Newcastle moved up to fourth in the Tournament with a 2-0 triumph that brought an end to Brightons six-month unbeaten run in the league. The Seagulls hadn't lost in the Tournament, excluding Mays playoffs, since February but couldn't keep the Magpies from making it three wins in a row after starting the effort with two defeats. The Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles set Rafael Bentezs side in front after a quarter hour with a strong header before Jonjo Shelvey added the vital moment in the 64th minute with a sublime free kick. When the referee and a linesman initially allow it to stand, an incandescent Jaap Stam and his helpers were reduced to technical-place apoplexy. Happily for the Reading supervisors sanity, a word in the referees earpiece from the fourth official ensured that attempt was immediately chalked away. Maybe conscious of the need to pacify their manager before halftime, the Reading players regrouped. Connecting with the rebound, McCleary should actually have scored but rather shot over. Newcastle, for whom Jonjo Shelvey disappointed once again, the six-time England midfielder hitting way too many excessively challenging long balls have grown a horrible habit of granting goals on the verge of half time and they were soon at it again. Stam, unexpectedly a study in serene and whose side had dominated the preceding 10 minutes, indulged in a restrained hand clap. A bright Tyneside day had morphed into a somewhat chill, clearly autumnal evening, but Ritchie immediately re-established a little heat to an increasingly fractious mood, reestablishing Newcastles lead from the penalty spot after Chris Gunter had fouled Gouffran.
Ali Al-Habsi, Readings goalkeeper, was shortly defeated again and this time Gayles contribution proved valid. Hayden created the fourth, his remarkable cross being turned in by Gayle from close range as Newcastles campaign eventually gained traction. Newcastle Ayoze Prez already understands that in the Tournament little is ever sure but Newcastle Uniteds youthful Spanish striker remains convinced about two things. Brightons going to be a particular game, he says. And its going to be difficult. Im just about the only healthy striker, said the 23-year old Prez, whose self-confidence was strengthened by League triumphs at home to Reading and Bristol City. Rafael Bentez insisted he always understood how hard this division would be, granting his team are short of assurance after the Tournament title favourites suffered a second consecutive defeat at the seasons start. That wasnt the sort of performance we were anticipating, Bentez declared after Hudderfield Towns first success at St James Park for 63 years empowered the Yorkshire team to keep their own 100% record. We understood Huddersfield would be hard to break down but we didnt play at the amount we needed to. We improved a lot in the second half but its extremely unsatisfactory. We have to reveal precisely the same quality, style and nature. Weve not seen that now. We made too many errors and we must reveal that nature and quality to enhance things. The players on the pitch were attempting they're great players. They are able to do considerably better because we didnt play at the amount we were anticipating. The only favorable today was the enthusiasts. The Tournament is more demanding than the Premier League, 100% more demanding, he said. But weve now accommodated to this league. Although theres still lots of work to do were becoming more assured and playing better football. He keeps the divisions stamina isn't just down to its increased physicality. Id say the Tournaments the sixth best league on the planet,Prez said. There are lots of great teams with a bundle. Its rough. On a day when it was supported Newcastle are close to adding airborne strength to the squad by going for Ipswichs Daryl Murphy, it was coincidental that it was a header which place them ahead. It wasn't from single striker Ayoze Prez, requested to lead the line in the lack of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dwight Gayle, but the improbable source of centre back Lascelles, who rose just inside the 18-yard box to power a fantastic header inside David Stockdales right hand post after meeting the wonderful free kick delivery of Matt Ritchie. Brighton, with eight points from four matches previously this season, seemed keen to impress but the noise levels were lifted and Newcastle loved the remaining portion of the half. Yoan Gouffran nearly scored a belter of a goal nine minutes after. A move that began in the right back position, where Vurnon Anita made a tackle, finished with a blistering 30-yard drive from Gouffran which crashed off the crossbar. Newcastle seemed positive in possession but still had to be cautious of a Brighton side revealing glimpses of why they've been so tough to overcome for such a long time. Its more difficult physically. But its more than that. Youre playing most midweeks. You feel extremely exhausted and you need a larger squad to live. Theres no let up. And in every game you must give 100% physically. Its more about winning second balls, winning fights, than the Premier League.
He continued: Everyones determined to defeat us because were Newcastle United. It's possible for you to see it in their eyes. Were the largest team in this league and they wish to be able to say they stopped Newcastle or they beat Newcastle. Simply examine the manner Fulham and Huddersfield fete later. Defeating a team like this was a huge moment in their opinion. Now we understand what to anticipate. Perhaps it was a jolt in the beginning but now we understand every team will lift their game against us. Were everyones match of the season. Teams are running hard, running so much but we must try and defeat them with great football. It's surprising a forward often viewed by Barcelona stays on Tyneside but unlike the unsettled Moussa Sissoko Prez hasn't sought a move Ive always been happy here, he said. Naturally, relegation was poor but not once have I thought about leaving. I consider remaining here is whats best for my profession. If youre happy in one area, why leave? And Barcelona? That's something enormous, he said. But if I began believing Barcelona, oh Barcelona it'd be incorrect. Newcastle has given me everything. It is going to be an evocative occasion for the once likewise true Hughton but his only focus is on outwitting Bentez.
Its one of the largest matches on our schedule, said Brightons manager, who's adamant his talented winger Anthony Knockaert WOn't be among the two or three more players Bentez expects to sign before Wednesdays transfer deadline. Playing Newcastle in front of more than 50,000 individuals is an feeling our lads are going to adopt. Seconds before Baldocks sending off, the Seagulls nearly levelled. Anthony Knockaert, the issue of a failed play from Newcastle in the summer, cut in and hit the bar from 12 yards. Shelvey nearly had a second also, but his low strike destined for the bottom corner was turned behind as Brighton fought to locate a means to make a match of it. It wasn't the smoothest of takeoffs but, at the third effort, Newcastle Uniteds Rafa-lution eventually became airborne. With the ultimate score somewhat flattering, there were quite several tense minutes and, on occasion, Reading made life uncomfortable for Rafael Bentezs still gelling team. Eventually, though, a morale-boosting first win of the season rekindled expectation on the Tyne. It was most crucial that you get three points now, the Newcastle manager said after a match featuring two goals from Dwight Gayle. We can play better and be more powerful and Im certainly nicely enhance, but we showed character. Two consecutive defeats had required a reply and sure enough, Bentez made four changes. In the instance of of Lascelles this signified a significant statement as the young centre half has only just been made Newcastles captain. With the distressed-to-depart Moussa Sissoko unavailable after enduring a diplomatic training hit, the replacements contained Yoan Gouffran, who has just featured in the first team within the last two years. No matter; the Frenchman quickly created the opening goal for Isaac Hayden and working in a broad-left attacking-midfield role, usually played quite nicely.