23 Feb 19
The Scottish Sun
SALOMON RONDON and Ayoze Perez grabbed the goals to humiliate Huddersfield.
But it was Toon new boy Miguel Almiron who was the real star of the show at St James’ Park.
Salomon Rondon opened the scoring against Huddersfield just after the break
Rondon celebrates after grabbing his eighth goal of the season
Newcastle’s £20.7million club-record signing was handed his full competitive debut by boss Rafa Benitez.
And the pacey Paraguayan lifted the crowd from the first minute, putting in an all-action display in which he did everything but score.
Almiron struck the post after 12 minutes with an audacious scoop over Jonas Lossl – and then drew the foul which saw Tommy Smith sent off for a horrible lunge.
And his impact paved the way for Rondon and Perez to score twice in six second-half minutes as Newcastle coasted home against the Premier League’s basement boys.
Ayoze Perez doubled the lead for Rafa Benitez’s side in the 52nd minute
Spanish striker Perez reacts after dispatching his strike into the bottom corner
The Toon’s third straight victory at St James’ moves them up to 14th, four points clear of third-bottom Southampton.
While the rock-bottom Terriers remain 14 points adrift of safety after losing their 13th game in 14.
The game, though, will be remembered for Almiron’s arrival, with Benitez throwing him in from the start after bringing him off the bench last time out at Wolves.
Before kick-off, the Toon Army unfurled a banner for ‘Wor Almiron’, which read ‘Quiero Contar Contigo’, a Spanish phrase meaning ‘I want to rely on you’.
[opta opta_widget=”matchstats” opta_template=”team_graphs” opta_competition=”8″ opta_season=”2018″ opta_match_id=”987860″ show_widget_title=”hide” /]
Tommy Smith was shown a red card for this challenge on Miguel Almiron
Almiron was making his home debut for the Magpies following his January switch from Atlanta
And Almiron so nearly got off to a dream start after 12 minutes.
After Sean Longstaff, Rondon and Isaac Hayden exchanged first-time passes, the latter set the Paraguayan clean through on goal.
And Almiron showed a breathtaking burst of pace to race past Smith, then audaciously scooped the ball over keeper Jonas Lossl from the edge of the box – but hit the left post.
Rondon also crashed against the upright with the rebound, before seeing another shot well saved by Lossl at his near post.
Huddersfield were already under the cosh but after 20 minutes they made matters even worse as Smith saw a straight red for a late and ugly shin-high lunge on man of the moment Almiron.
From then on it was a matter of when, not if, Newcastle would break the deadlock.
Almiron forced another save from Lossl with a clever left-footed curler.
Smith was shown his marching orders just 20 minutes into the clash
[opta opta_widget=”matchday_live” opta_template=”normal” opta_competition=”8″ opta_season=”2018″ opta_match_id=”987860″ show_widget_title=”hide” /]
Then the ex-Atlanta United star nutmegged Terriers sub Florent Hadergjonaj and saw his shot squirm through the legs of Lossl, but Chris Lowe managed to scramble clear.
Apart from that rare lapse, Lossl was keeping Huddersfield in it as he did brilliantly to tip over a powerful Perez volley.
Then on the stroke of half-time Rondon somehow missed a stooping six-yard header with the goal gaping, after a stunning first-time cross from Longstaff.
But Newcastle made up for their misses after the break – finally scoring less than a minute after the restart.
A raking crossfield pass from defender Florian Lejeune found DeAndre Yedlin on the right touchline.
Newcastle missed a host of chances during the first half at St James’ Park
Rafael Benitez’s side now sit 14th in the Premier League table
He centred for Perez, who backheeled to Hayden and then Rondon smashed it through Lossl’s legs.
Rondon then turned provider six minutes later, flicking to Perez who hammered home his fifth goal of the season.
The Spaniard could have had a second yet struck just wide from Almiron’s clever pass.
Then Lossl incredibly tipped sub Kenedy’s thunderous volley onto the bar.
Longstaff also clattered the woodwork with a wonderful curler from 25 yards.
Before Almiron was subbed off after 81 minutes to a standing ovation from the jubilant crowd.
[bc_video video_id=”6005929917001″ account_id=”5067014667001″ player_id=”default” embed=”in-page” padding_top=”56%” autoplay=”” min_width=”0px” max_width=”640px” width=”100%” height=”100%” caption=”Friday Round-up: Watch all the best Premier League action”]