It has not been a fun season for Newcastle fans so far, but Sunday was a day to cherish for everyone associated with the club.
There was no talk of lack of investment. No angst towards the board. No rumblings of the players not being good enough. No players shirking at the thought of responsibility.
Insead, there was a club united that roared once again with a famous victory against Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in world football.
Before this victory, Newcastle had not beaten any side in the top half of the Premier League, one of the reasons for their almost perilous position in the league table.
With results going against them over the weekend and leaving the Magpies in the bottom three before kick off at St James’ Park, it looked like Newcastle were going to be punished for missed opportunities against Swansea, Crystal Palace and Burnley.
The lack of Islam Slimani in the match day squad made it appear an almost impossible task, with fans asking each other: “How on earth are we going to get anything out of this?”
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However, the Algerian’s absence was irrelevant, as every Newcastle player who was involved did all they could to get three points, wearing the shirt with pride and putting their bodies on the line for the special club that they represent.
Their effort was rewarded as the fans reacted to every tackle like it was a goal, roaring the team on as they went in search of a famous win.
Even poor officiating could not stop Newcastle this week, as Craig Pawson failed to spot an obvious foul on Dwight Gayle inside the box during the first half.
Newcastle would not be denied though, and found the breakthrough via Matt Ritchie, who picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season.
It has been hard to watch Newcastle at times this season, as they struggle to compete with the Premier League’s elite, whilst missing opportunities against teams around them which could have seen them nearing towards safety already.
However, one thing that Newcastle have not missed this season is heart and desire on the pitch, and that is what got them three points against Manchester United.
Beating one of the best teams in the country is always special, but it felt even more so considering the club’s predicament and how the campaign has gone so far.
If Newcastle can perform with that level of heart, desire and will to win every week, then there is no chance that we will be playing Championship football next season.
Thank you to the Newcastle players who gave their all on Sunday and to Rafa Benitez who continues to unite a divided club. It was days like Sunday that remind you why supporting Newcastle United is the thrill ride you just never want to get off.
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