Captain Lascelles the Newcastle hero: 3 key things we learned from Swansea 0-1 Newcastle

Jamaal Lascelles was the hero at both ends of the pitch, saving a certain goal before scoring the winner. Here are three talking points from the game.

Newcastle United won a second successive Premier League game as captain Jamaal Lascelles won the game at both ends of the pitch. Not only did he head home the winner, he made a decisive goal-line clearance only moments earlier to keep the Magpies in the game.

Tammy Abraham was close to giving the Swans the lead towards the end of the game, only for Lascelles to reach the ball before it crossed the line.

We also saw our first glimpse of Renato Sanches in a Swansea shirt, with the former European Golden Boy joining the Swans on loan from Bayern Munich on deadline day, but it was clear he needs time to settle into England.

Here are three things to take away from the Liberty Stadium.

  1. 1 Red card rules need changing

    After the apparent doubt over Sadio Mane's red card on Saturday, there would always be another high foot incident on Sunday.

    Early in the second half, Matt Ritchie escaped with only a yellow card after what looked an identical challenge to Mane's high boot on Ederson. Ritchie failed to contact Alfie Mawson whereas Mane did. 

    However, by the letter of the law, both challenges were red cards offences as they were endangering an opponent, even if there was no intent, or even in Ritchie's case, contact.

    Perhaps then, there needs to be a change in the rules? Does it mean that every time a player's foot is high and near an opponent it is a red card?

    If so, consistency must be shown by the referees, contact or not. There needs to be clarity about why certain challenges are a red card, and others only a yellow.

  2. 2 Renato Sanches needs time

    A lot has been made about Swansea City being able to capture former European Golden Boy Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich on loan. 

    However, Sanches has risen to fame early in his career and whilst he's a wonderful talent, he's still only a young lad who has played little first-team football in the past year.

    Football is an unforgiving game, with time a luxury rarely afforded to anyone, yet many are expecting Sanches to perform straight away.

    Key Stat: Renato Sanches lost possession 10 times, five more than any other player.

    The Portuguese international is best served as a box-to-box midfielder and will lack in match sharpness. It may take a few games before the former Benfica man is up to scratch.

    He showed flashes of quality and what he is all about against Newcastle but will need a regular run of games to bring consistency.

  3. 3 Newcastle will survive with Benitez in charge

    He may have been ill, but the work the Spaniard does on the training ground is obvious.

    They may have had a horrendous start to the season, losing their opening two, however, two wins in a row since then have Newcastle fans feeling far more positive.

    The Magpies may lack someone who can score regularly in the Premier League, therefore defensive organisation and the ability to grind out wins will be crucial for Newcastle's survival aspirations. The Magpies should be able to rough out enough wins to stay in the Premier League this year.

    However, if they wish to challenge further towards the top of the league, a striker and second striker/number 10 who can develop a relationship with one another and score ten plus goals each is crucial.

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