Newcastle United 1 Huddersfield Town 2: Shock defeat underlines problems at both ends of pitch

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Huddersfield Town inflicted a shock defeat on Newcastle United at St James's Park this afternoon.

The visitors won 2-1 thanks to goals from Nahki Wells and Jack Payne.

Dwight Gayle scored for Newcastle, who have now lost their opening two Championship fixtures.

And United manager Rafa Benitez must urgently address problems at both ends of the pitch.

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St James's Park

St James's Park

Benitez handed Mohamed Diame his debut and brought Jonjo Shelvey, Chancel Mbemba and Rolando Aarons into his starting XI.

There was a raucous atmosphere before the game.

Thanks to the Gallowgate Flags initiative, there was 500 flags in that end of the stadium, and United's players took the field amid a deafening din.

Newcastle made a positive start, but the half quickly started to unravel.

Elias Kachunga hit the post with a low shot in the 13th minute, and Huddersfield went on to create the better chances.

United, for all their possession, didn't trouble visiting goalkeeper Danny Ward.

And the cacophony that had greeted the teams at kick-off time had long subsided by the time Wells scored in first-half injury time.

There were a few boos as the team headed for the tunnel, and Benitez replaced Aarons with Matt Ritchie – who had been surprisingly named as a substitute – for the second half.

United's breakthrough came on the hour-mark thanks to a handball.

Gayle stepped up to take the resulting penalty. Ward stopped his effort, but the club's new No 9 headed in the rebound.

Newcastle pressed for a second goal, but they lacked a focal point up front, and visiting substitute Payne netted eight minutes from time to give David Wagner's side all three points.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Sels; Janmaat (Armstrong, 82), Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett; Hayden, Shelvey; Anita, Diame (Perez, 75), Aarons (Ritchie, 46), Gayle. Subs not used: Darlow, Gamez, Clark, Colback.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Ward, Smith, Hudson, Hogg, Kachunga, Mooy, Lowe, van la Parra (Scannell, 72), Lolley (Payne, 81), Wells (Palmer, 64), Schindler. Subs not used: Coleman, Cranie, Gorenc Stankovic, Hefele.

Goals: Wells 45, Gayle 60 (pen), Payne 82

Bookings: Lowe 62, Gayle 63

Referee: Olivier Langford (West Midlands)

Attendance: 52,079

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