& TONIC

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Clive Hetherington

El­liot 7; Yedlin 6, Las­celles

7, Clark 6, Mbe­mba 6; Hayden 5 (Shelvey

(69th) 6), Merino 6; Ritchie 8, Perez 6 (Di­ame 86th), Atsu 7; Joselu 5 (Gayle 78th Stuart At­twell was unimpressed with the spot-kick claims but United were back in front af­ter Las­celles met Ritchie’s right-wing cor­ner with a header that went in off the bar.

In-form Choupo-Mot­ing should have equalised three min­utes from the end, blaz­ing over from sub­sti­tute Peter Crouch’s knock­down, be­fore Diouf headed just wide in stop­page time.

The re­sult meant that Toon, on the eve of the 20th an­niver­sary of their fa­mous 3-2 Cham­pi­ons League win here against Barcelona, moved up to fourth place.

But Ben­itez said: “I don’t want to see the ta­ble, be­lieve me. I’ve said it’s all about one game at a time.

“We have to be sure that, in the next train­ing ses­sion, we start cor­rect­ing and im­prov­ing things.

“We had the chances to fin­ish the game early enough. We have to learn that, in the Pre­mier League, you can’t make too many mis­takes.

“But I’m not go­ing to worry about missed chances – I’m re­ally pleased if we can cre­ate them.

“Joselu was frus­trated. When you’re a striker and you have chances, it’s im­por­tant to score – and for a striker who played for Stoke, even more so.

“But I was re­ally pleased with his con­tri­bu­tion. He was win­ning the ball in the air and hold­ing it up.

“There were a lot of pos­i­tives from a lot of play­ers but there’s still room for im­prove­ment.”

Ben­itez praised Las­celles and said: “It’s re­ally im­por­tant that we have play­ers who want to stay, fight and de­fend the black and white shirt. The fans ap­pre­ci­ate that and the cap­tain lead­ing by ex­am­ple is some­thing we must be pleased about.”

And Ben­itez felt his side should have had a penalty, adding: “From the bench, it was clear. Af­ter, they told me he touched the ball – but you can’t change things from the bench.’’

Hughes said: “I think we de­served some­thing. We didn’t play that well but I didn’t think we were poor.

“On oc­ca­sions, we played into New­cas­tle’s hands, but we had our chances.’’

But­land 6; Zouma 6, Martins Indi 6, Wim­mer 5; Diouf 6, Fletcher 6, Allen 6 (Crouch 84th), Pi­eters 5; Shaqiri 7, Choupo-Mot­ing 6; Jese 4 (Sobhi (62nd) 5) Matt Ritchie S At­twell Brighton, Sept 24 (A) Bris­tol City, Sept 19 (A)

NEW­CAS­TLE: STOKE: STAR MAN:

REF: New­cas­tle’s next game: Stoke’s next game: ■

PEARL JAM: Las­celles cel­e­brates his decisive strike

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