Newcastle winger happy to take assist for fluke goal at Brighton

Christian Atsu. Picture by Frank Reid
Christian Atsu. Picture by Frank Reid
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Winger Christian Atsu has spoken about the “lucky assist” that led to a dramatic comeback at the Amex Stadium.

Atsu was in the Newcastle United side which came from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 on Tuesday, taking the Tynesiders back to the top of the Championship.

But Newcastle looked to be heading for a defeat until Atsu scuffed a shot in the 81st minute.

Substitute Daryl Murphy diverted the ball towards Mohamed Diame, who flicked it beyond David Stockdale into the top corner of the net for a fluke leveller.

Atsu then set up Ayoze Perez’s 89th minute winner with a cross from the left.

Asked about Diame’s goal, on-loan Atsu said: “It was a lucky assist!

“I can’t really pretend that I meant to do that, but I will take the assist, and I am very happy for Mo that he scored.

“I meant the one for Ayoze, though. When I was controlling the ball, I could see that he had taken the defender inside, and then afterwards his movement meant he was free.

“Normally, I would have looked to dribble in that situation, but I didn’t need to dribble because he had come back and was waiting for the ball. I just had to put in a quick cross for him to score.

“It was a really exciting finish, and we are really happy that we were able to win the game in that way.

“We had to fight really hard, but we were able to do that and we came through well in the end. We went down by one goal, and we were still down with 10 minutes to go.”

Atsu, handed a second successive start, hopes to keep his place for Saturday’s trip to third-placed Huddersfield Town.

“I’m very happy that I can do something to help the team – that’s why I’m here,” said Atsu.

“I just need to keep working hard, keep focused and work on each and every game.”

The Huddersfield fixture is followed by a trip to Reading, but Atsu and his team-mates are refusing to look beyond the next game.

“We are confident about the next game, not the two games,” said the 25-year-old. “For all the players, the game ahead is the most important and the most difficult game.

“We are really working hard and when the day comes you will see how we approach the game.”