Newcastle United 2 Leicester City 3: Rafa Benitez's side worryingly close to relegation zone after latest defeat

Dwight Gayle
Dwight Gayle

Leicester City spoiled Newcastle United's birthday party at St James's Park.

Claude Puel's in-form side won 3-2 tonight thanks thanks to an 86th-minute own goal from Ayoze Perez.

The flag display before the game marking Newcastle's 125th birthday

The flag display before the game marking Newcastle's 125th birthday

Newcastle had been on course to claim what would have been an important Premier League point after Dwight Gayle levelled the score at 2-2.

But United, sloppy in possession all game, were undone in the dying minutes by a quick break forward.

The game marked the club's 125th birthday.

United manager Rafa Benitez, however, won't be in the mood to celebrate, with his 16th-placed team now just two points above the relegation zone.

Benitez's side have taken just one point from their last seven games.

Newcastle had seemingly got off to the perfect start. Jacob Murphy played in Gayle on the left and the striker pulled the ball back for Joselu, who finished from seven yards.

Gayle shot narrowly wide himself shortly after the restart.

Leicester, however, were level by the 20th minute. Mikel Merino lost the ball in midfield and the visitors quickly broke forward. Riyad Mahrez, in a pocket of space, unleashed a fierce shot from 25 yards that beat Karl Darlow.

Newcastle, wasteful with possession, were fortunate to get into the break still on level terms.

Leicester's second goal came in the 60th minute. A shot from Gray took a deflection on its way past Darlow.

United looked down and out. Benitez sent on Christian Atsu, back from injury, and Ayoze Perez, and the pair helped energise a flagging team.

Their breakthrough came in the 73rd minute whe Leicester failed to deal with a Newcastle corner. Eventually, the ball dropped for Gayle, stood to the right of Schmeichel's goal.

Gayle moved inside on to his left foot and his shot beat Schmeichel with the help of a deflection off Harry Maguire.

But the goal was to count for nothing.

Leicester broke forward and the ball was played to Jamie Vardy, whose pass to Shinji Okazaki was intercepted by Perez and inadvertently poked into the net.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Manquillo; Ritchie (Atsu, 64), Merino, Haydem, Murphy (Perez, 71); Gayle, Joselu (Mitrovic, 88). Subs not used: Elliot, Lascelles, Shelvey, Diame.

LEICESTER CITY: Schmeichel, Simpson, Maguire, Morgan, Chilwell, Mahrez (Fuchs, 89), Iborra, Ndidi, Albrighton, Gray, Vardy (Ulloa, 90). Subs not used: Hamer, Iheanacho, King, Dragovic, Okazaki.

Goals: Joselu 4, Mahrez 20, Perez 60, Gayle 73, Perez 86 (og)

Bookings: Gray 11, Hayden 74, Lejeune 81

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Attendance: 52,117