(Reuters) - Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles scored the winner as Rafa Benitez’s side beat Stoke City 2-1 at St James’ Park on Saturday to post their third successive Premier League victory.
Benitez was back in the dugout after a health scare but under orders to keep calm and was delighted to see his side take the lead after 19 minutes when Christian Atsu connected from close range for his first Premier League goal after a superb Matt Ritchie cross.
Without suspended striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, Newcastle looked to Joselu up front but the former Stoke forward squandered three chances to increase Newcastle’s lead.
Although Xherdan Shaqiri equalised against the run of play, Lascelles, who is expected to sign a new five-year deal in the next few days, headed another excellent Ritchie cross in off the post after 68 minutes to secure the points.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ken Ferris