season was Alan Shearer. Brentford equalised five minutes after the restart when striker Lasse Vibe got on the end of a shot that Karl Darlow couldn’t hold on to. Substitute Daryl Murphy put the visitors back on track when he headed home a fantastic cross from Ayoze Perez. This result put Newcastle back on top of the Championship and a point clear of Brighton, however, Brighton do have a game in hand.
The only downside to yesterday’s result was the injuries to Dwight Gayle, Vurnon Anita and Isaac Hayden. Gayle was stretchered off less than 10 minutes after scoring with a hamstring injury, Anita was taken off after suffering a bad tackle and Hayden was substituted with a groin injury.
Rafa on injuries: “It was a bad tackle on Anita and it was his ankle, Hayden it’s his groin and Gayle it’s his hamstring.” #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) January 14, 2017
With these injuries, it’s time for Irish striker Murphy to step up whilst Mitrovic and Gayle are injured. Murphy has already scored one league goal and one in the FA Cup but now it’s his time to really prove his worth to Rafa Benitez.
Lasse Vibe almost scored five minutes after Gayle scored when his tame shot was saved by the legs of Karl Darlow. Newcastle almost doubled their lead when Perez’s shot was saved after Ayoze and Gouffran played a one-two. Brentford could have nicked a late goal when Ramallo scrambled past two players and got a shot away, luckily Darlow pushed the ball away. He single-handedly kept his side in the game with his top-drawer saves. After an agonizing nine minutes of added time, the final whistle was blown and Newcastle pocketed all three points.