Super Captain Lascelles Secures Narrow Win at the Liberty

Sunday September 10th, 2017

Rafa Benitez was not in attendance for Newcastle's game at Swansea on Sunday after undergoing an operation in midweek. However he would have been hoping that his side could continue in the same vein after a 3-0 win over West Ham last time out, despite the poorly timed international break.

Swansea fans on the other hand will have been excited to see some new signings, after the deadline day arrivals of Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony. Paul Clement will have also been looking for a repeat performance after beating Crystal Palace 0-2 in their last game.

The first half started in a physical fashion, with more than a few heavy tackles flying in. This saw an early yellow card given to Isaac Hayden after he gave Renato Sanches a less than friendly welcome to the Premier League, leaving a mark on the youngster with a strong body block.

Sanches was the main new boy on display, although it was Newcastle debutant Jacob Murphy that had the first real chance of the game. The former Norwich City winger made an excellent run and latched onto a weak Fernandez back pass, only for his shot to go sailing over the bar in the 27th minute.

Another Magpies new man then stepped up to the plate as Joselu blasted a volley high and wide on the 30th minute. However just a few minutes later the Spaniard latched onto a Matt Ritchie cross with a header that seemed destined to nestle in the bottom corner, only for Fabianski to make a fantastic save to push the ball onto his left hand post.

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Much of the half saw Newcastle create the better chances, however Jordan Ayew forced a diving save out of Rob Elliott in the 38th minute, after Hayden slipped on the wet Liberty turf to give away possession.

The second half saw the Swans come out fighting as they enjoyed the majority of the better chances. The first of those fell to Sam Clucas who's first time volley was well saved at his near post by Rob Elliott.

However the best chance of the half for the Swans fell to Tammy Abraham on the hour mark. The young striker rounded Elliot after an excellent through ball and would've expected to see his shot nestle in the back of the net, only for Lascelles to come sliding across to make a fantastic block on the line.

Newcastle then started to build in confidence again and created a few chances with shots from Joselu and Perez comfortably saved by Fabianski.

However the Magpies got their breakthrough on the 74th minute, when hero of the day Lascelles, headed home powerfully from a Matt Ritchie corner. The Newcastle captain got a free header in the box as Swansea's zonal marking system failed and the Englishman took full advantage powerfully putting the ball into the roof of Fabianski's net.

After that Swansea piled on the pressure with a multitude of corners, with the best chance falling to Leroy Fer, only for his header to sail over the bar.

Some resolute defending from Newcastle meant they saw out the victory to claim their second win of the season. Swansea may feel hard done by not to get a point and to not have seen Matt Ritchie sent off for a high challenge mid way through the second half. However they lacked a cutting edge and weren't clinical enough in decisive areas.

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