Newcastle United 1-0 Huddersfield Town: Pérez's late strike lifts Magpies closer to Premier League safety

Newcastle United 1-0 Huddersfield Town: Pérez's late strike lifts Magpies closer to Premier League safety

A late strike from the Spaniard gave The Magpies their third consecutive win at St James' Park but more crucially closer to Premier League survival.

Danial Kennedy

Newcastle United have made yet another significant step towards Premier League safety, as Ayoze Pérez's 80th-minute strike not only gave them a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town but pulled them seven points above the relegation zone. 

The first-half much belonged to The Magpies with the majority of the chances falling to the feet of Dwight Gayle, but the striker failed despite having three cracks of the whip. 

The visitors began to pick towards the beginning of the second period with a goalmouth scramble ensuing just after the hour mark, but Pérez's strike ten minutes from the end proved to be crucial difference on Tyneside


Getting their eye in early 

After quite a barron spell things have been looking up for Rafael Benítez's men especially at home, they proved that last time out with the win over Southampton but would need to bring their A-game once again and looked to be in control of the Terriers from the off. 

Their first sniff came in the 14th minute as Jonjo Shelvey kept alive Matt Ritchie's deep ball into the back post, the midfielder shaped himself to shoot from the edge of the area as it rolled into him and the low drive was almost divereted by Jonas Lössl by Gayle. 

Ritchie decided to go himself moments later as he decided to go alone despite the tight angle working against him, but Lössl was made to work by the Scotsman's effort who was quick to spreads his arms to thwart him. 


Couldn't hit a barn door 

Gayle has come under a lot of criticism this campaign for his lack of clinicalness in front of goal, and did nothing to help that perception as he missed two great opportunities to give the home side the lead. 

It was a excellent piece of play from Shelvey in the 28th minute as he lofted a free-kick over the top onto the boot of Gayle, his first touch was good but instead of taking it around Lössl but decided to go for the chip which proved wasteful. 

The second chance proved a lot more difficult as the ball from DeAndre Yedlin proved high for the striker, he did well to get an effort away on the stretch but it was always rising over the crossbar. 


Starting to prove a danger? 

David Wagner's Terriers had barely mustered a bark throughout the opening period, but still only three points above safety themselves they needed to act and started to provide some opposition towards the hour mark. 

​Their best chance came in the 65th minute as a Aaron Mooy ball was met by Nicolai Jørgensen who managed to get away from Jamaal Lascelles, the ball still remained loose with Collin Quaner looking to provide something but he was quickly outmuscled. 


Releasing the tension on Tyneside 

As the clock ticked further down the frustration amongst the masses began to grow more visible, but the majority of the 52,000 inside St James' will have been relieved as they took the lead. 

The move started and ended with Pérez as he played it out wide to Christian Atsu while continuing his run into the area, the ball is met by Kenedy who cooly squares it to the Spaniard to slot home on the stretch.