Newcastle secure vital win on the road at Huddersfield
Black and Whites move up the table.
Salomon Rondon’s strike secured Newcastle their first victory in four matches as they won 1-0 at Huddersfield, who have now lost four in a row.
Rondon finished off a Newcastle break in the 55th minute at a rain-sodden John Smith’s Stadium having been teed up by Javier Manquillo.
Rafael Benitez’s men – celebrating a win for only the fourth time this season, the day after it emerged they had cancelled their Christmas party – are up a place to 14th in the Premier League table.
They are six points clear of the relegation zone, in which David Wagner’s 18th-placed Huddersfield remain two adrift of safety.
The hosts made a fairly lively start to the contest, with Laurent Depoitre volleying over in the fourth minute and Chris Lowe sending a bouncing shot wide in the 10th.
At the other end, Jonas Lossl took studs to the leg as he came out to meet Christian Atsu and push the ball away on the quarter-hour mark. The Terriers goalkeeper was fine to continue after receiving treatment.
Counterpart Martin Dubravka subsequently made a fine save as he tipped Philip Billing’s free-kick over the bar, before Lossl did well to block a Fabian Schar shot.
It was Huddersfield then doing most of the attacking for the remainder of the first half, during which the stadium floodlights dimmed briefly on two occasions.
Dubravka collected a tame Billing shot and smartly kept out a Lowe strike – although the flag was up for offside – while the most notable action besides from Newcastle was Jamaal Lascelles’ waist-high challenge on Depoitre, for which he was booked.
Early in the second half Atsu twice tried his luck on goal, seeing one shot caught and another parried by Lossl.
The Dane was then beaten as an incisive Newcastle move saw the ball worked from Ayoze Perez to Manquillo and on to Rondon, who slotted in.
As Huddersfield looked to hit back, Lowe brought a decent save out of Dubravka with a strike just before the hour mark and Depoitre then had a header saved.
Wagner’s side could muster little further than that, while Newcastle substitute Matt Ritchie’s effort was saved by Lossl late on.