Newcastle United secured a massive Premier League victory against Leicester City on Friday night and some Newcastle fans have singled out an unlikely player as their man of the match.
A goal from Ayoze Perez was enough to secure a 1-0 win at King Power stadium, but it was Isaac Hayden who received all the plaudits on the final whistle.
Rafa Benitez employed a masterful game plan against The Foxes, with Hayden being one of the key components.
Newcastle’s forwards and Hayden pushed high and applied pressure from the halfway line, the midfielder proving the biggest handful .
He constantly harried Leicester’s defenders throughout the first half, giving them no time on the ball.
On several occasions he got the better of them too, winning the ball in dangerous areas to create quick counter attacks.
His tireless work in the first 45 minutes was key to Newcastle fighting off any potential Leicester threat.
He constantly disrupted their rhythm and won the night’s midfield battle through sheer hard work.
In the second half Hayden sat deeper as Newcastle fought to hold their one-nil lead, but he continued to stifle The Foxes.
The ex-Arsenal man has already been praised for his recent form, but the significance of this result has led to more than ever.
The Leicester victory sees the Toon on 38 points for the season, ten more than 18th placed Cardiff.
It would now take a miraculous run from the Welsh side to escape relegation and Newcastle look safe.
As it is probably Hayden’s last season for the club, Newcastle supporters have been quick to recognise his contribution.
Newcastle fans react to Hayden performance
Everyone played great tonight. Ayoze was fantastic! However, my man of the match had to be Isaac Hayden. His break-up play was out of this world: best solo performance from a Newcastle player this season imo. HUGE WIN 🙌🏻 #NUFC
— NUFC Banter (@NUFC_Banter) April 12, 2019
I thought Isaac Hayden was unbelievable again tonight , I don't mind a player coming out and saying they want to leave as long as they give 100% when they put on the shirt , and he's done that every time . #NUFC #LeiNew #FNF
— James Smith (@Smithy95111) April 12, 2019
Isaac Hayden is incredible, puts in a shift week in week out. Turning into a top player. Not to mention his outstanding attitude. #nufc
— Sanjay (@nufcsanjay) April 12, 2019
One thing that can’t be underestimated is the important of Isaac Hayden since Christmas, the lads been top class and the ultimate professional! #NUFC
— Dan (@DZ1892) April 12, 2019
When Hayden finally leaves, if he ever comes back he will always be welcome. #nufc
— Ant (@furrygiblets) April 12, 2019
Issac Hayden, we want you to stay #NUFC
— Alex Hird (@hirdy_alex) April 12, 2019
Issac Hayden has to be up there for player of the season for #nufc. There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be saying 4/5 months ago.
— Chris Erswell (@chrisjwerswell) April 12, 2019