Stoke City 0 Newcastle United 1: Recalled Ayoze Perez fires club up the table
Ayoze Perez fired Newcastle United up the Premier League table at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon.
Perez, recalled to the starting XI by Rafa Benitez, scored the only goal of the game against Stoke City.
The result saw the club, which has taken seven points from its last four games, climb up to 13th in the Premier League table.
Perez had been fielded up front alongside Christian Atsu by Benitez, who left Dwight Gayle and former Stoke striker Joselu on the bench.
Perez, Javier Manquillo, Jonjo Shelvey, Mohamed Diame and Jacob Murphy also came into Benitez's starting XI.
Newcastle created a series of first-half chances, but they just couldn't find the net.
Somehow defender Ciaran Clark, stood at the back post, put an effort over the bar after Perez flicked a Matt Ritchie corner to him.
United goalkeeper Karl Darlow made the first of a series of important saves in the first half.
Darlow turned a Charlie Adam free-kick round his post and also stopped efforts from Maxim Choupo-Moting and substitute Mame Diouf after the break.
Referee Chris Kavanagh waved away a strong penalty appeal from Gayle – who had come on for Atsu – midway through the second half.
Gayle was flattened by Kurt Zouma as he attempted to run on to a ball from Jacob Murphy.
Perez, however, was able to get on the end of Murphy's low cross from the right in the 73rd minute to put his team in the lead.
Newcastle saw off a late rally to claim three important points.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Manquillo; Murphy (Dummett, 82), Shelvey, Diame, Ritchie; Atsu (Gayle, 64), Perez. Subs not used: Woodman, Haidara, Hayden, Merino, Joselu.
STOKE CITY: Butland, Edwards, Zouma, Wimmer, Pieters (Berahino, 71), Cameron, Adam, Allen, Shaqiri (Diouf, 57), Choupo-Moting, Crouch. Subs not used: Grant, Ireland, Fletcher, Ramadan, Souttar.
Goal: Perez 73
Bookings: Manquillo 26, Adam 54, Choupo-Moting 60, Wimmer 66
Referee: Chis Kavanagh (Lancashire)
Attendance: 28,471 (Newcastle 3,168)