Salomon Rondon fires Newcastle to huge win over Huddersfield
Newcastle United moved six points clear of the relegation zone at a soggy John Smith's Stadium this afternoon.
A goal from on-loan Salomon Rondon, his fourth in the Premier League so far this season, gave Rafa Benitez's side a hard-fought 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
The result, Newcastle's first win in four games, moved the club up to 14th place in the table ahead of next weekend's home game against Fulham.
United owner Mike Ashley, in talks to sell the club, wasn't at the stadium.
Benitez had made three changes, two of them enforced. Newcastle's manager, without the suspended DeAndre Yedlin and the injured Federico Fernandez, recalled Javier Manquillo and Fabian Schar to his starting XI. Kenedy also replaced Matt Ritchie in the team.
United lived dangerously at times during a scrappy first half amid a downpour at the John Smith's Stadium. They struggled to hold on to the ball, and Huddersfield created a series of chances.
Chris Lowe volleyed wide from an Alex Pritchard cross in the 10th minute, and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka did well to tip over a free-kick from Philip Billing midway through the half.
Newcastle's first real opportunity came in the 26th minute, when Ki Sung-yueng floated a ball into the box from a short free-kick. Fabian Schar latched on to it, and his shot was saved by the legs of Jonas Lossl.
Schar, recalled to the starting XI after serving a one-game suspension, wasn't far away with a free-kick later struck from just inside Huddersfield's half three minutes before the break.
The game didn't look like it would get any better in the second half, though United had a shot on target in the 53rd minute when an attempt from Ayoze Perez was deflected to Christian Atsu, whose shot was stopped by Lossl.
Newcastle were ahead two minutes later. Schar clipped the ball up the line to Perez, who played a clever ball inside to Javier Manquillo. The defender rolled it to Rondon, who had a simple finish at the far post.
Benitez sent on Ritchie and Isaac Hayden to shore up his team, and Paul Dummett made his comeback from injury in the final few minutes.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Lossl, Kongolo (Ramadan, 60), Hogg (Mbenza, 77), Bacuna, Billing, Lowe (Durm, 60), Depoitre, Pritchard, Zanka, Schindler, Hadergjonaj. Subs not used: Hammer, Kachunga, Quaner, Stankovic.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Dubravka; Schar, Lascelles, Clark; Manquillo, Diame, Ki (Hayden, 72), Atsu, Kenedy (Dummett, 89); Perez; Rondon (Ritchie, 80). Subs not used: Woodman, Murphy, Muto, Joselu.
Goal: Rondon 55
Bookings: Lascelles 34, Hogg 72
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe)