By Juan Aguerrevere
Rafa Benitez' last away win was back in December when Newcastle took down Huddersfield at the John Smith's Stadium. Since Miguel Almiron’s arrival just over two months ago, the Tyneside club has looked much more dangerous. But, Friday night's match away at Leicester City wouldn’t be easy.
Jamie Vardy has scored 6 goals in 5 games since Brendan Rodgers took over at the King Power Stadium. Like Vardy, Youri Tielemans has also found his best form, scoring and assisting from the midfield. Harry Maguire returned to the line-up after welcoming his newborn daughter Lily. There were also changes in the Magpies' line-up-- Paul Dummett for Florian Lejune after his horrific knee injury last week and Javier Manquillo replacing DeAndre Yedlin.
Leicester's left side had an electric start to the game. Ben Chillwell and young standout Harvey Barnes connected well for a couple of chances. An early mistake by Maguire led to a free-kick 25 yards away from goal. Solomon Rondon’s ensuing pixel perfect free kick left the goal post shaking.
The Foxes created more chances in the first half-hour. But it was Newcastle that struck first. Leicester’s defenders failed to clear after stopping Alimiron from dribbling into the box. The ball fell right to Matt Ritchie, who beats a defender and whips in a driven ball to Ayoze Perez making a run at the near post. Perez beats Wes Morgan, gets a slight touch with his head on the ball, and using the power from Ritchie’s cross angles the ball to the far post past Kasper Schmeichel.
Almiron, who remains goalless in the Premier League, had numerous chances in the second half, but remained goalless. Schmeichel skillfully denied Perez after he slalomed in the box for a close-quarters 1v1 opportunity. Vardy missed the Foxes' best chance of the game by scooping an excellent through ball from Tielemans over the bar.
Newcastle United win means they no longer face relegation and the fans celebrated every second of it staying after the match.
Juan is a senior at the University of Florida. He is an aspiring sports writer, analyst, and commentator.