'Wonderful', 'brilliant': Media stunned by Newcastle 25-year-old's display v Rayo today
Newcastle United ran out 2-1 winners over La Liga outfit Rayo Vallecano in Saturday’s friendly at St James’ Park.
The visitors fashioned the first chance on goal, but the Magpies took the lead after just four minutes.
Jacob Murphy cut the ball back for Sean Longstaff to rifle the ball into the roof of the Rayo net.
Newcastle then could’ve made it two on the half-hour mark, but Stole Dimitrievski kept out Murphy’s effort.
Eddie Howe’s charges then managed to double their lead midway through the second half.
Abdul Mumin brought Joe Willock down in the box as the midfielder headed for the byline.
Chris Wood stepped up and confidently dispatched his penalty into the upper corner of the Rayo goal.
The visitors pulled a goal back in the 75th minute through a Matt Targett own goal.
The left-back tried to cut out a cross but put it into his own net to get Rayo back into the game.
However, Newcastle held on for the win, a second in two games after hammering Al-Hilal 5-0 last week.
‘Needs A-game to stay in contention’
Quite a few Magpies players impressed on the day, with Longstaff earning the most plaudits.
Lee Ryder of Chronicle Live deemed the 25-year-old the man of the match and gave him 8 out of 10.
‘A wonderful strike and hard working display as he chased down Rayo,’ he wrote.
‘Knows he needs A-game to stay in contention these days. Man of the match.’
Likewise, Newcastle World gave Longstaff 8 out of 10 for his efforts on the day.
‘Ghosted into the penalty area on several occasions,’ they wrote.
‘Brilliant finish to open the scoring before goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski denied Longstaff again from a similar position.’
Shields Gazette completed a hat-trick of 8s for Longstaff.
‘Opened the scoring in fine fashion from a tight angle,’ they wrote.
‘Posed a threat ghosting into the box and was a calming presence in the middle of the park.’
Newcastle are back in action on Tuesday when they host Bournemouth in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
The Magpies then return to Premier League action on Monday with a trip to Leicester City.
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