January 1, 2018 / 5:24 PM / a year ago

Perez goal helps Newcastle edge past Stoke

Newcastle United recorded back-to-back Premier League wins on the road for the first time since 2014 as an Ayoze Perez goal led them to a 1-0 win over Stoke City on Monday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Stoke City vs Newcastle United - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Britain - January 1, 2018 Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Stoke’s defensive woes continued as Newcastle threatened the hosts’ goal multiple times in the first half but failed to convert, with defender Ciaran Clark missing the most clear-cut chance as he fluffed a close range tap-in just before the half hour mark.

Newcastle continued to create chances in the second half with midfielder Jacob Murphy charging past the tiring Stoke defenders in the 73rd minute to feed the ball to the oncoming Perez, with the Spaniard making a cool finish to seal the win.

Stoke piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but were kept at bay by Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow, who made several impressive saves to condemn the Potters to a second successive defeat.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes was booed off the pitch after the match and is on the brink of being sacked with the club recording just five wins in 22 league games this season to slip to 16th in the rankings.

“We didn’t deserve to lose. But their keeper made some great saves,” Hughes said.

The Welshman was criticised as Stoke were thrashed by champions Chelsea last week after resting key players with the Newcastle game in mind and the 54-year-old made six changes to his side on Monday, to no avail.

“Everybody talks about the changes we made but (Newcastle manager) Rafa Benitez made six changes, what’s the difference. I don’t see why my decisions are questioned. I am brave enough to take it on the chin,” Hughes added.

Stoke have conceded 47 goals, the most in the league, and sit just two points above the relegation zone having played two more games than 18th-placed West Ham United. Newcastle climb to 13th after a much-needed win.

“Today we had chances, we scored the winning goal and it will give us confidence. The team is focused and there is a long way to go,” Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez told reporters.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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