Premier League
NewcastleNewcastle United3SwanseaSwansea City0

Newcastle United 3-0 Swansea City

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Moussa Sissoko
Moussa Sissoko celebrates scoring Newcastle's second goal - the Frenchman's first of the season

Newcastle claimed a first win under Rafael Benitez as they overcame Swansea to bolster their chances of Premier League survival.

Jamaal Lascelles headed in from a corner to put Newcastle in front towards the end of an edgy first half.

Ashley Williams and Jefferson Montero missed chances as the Swans dominated after the break, but Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend struck late goals.

Newcastle are now three points adrift of safety, while Swansea drop to 15th.

Relegation fight 'going down to the wire'

Relive the action from St James' Park

Hope for Newcastle

Newcastle had found themselves in the unfamiliar position of cheering a Sunderland victory earlier in the day.

Their rivals' win at fellow strugglers Norwich kept Newcastle within six points of safety going into this encounter, and Benitez's side seemed buoyed by that result.

They started at a quick tempo and forced Swansea's Lukasz Fabianski into early saves from Vurnon Anita and Andros Townsend.

The first half failed to ignite, however, as the tension of Newcastle's predicament made for an uneasy atmosphere at St James' Park.

That was until Townsend's corner found Lascelles, who shrugged off Gylfi Sigurdsson's tug to head in via a deflection from Fabianski.

There were some anxious moments for the home crowd as Swansea pressed in the second half, but Sissoko's low strike from another Townsend corner settled those nerves.

Townsend himself added a final gloss to the scoreline - and took Newcastle's goal difference to within one of Norwich's - with a calm, low finish as time ticked down.

Swans lacking purpose

Having already amassed 40 points and all but secured a sixth successive season in the Premier League, Swansea had little to play for.

Francesco Guidolin's men had won on their last three visits to St James' Park but lacked purpose and intensity on this occasion.

Ecuadorian winger Montero, impressive in the preceding win over Chelsea, was erratic, while other usually influential players such as Sigurdsson struggled to impose themselves on the game.

Lascelles' goal also exposed a vulnerability at set-pieces, which Guidolin had previously highlighted as a concern.

Swansea improved in the second half but squandered their chances to equalise, with Williams powering a half-volley wide and Montero missing from close range.

What happens next?

Newcastle's 2015-16 run-in
Tue 19 AprilMan City (H)
Sat 23 AprilLiverpool (A)
Sat 30 AprilCrystal Palace (H)
Sat 7 MayAston Villa (A)
Sun 15 MayTottenham (H)

Newcastle have now narrowed the gap between themselves and Norwich in 17th place to three points.

Benitez's side have a game in hand, albeit against Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City, at home on Tuesday.

Encouragingly for Newcastle, three of their remaining five matches are at St James' Park with the penultimate fixture against already relegated Aston Villa.

Man of the match - Jamaal Lascelles

Jamaal Lascelles
The centre-back (left) contributed to a dogged defensive display and scored Newcastle's crucial opening goal

What they said

Newcastle 3-0 Swansea: Rafael Benitez pleased with Magpies' passion

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: "I have to say congratulations to the players. They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it's easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win.

"The players that started were really good. And the other players who came on helped the team. Today we saw what we expect from this team. We have to show the same in the other games."

Newcastle 3-0 Swansea: Bad day for the Swans - Francesco Guidolin

Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin: "I think Newcastle deserved to win. In the second half we had situations and possibilities to score. It's a bad day for us. We have to look ahead to the next match away to Leicester.

"I know my job and I know football. We know that Newcastle play with fight, but we were ready for this game. These things can happen. After many important results this was not a good day."

Stats you need to know

  • Andros Townsend has already assisted as many Premier League goals for Newcastle (two) in eight appearances as he did for Tottenham in 50 appearances.
  • Swansea lost an away Premier League game by three goals for the first time since December 2014, when they were beaten 4-1 at Liverpool.
  • Newcastle kept only their second clean sheet in their last 18 Premier League games.
  • The Swans failed to score in an away Premier League game for the first time in 2016.
  • Rafael Benitez became the second Premier League manager to win on his birthday on two occasions, along with Arsene Wenger.

Line-ups

Newcastle

  • 26Darlow
  • 8AnitaBooked at 73mins
  • 18MbembaBooked at 22mins
  • 15Lascelles
  • 3Dummett
  • 24TiotéSubstituted forShelveyat 66'minutes
  • 4Colback
  • 25Townsend
  • 7Sissoko
  • 5WijnaldumSubstituted forPérezat 73'minutes
  • 9CisséSubstituted forMitrovicat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10de Jong
  • 12Shelvey
  • 14Obertan
  • 16Aarons
  • 17Pérez
  • 41Woodman
  • 45Mitrovic

Swansea

  • 1Fabianski
  • 22Rangel
  • 33Fernandez
  • 6Williams
  • 3Taylor
  • 24Cork
  • 8FerBooked at 9minsSubstituted forBarrowat 57'minutes
  • 10A AyewSubstituted forGomisat 71'minutes
  • 23G Sigurdsson
  • 20Montero
  • 9PaloschiSubstituted forRoutledgeat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Amat
  • 7Britton
  • 13Nordfeldt
  • 15Routledge
  • 18Gomis
  • 26Naughton
  • 58Barrow
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
48,949

Match Stats

Home TeamNewcastleAway TeamSwansea
Possession
Home34%
Away66%
Shots
Home12
Away11
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ayoze Pérez with a through ball.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Angel Rangel.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Wayne Routledge with a cross following a corner.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Jack Colback.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Paul Dummett.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Chancel Mbemba.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0. Andros Townsend (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic with a through ball.

  10. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  11. Post update

    Delay in match Jack Cork (Swansea City) because of an injury.

  12. Post update

    Federico Fernández (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United).

  14. Post update

    Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United).

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a headed pass.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Swansea City. Wayne Routledge replaces Alberto Paloschi.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).

  19. Post update

    Andros Townsend (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Newcastle United 2, Swansea City 0. Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester33219357312672
2Tottenham331811460253565
3Man City33186961332860
4Arsenal32178755332259
5Man Utd33168940301056
6West Ham321313652401252
7Southampton341491145351051
8Liverpool3113995042848
9Stoke33138123743-647
10Chelsea331111114945444
11Everton33914105344941
12Watford33118143237-541
13Bournemouth33118144055-1541
14West Brom331010133140-940
15Swansea341010143445-1140
16Crystal Palace33108153542-738
17Norwich3487193560-2531
18Sunderland3379173957-1830
19Newcastle3377193561-2628
20Aston Villa3437242365-4216
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