Newcastle United 1:0 Leicester City
City paid the price for wasting early chances to score at a rain-lashed St James Park, and a good strike from Guthrie earned Newcastle the three points…
An attack-minded City line-up – with N’Guessan and Gallagher on the flanks – took the game to their hosts in the first half and should have gone down the tunnel with the lead.
In the 21st minute Howard got his head to an Oakley corner from the right but Harper pulled off a fine reaction save.
Newcastle had Harper to thank again in the 37th minute when he kept out a Gallagher free-kick, and then Fryatt wasted a chance just before the break when he shot wide while Howard and Gallagher were both waiting for a pass that would have given either of them a tap in.
In a tightly fought contest the first goal was always going to be hugely important, and it was the Magpies who found one in the 52nd minute when the centre of City’s defence opened up to allow Guthrie to smash home a fierce shot from the edge of the area.
City lost their way after that, and the chances dried up completely. Dyer came on for Gallagher and then Waghorn replaced Fryatt, but everything City tried broke down in the final third. At the other end Weale was kept busy fielding efforts from Smith, Nolan and Barton.
The final whistle confirmed City’s first league defeat since Peterborough back in March and although City lost it confirmed that this division has little to be afraid of. This was a missed opportunity to go into the international break in third place.
Newcastle: Harper, R Taylor, S Taylor, Enrique, Simpson, Barton (Kadar 89), Guthrie (Donaldson 85), Nolan, Geremi, Ranger (Vuckic 85), Smith. Subs Not Used: Krul, Lua Lua, Tozer, Baheng.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Berner, Hobbs, Neilson, Oakley, Wellens, Gallagher (Dyer 60), Fryatt (Waghorn 69), N’Guessan, Howard. Subs Not Used: King, Logan, Morrison, McGivern.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire). Attendance: 38,813.