Newcastle Utd 2 Stoke City 1: Lascelles happy to make amends for Joselu agony

Christian Atsu puts Newcastle ahead
Christian Atsu puts Newcastle ahead

Jamaal Lascelles was happy to get Joselu out of trouble at St James’s Park – after the Newcastle striker missed a hat-trick of chances.

The Magpie captain scored the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke City, lifting Rafa Benitez’s men up to fourth place in the Premier League.

Lascelles – who had also netted the Tynesiders’ winner against Swansea six days earlier – spoke to Joselu after the final whistle.

The striker, signed from Stoke for £5million last month, was disappointed after failing to score against his former club. Asked about their embrace, Lascelles said: “That’s what team-mates do.

“If it was down the other end and I’d let a goal in and he went down the other end and scored, I’d have gone up to him and said the same.

“He knows himself he should’ve scored a couple of goals today, but good team-mates get each other out of the ****.

“He’s done a great job for us. He held the ball up well, he kept finding himself in dangerous areas and he’s been a real threat for defences in other games as well, so it’s certainly not one of them when I’m going to have a go at him.

“He knows he should have put a couple away, but it’s no different from one of us losing the ball or not making a block at the back. It’s what team-mates are for. He’s been a great player for us so far.”

Lascelles headed a second-half corner from Matt Ritchie in off the crossbar to secure all three points.

Christian Atsu’s opener had been cancelled out by a superb 57th-minute Xherdan Shaqiri strike.

Lascelles, 23, added: “I don’t think I’ve scored two so early on, but Matt Ritchie’s delivery is just so good. In the Premier League, it’s a little bit different, because in the Championship it’s more of a wrestling match in the box. Players will get hold of you and they’re big, strong boys and they defend set-pieces well.

“In the Premier League, when they mark zonal, you can get a running jump. Last week (at Swansea), I managed to get myself into a good area and I was disappointed I didn’t score in the first half. I should have done. But it’s something we’re working on. I’d like to aim higher.”

Newcastle: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Hayden (Shelvey 69), Merino, Ritchie, Perez (Diame 86), Atsu, Joselu (Gayle 78). Subs: Murphy, Manquillo, Lejeune, Woodman. Booked: Hayden, Clark, Merino. Goals: Atsu 19, Lascelles 68

Stoke: Butland, Zouma, Martins Indi, Wimmer, Diouf, Allen (Crouch 84), Fletcher, Pieters, Shaqiri, Choupo-Moting, Jese (Sobhi 62). Subs not used: Johnson, Berahino, Tymon, Adam, Grant. Booked: Wimmer. Goal: Shaqiri 57

Att: 51,795. Ref: Stuart Atwell (Nuneaton).