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Late Perez own goal sees Leicester win at Newcastle

Riyad Mahrez

Leicester won a third successive Premier League match as Ayoze Perez's own goal gave them victory in a thrilling encounter with Newcastle.

The Spanish striker made his decisive contribution with four minutes to go, poking the ball into his own net as he tried to prevent Shinji Okazaki scoring.

The Foxes had made a terrible start as their hosts - roared on by a vocal home crowd following pre-game celebrations to mark the club's 125th anniversary - took the lead in the sixth minute courtesy of Joselu's close-range finish.

The visitors rallied quickly and restored parity when Mikel Merino's loose pass gave them possession and began an attack that Riyad Mahrez ended with a superb 25-yard, left-footed drive into the top corner.

Demarai Gray put them in front after the break with a shot that found the net via a deflection off Florian Lejeune before Dwight Gayle levelled matters with a shot that came off Harry Maguire, but City would have the final word.

It was an excellent victory for Claude Puel's side, who have now earned 17 points from eight league games since Craig Shakespeare was sacked in October - a run of form that has taken them up to ninth.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have taken just one point from their past seven matches and the cushion between them and the relegation zone is just two points.

Defeat also represents the first time boss Rafa Benitez - who has previously managed Liverpool and Chelsea - has suffered three straight Premier League losses.

Leicester continue upward trajectory

Demarai Gray scores

When Puel was appointed by Leicester, the team were 14th in the Premier League with just two wins from nine games.

The Frenchman had his doubters, who pointed - somewhat unfairly - to the 2016-17 season he spent in charge of Southampton, who he led to an eighth-placed finish and the EFL Cup final, but was accused of producing uninspiring football.

City's seven games under him have yielded both points and goals, with their only defeat at the hands of league leaders Manchester City.

On Saturday they recovered from two setbacks - one early in the game, one late - and played the more cohesive, attacking football of the two sides en route to a reward they deserved for their 63% possession and greater number of efforts on goal.

In Mahrez, Gray and Jamie Vardy they have an incisive attacking trio who will trouble any defence in the league and one seemingly restored to their potent best by their new boss.

Mahrez has been directly involved in eight goals in 16 appearances in the Premier League this season (four goals and four assists), which is just one fewer than in 36 games last season, when he managed six goals and three assists.

Gray has netted three goals in seven Premier League appearances since Puel took charge, having scored just once in his first 50 games in the competition.

Vardy was unfortunate not to add to his tally - which now stands at seven goals in 14 league games - but it was he who provided the cross towards Okazaki that forced Perez into his game-deciding error.

Anniversary woes for Newcastle

Banners and flags

In their 125-year history - a milestone they reached this week and celebrated before kick-off on Saturday evening with some impressive stadium-wide flag-waving - Newcastle have experienced notable highs, most notably a hat-trick of FA Cups in the 1950s.

But if they are to avoid this season ending in another significant low they must arrest a run of form that has now seen them fail to win in seven top-flight games, since a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace in October.

In his programme notes, Newcastle manager Benitez referred to this week's celebrations, calling on his players to "use all that positivity around the stadium and city to support the players and give us the best chance of getting three points".

They got off to the best possible start thanks to an incisive link-up between forwards Gayle and Joselu.

The latter has come in for some criticism from Newcastle fans as a result of his inconsistent form since joining from Stoke in the summer for £5m but he showed good awareness to hold his run, in order to collect Gayle's cut-back, and precision to slot home the game's opening goal from near the penalty spot.

After Mahrez and Gray had swung the game back in the visitors' favour during a lengthy period of away dominance, Newcastle demonstrated a fighting attitude to get back into the game.

However, for the third home game running they would have nothing to show for their efforts, with this defeat following on from the demoralising losses to Bournemouth and Watford.

Man of the match - Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)

Riyad Mahrez

Newcastle can't hold on to a lead - the stats you need to know

  • Newcastle have dropped 11 points from winning positions in the Premier League this term; the most of any team in the competition.
  • Rafa Benitez's side are winless in seven Premier League games (W0 D1 L6) and have conceded 15 goals across their last five matches in the competition (an average of three per game).
  • Dwight Gayle has scored more than a quarter of Newcastle United's 101 league goals since the start of 2016-17 (26/101).
  • Four of Riyad Mahrez's last seven goals in the Premier League have come from outside the box, including both of his last two.
  • Mahrez has been directly involved in eight goals in 16 appearances in the Premier League this season (four goals and four assists); just one fewer than in 36 games last season (six goals and three assists).
  • Demarai Gray has netted three goals in seven Premier League appearances since Claude Puel took charge, after scoring just once in his first 50 games in the competition.
  • Joselu's fourth-minute goal was Newcastle's fastest in a Premier League game since Loic Remy's in November 2013 (second minute v Norwich).

What's next?

Newcastle host Everton - managed by former boss Sam Allardyce - in the Premier League on Wednesday (19:45 GMT), while Leicester travel to Puel's former club Southampton at the same time.

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 26Darlow
  • 22Yedlin
  • 20LejeuneBooked at 81mins
  • 2Clark
  • 19Manquillo
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forAtsuat 64'minutes
  • 14HaydenBooked at 75mins
  • 23Merino
  • 7MurphySubstituted forPérezat 71'minutes
  • 21JoseluSubstituted forMitrovicat 88'minutes
  • 9Gayle

Substitutes

  • 1Elliot
  • 6Lascelles
  • 8Shelvey
  • 10Diamé
  • 17Pérez
  • 30Atsu
  • 45Mitrovic

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 2Simpson
  • 5Morgan
  • 15Maguire
  • 3Chilwell
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forFuchsat 89'minutes
  • 25Ndidi
  • 21Iborra
  • 11Albrighton
  • 7GrayBooked at 12minsSubstituted forOkazakiat 73'minutes
  • 9VardySubstituted forUlloaat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Iheanacho
  • 10King
  • 12Hamer
  • 16Dragovic
  • 20Okazaki
  • 23Ulloa
  • 28Fuchs
Referee:
Neil Swarbrick
Attendance:
52,117

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamLeicester
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home10
Away13
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home10
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Newcastle United 2, Leicester City 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Newcastle United 2, Leicester City 3.

Attempt blocked. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Isaac Hayden.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Isaac Hayden.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Jamie Vardy.

Offside, Newcastle United. Isaac Hayden tries a through ball, but DeAndre Yedlin is caught offside.

Foul by Christian Fuchs (Leicester City).

DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Christian Fuchs replaces Riyad Mahrez.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Joselu.

Goal!

Own Goal by Ayoze Pérez, Newcastle United. Newcastle United 2, Leicester City 3.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Karl Darlow.

Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Javier Manquillo (Newcastle United).

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mikel Merino (Newcastle United).

Booking

Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Florian Lejeune (Newcastle United).

Foul by Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City).

Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Joselu.

Booking

Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United).

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Demarai Gray.

Goal!

Goal! Newcastle United 2, Leicester City 2. Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mikel Merino with a headed pass following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Mikel Merino (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Atsu with a cross.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Danny Simpson.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Ayoze Pérez replaces Jacob Murphy.

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United).

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Attempt blocked. Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Harry Maguire (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

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