Published: Mon, September 18, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

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

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

The visitors did well to get back into the game as a Xherdan Shaqiri cracker cancelled out Newcastle's first-half opener through Christian Atsu.

Lascelles bagged the victor against Stoke on Saturday, his second winning goal in as many games, after also scoring an nearly identical header to earn all three points against Swansea the week before.

Rob Elliott intervened in the fifth minute as Stoke made its first unsafe charge into the Newcastle end.

Newcastle took a 19th-minute lead after neither side had come near a sniff of goal.

Player ratingsNewcastle: Rob Elliot 8, DeAndre Yedlin 7, Jamaal Lascelles 7, Ciaran Clark 7, Chancel Mbemba 6, Mikel Merino 6, Isaac Hayden 7, Matt Ritchie 7, Ayoze Perez 7, Christian Atsu 7, Joselu 5.

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An unmarked Joselu could well have doubled the advantage against his former side when Chancel Mbemba's delivery dropped in behind Stoke's defence, but the Spaniard awkwardly directed a first-time finish past Jack Butland's left upright.

Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles celebrates scoring their second goal against Stoke in St James' Park, September 16, 2017.

- Newcastle have won three consecutive top-flight games for the first time since November 2014.

Th 28-year-old has provided four assists so far this season, with only Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan offered up more than the Newcastle man.

(Owen Humphreys/PA) Atsu may score more spectacular goals, but the one he claimed against Stoke capped a fine team effort.

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