Belfast Telegraph

Dwight Gayle reflects on 'mad' celebration after winner in thriller with Norwich

Dwight Gayle found himself at the centre of a "mad" celebration after firing Newcastle to a remarkable victory over fellow Premier League promotion hopefuls Norwich.

The 25-year-old struck in the sixth minute of stoppage time to complete his hat-trick and secure a 4-3 win which sparked pandemonium on and off the pitch at St James' Park on Wednesday night.

Gayle, the victim of a particularly physical embrace from team-mate Aleksandar Mitrovic, said: "To be honest I can't really remember it. It was just mad.

"People were grabbing my shirt and my hair. Everybody was throwing themselves on the floor and clashing heads.

"It was just unbelievable, and the fans were crazy."

It proved to be an eventful night for the former Crystal Palace striker, who joined the club in a move which could eventually amount to around £10million during the summer.

Having earlier been denied twice from close range by Canaries keeper Michael McGovern and stabbed another effort wide, he opened the scoring with 24 minutes gone.

But Graham Dorrans levelled from the penalty spot before the break and Cameron Jerome and Jacob Murphy struck after it to put Norwich in the driving seat.

Gayle's second gave the Magpies 19 minutes to rescue something, but Yoan Gouffran's equaliser came in the fifth minute of stoppage time and Gayle's decisive contribution seconds later.

Even manager Rafael Benitez could not contain himself as he celebrated on the pitch with his players, but for the latest man to where the famous number nine shirt on Tyneside, there could not have been a better ending as he took his tally for the season to seven goals.

Gayle said: "You want to score last-minute winners like that. To do it in front of our own fans at St James' Park was just unreal.

"You can tell from our celebrations at the end and the way we were together how close we are. At 3-1 down, to win 4-3 shows great team spirit."


From Belfast Telegraph