Newcastle United 2-1 Stoke City: Five things learned
Newcastle United v Stoke City - Premier League NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jamaal Lascelles of Newcastle United celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St. James

Stoke City suffered their first loss since the opening-day as Newcastle United rose to fourth in the table after winning their third consecutive Premier League match.

Magpies skipper Jamaal Lascelles became the hero in successive weeks for his side as his 68th minute winner left Stoke without an away win this season.

Former Chelsea winger, Christian Atsu opened the scoring after 19 minutes to stun Stoke. Magician, Xherdan Shaqiri then bagged an equaliser for the Potters out of nothing as they battled back into the game.

Lascelles who had earlier missed from a similar situation, capitalised on Stoke’s zonal marking to snatch a decisive winner for the Magpies as they held on for all three points.

Dominant Toon first-half

Both sides came into the game in good form with Rafael Benitez unbeaten against Stoke in all five fixtures, winning two.

His side started brightly and their early pressure paid dividends in the 19th minute when Atsu opened the scoring. Atsu scoring his first Premier League goal on his tenth appearance.

Newcastle looked likely to score every time they went forward despite having less possession of the ball and could have gone into the break three or four up.

Atsu’s goal saw the Magpies grab a grasp hold in the game however continued to waste opportunities with seven attempts on goal in the first half and only two working the keeper including the Atsu goal.

Captain fantastic to the rescue once again

Captain Jamaal Lascelles came to his side’s saviour once again as he scored his second goal in as many games when he latched onto a teasing cross from Matt Ritchie to head in off the underside of the bar. His header taking a huge deflection off Kevin Wimmer and going beyond Jack Butland.

Newcastle could have had “three, four or five” goals said Lascelles as they squandered multiple opportunities before his header proved to be the winner to help the Magpies record their best start to a Premier League campaign since 2011-12.

After missing his winner against Swansea last weekend, his manager was back in the dug out as Benitez oversaw his side's fruitful start to the season despite rumours of discontent after a poor transfer window.

Masterclass Matt Richie

The Scotland international provided a clinic as he guided Newcastle to a 2-1 home win providing assists for both goals.

Ritchie’s first assist came when his tantalizing left-foot cross was met by Atsu at the back post to poke home.

The former Bournemouth man then picked out his skipper for the second game running from a corner as Benitez’s unbeaten streak against Stoke extends to six matches.

Matt Ritchie has now provided 11 assists in the league since the start of last season, more than any other Newcastle player. The man of the match continues his good form this season with four assists in his last three games and comes up against fellow promoters, Brighton next weekend.

Scrumptious Shaqiri

Stoke winger, Xherdan Shaqiri was at his signature best when he curled in an equaliser from long range fourteen minutes after the restart. That totalled six Premier League goals Shaqiri has scored from the outside of the box.

The Swiss international was the most influential Stoke player as he was denied by goalkeeper Rob Elliot on multiple occasions. Alongside his captain Darren Fletcher, Shaqiri pulled the strings as Stoke dominated early possession but ran out on the wrong side of the score line despite a late Mame Diouf chance in stoppage time.

Joselu wasteful against former team

Magpies forward Joselu failed to put his former employers to the sword as he wasted several chances to put the game beyond the Potters.

He should have extended Newcastle’s lead before the break when DeAndre Yedlin’s deflected shot fell in to his path but was blocked by keeper Jack Butland’s legs.

The former Stoke frontman found keeper Jack Butland in fine form a he failed to enhance Newcastle’s lead despite having five attempts at goals.

Joselu continued to waste chances including when Chancel Mbemba’s delivery dropped for him to skew past Butland’s post and then moments later unable to beat Butland in a one-on-one opportunity.

The trend of missed chances continued for Joselu after the break when he fired of the bar from close range when Kevin Wimmer misread an Atsu cross.