Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles saved a certain goal at one end before scoring his side’s winner in a 1-0 victory at Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday.
Lascelles powered home a close-range header from Matt Ritchie’s corner in the 76th minute to give Newcastle their second successive victory after losing their first two games.
Just past the hour mark defender Lascelles made a last-ditch intervention as Swansea’s Tammy Abraham rounded Newcastle keeper Rob Elliot and shot goalwards only to see Lascelles move in and prevent a certain goal.
The victory was a welcome fillip for Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez who is recovering from a hernia operation and missed his side’s victory in south Wales, although according to assistant manager Francisco de Miguel Moreno he was in touch throughout.
”Yeah, he wanted to come and wanted to do everything he could to attend but the weather conditions were not the best,“ he said. ”He has been active in the game and kept in touch with us throughout the game.
“All of the staff were involved and have been working very hard. After the game, Rafa rang us and congratulated all the team because they did a fantastic job.”
Swansea gave a debut to new loan signing from Bayern Munich Renato Sanches but the Portuguese midfielder faded after a bright opening and was eventually replaced by Wilfried Bony who returned to Swansea from Manchester City in the transfer window.
Newcastle had the best chance before the break when striker Joselu’s flicked header was superbly saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
Alfie Mawson headed wide for the hosts before the break while Tom Carroll’s left-footed volley was well saved by Elliot shortly before Lascelles’s saving clearance.
Lascelles was left unmarked as he connected for Newcastle’s winner and made no mistake, giving Fabianski no chance.
“The manager rang me this morning and told me to make sure the boys were on it. Hopefully he gets well soon and gets back with us,” he said.
“We have set a standard now. We will be hard to beat back home but if we play like this every week, we will do well. It is down to us to bring it every week.”
Newcastle moved up to 10th spot with six points while Swansea are 15th with four points, having failed to score in three of their four matches so far
“I am not satisfied with the way we played. It is a performance I am not proud of,” manager Paul Clement said.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon