Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle took their goal tally past 150 on Saturday, just a day before the second anniversary of his appointment.
Kenedy’s second strike against Southampton was the milestone strike – the 150th goal the Magpies have scored in all competitions under Rafa – with Matt Ritchie’s second-half strike taking the running total to 151.
There have been scrappy goals, good goals and fortuitous goals, with some a combination of all three – Mo Diame against Brighton, of course – across three separate seasons.
Here, we pick out 10 of the best from the last two years…
Andros Townsend v Crystal Palace, April 2016
England international Townsend had scored an equally special goal in a miserable defeat at Southampton a couple of weeks earlier, but this one meant something, or so it seemed at the time.
The winger struck a majestic free-kick high into the Leazes End goal to earn what then appeared to be a vital three points. It was the highlight of Townsend’s short time on Tyneside.
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Yoan Gouffran v Derby County, September 2016
Gouffran’s time at St James’ Park had long since been up when he was surprisingly handed an opportunity by Rafa in the final year of his contract, soon starting regularly on the left side of midfield.
The Frenchman’s impact waned towards the end of the season, but his campaign had started with a bang. He struck a glorious right-footed volley from a corner to set up a key win at Pride Park.
Jonjo Shelvey v Queens Park Rangers, September 2016
Just three days after Gouffran thrashed a volley past Scott Carson, in-form midfielder Shelvey topped it with quite possibly the best goal Newcastle have scored in Rafa’s time at the club.
On a sweltering night in the capital, Newcastle ran riot and Shelvey’s swirling second-half effort – his second of the game – was the pick of the bunch.
Christian Atsu v Rotherham, October 2016
If Newcastle were to maintain a Championship promotion push, they would need to scrap for points away at the league’s lesser lights. Rotherham were certainly one of those.
In an inconsistent season, Atsu’s goals were marked by their quality rather than their quantity. The first was a real beauty, with the Ghanaian dipping inside from the right to arc a delightful finish into the far top corner.
Dwight Gayle v Leeds United, November 2016
This was the day Newcastle really made their mark as the team to beat in the second tier. Leeds had been making a lot of noise, but they were blown away by a clinical Magpies performance.
Gayle was the star of the show and his second goal came at the end of a wonderful team move, with the former Palace forward timing his run to slide Vurnon Anita’s pass home.
Dwight Gayle v Brentford, January 2017
It is probably safe to say Gayle has never been the same since pulling up with injury at Griffin Park, but he had already made his mark on that game.
Accelerating down the left, the nippy forward marked the end of a sublime purple patch with a breathtaking goal, hammering high past a helpless Daniel Bentley.
Ayoze Perez v Brighton and Hove Albion, February 2017
Newcastle took a huge step towards the title with victory on the south coast, with Perez following up a bizarre effort from Diame that had halted a confident home side.
This was a goal that combined the work of three players in top form, Matt Ritchie switching a stunning pass to Atsu, whose control and cross perfectly teed up Perez.
Matt Ritchie v Burton Albion, April 2017
This felt like a big night for Newcastle and the rotten decision to disallow Ritchie’s first-half penalty had an angry St James’ Park on edge.
Not to be denied a second time, though, the Scotland international darted inside from the left onto his weaker right foot, curling a wonderful shot into the top-right corner and celebrating in typically aggressive style.
Christian Atsu v Cardiff City, April 2017
It was party time in the Welsh capital as Newcastle fans celebrated the club’s promotion – and Sunderland’s demise – and Atsu struck the opener in an ultimately comfortable victory.
A breathtaking free-kick, Atsu made this look effortless. His strong finish to the season may well have sealed a permanent switch.
Kenedy v Southampton, March 2018
Newcastle scored a couple of brilliant counter-attacking goals earlier in the season away at West Ham United, but this goal – Kenedy’s second of a superb pair – was both measured and devastating, possibly resulting in a relatively comfortable run-in.
Perez pounced on a Mario Lemina mistake, flying away upfield and delaying his pass for the onrushing Gayle, who in turn picked out Kenedy to conclude a breathless breakaway.