Newcastle United emerged victorious on Tuesday night as they just about (and I really mean just about) beat Brighton 2-1 at the Amex. 14 minutes before the final whistle, I was planning to write a negative article, and now I'm writing a positive one. Which is a damn good change...
The Amex Stadium was packed full with both sets of fans for the BIG occasion. With Newcastle's team sheet looking more like a suicide note than one, with Gouffran upfront, a man who hasn't scored away since September in the league last year against Derby. The nerves definitely racked up, and from the first minute, Brighton dominated, with Darlow having to save sfrom Bruno and a one on one shot from Sam Baldock, it all looked very worrying. And those worries soon became a reality.
With an extremely controversial penalty decision on the 13th minute where it looks like Seagulls striker Glenn Murray takes down OUR player Ciaran Clark, the referee gives the decision Brighton's way, for reasons I will never know. Obviously, Murray scored, just like he's been doing all season long.
This, however proved to be a wake-up call. As Newcastle completely dominated the rest of the half apart from when Karl Darlow forced a save against a quality Bruno strike, with by far the biggest chance of the half was when Christian Atsu had a shot from about 9 yards out, only to hit it straight at the goalkeeper. A truly massive chance completely squandered.
The second half brought the game to be more even, with Brighton getting a fair few attacks, with the usual formula being a long ball on the wing to Anthony Knockaert, who would make a jinxy run into the box, this nearly worked out a few times as Darlow was once again making quality saves. But the biggest chance of the half came when David Stockdale gave the ball to Gouffran in a one on one situation, with the goalkeeper almost out his box and no defenders back. Gouffran decides to almost pass it straight to the goalkeeper, which just about sealed his fate for the night for about 15 minutes later, he would be substituted off for eventual game-winner Ayoze Perez. Also on the 73rd minute, Daryl Murphy was substituted on for Jack Colback. Who would eventually get an assist.
Our deserved goal finally came on the 81st minute when a very poor Atsu volley deflecting off Murphy's foot, and then deflecting off the foot of Mo Diame and landing all the way into the back of the net. They all count! And the momentum from the goal lasted. As just 8 minutes later, an 85+ yard pass from Matt Ritchie found the feet of Christian Atsu, who subsequently played it into the box for Ayoze Perez who simply tapped it into the bottom left corner and the away end erupted in celebration.
This victory places Newcastle 2 points clear off Brighton and 8 points clear off 3rd place Huddersfield, who we will be playing on Saturday, which will once again be shown on Sky Sports 1 at 5:30 PM. Surely, SURELY. We can't mess this up now..