Dwight Gayle says he didn’t know what hit him when Aleksandar Mitrovic wrestled him to the ground in the wake of his dramatic winner against Norwich City.
Gayle netted six minutes into injury time on Wednesday night to give Newcastle United a 4-3 win.
Yoan Gouffran had equalised seconds earlier with a header, and Gayle’s strike lifted the roof at St James’s Park.
The 25-year-old ran to one corner of the stadium to celebrate his hat-trick goal, but he was abruptly stopped at the corner flag by substitute Mitrovic, who grabbed him from behind and threw him on the floor in a bizarre celebration.
Gayle felt Mitrovic got carried away amid “unbelievable scenes” – on and off the pitch.
The striker joked: “He shook my head, suffocated me and headbutted me! It was like being whiplashed – I think he tried to injure me!
He shook my head, suffocated me and headbutted me! It was like being whiplashed – I think he tried to injure me!Dwight Gayle
“No, he’s a great lad and as I said, we have great team spirit. He was just as excited as we all were. Those were unbelievable scenes at the end.”
The result against Norwich lifted Newcastle up to third place in the Championship ahead of Saturday’s game against Rotherham United at the New York Stadium.
Meanwhile, United pair Isaac Hayden and Freddie Woodman have been named in the England Under-21 squad for a European Championship qualifying double-header against Kazahstan and Bosnia-Herzegovina next month.
* Newcastle United have been given a 5,600-ticket allocation for their visit to Preston North End on October 29. Season-ticket holders with 50 or more loyalty points can apply for tickets to the game at Deepdale.