Apr 16, 2016 at 3pm UK at ​St James' Park
Attendance: 48,949
NewcastleNewcastle United
3-0
SwanseaSwansea City
Lascelles (40'), Sissoko (82'), Townsend (89')
Mbemba (22'), Anita (73')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Fer (9')

Live Commentary: Newcastle United 3-0 Swansea City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Newcastle United 3-0 Swansea City - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Newcastle United's 3-0 win over Swansea City, as the Magpies picked up a first victory under Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle United beat Swansea City 3-0 at St James' Park to move within three points of safety in the Premier League.

Jamaal Lascelles was the unlikely opening goalscorer, heading home from a corner to give the Magpies a lead they would not relinquish.

Second-half goals from Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend helped United over the line for just their seventh win of the season.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.


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2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Newcastle United and Swansea City at St James' Park. The Magpies are fast running out of time to save themselves from the drop but, with this the first of three home games left to play before the end of the campaign, a glimmer of hope still remains for supporters.

2.02pmSwansea will already have one eye on next season, meanwhile, having avoided a real scare of their own at the bottom end of the division by steering themselves well clear of the drop in recent weeks. All eyes are very much on the home side this afternoon, then, as they aim to pick up their first win of the Rafael Benitez reign at the fifth time of asking in the North East.

2.04pmTEAM NEWS!

NEWCASTLE UNITED XI: Darlow, Anita, Mbemba, Lascelles, Dummett, Colback, Tiote, Sissoko, Townsend, Wijnaldum, Cisse

SWANSEA CITY XI: Fabianski, Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Fer, Cork, Sigurdsson, Montero, Ayew, Paloschi


2.06pmStarting with a look at the home side, and manager Rafael Benitez has decided to ring the changes on the back of last weekend's defeat to Southampton. Five fresh faces have been brought into the starting lineup, including Jamaal Lascelles who deputises at the back for the injured Steve Taylor. The youngster had plenty to say on the back of the 3-1 reverse on the South Coast, with many of the Toon Army faithful responding to those words by calling for him to start this afternoon.

2.08pmWales international left-back Paul Dummett is another of those to be integrated back into the first-team fold, making his first appearance since the defeat to Bournemouth a little over a month ago. Vurnon Anita will shift to the opposite flank, meanwhile, filling in for Daryl Janmaat who misses out today due to a mixture of groin and hand injuries. It is rumoured that he punched the dressing room wall in frustration seven days ago, perhaps left embarassed by his slip which led to the Saints' second goal.

2.10pmThe big news is that skipper Jonjo Shelvey has been left out of the side, meaning he will have to wait for his first appearance against former side Swansea. Jack Colback is the man to replace him in the centre of the field following his recent suspension - a major boost for the Magpies as they go in search of a much-needed win. Papiss Cisse is called upon up front in place of Aleksandar Mitrovic, meanwhile, in what looks like a 4-4-1-1 formation for the hosts.

2.12pmWhile Benitez has decided to change half of his outfield players, opposition boss Francesco Guidolin sticks with a winning formula by picking an unchanged XI. Leon Britton has returned from a back injury which saw him miss last week's win over Chelsea, but he has to make to with a place among the subs for this clash. It is a full-strength squad for the Italian head coach to choose upon; one that includes an in-form Gylfi Sigurdsson in attacking midfield.

2.14pmThe Icelandic international has nine goals to his name already this calendar year - a tally only bettered by Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane who have 11 and 10 respectively. Sigurdsson will be provided the ammunition for Alberto Paloschi up top, who is given another chance to impress this afternoon for the Swans at a ground that they have really enjoyed competing at in recent times.

2.16pmBENCH WATCH!

NEWCASTLE UNITED SUBS: Woodman, De Jong, Shelvey, Obertan, Aarons, Perez, Mitrovic

SWANSEA CITY SUBS: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Amat, Britton, Routledge, Barrow, Gomis


2.18pmSo Shelvey is among the Newcastle subs this afternoon, then - a big call by Rafael Benitez to omit his captain for what is one of the biggest matches in the Toon's recent past. Mitrovic will be a little disappointed to miss out, having hit a bit of form prior to last weekend's defeat to Southampton, but Cisse is instead preferred. Swansea have the returning Britton among their back-up options, while Mo Barrow - so impressive at Bournemouth recently - will be eager to play some part.

2.20pmJonjo Shelvey, who left Swansea City under somewhat of a cloud in the January transfer window, is left out of Newcastle United's starting lineup against his former side this afternoon. Jack Colback returns from suspension to take the England international's spot in central midfield, as Rafael Benitez makes five changes to his starting lineup.

Swansea player Jonjo Shelvey in action during the Capital One Cup Second Round match between Swansea City and York City at Liberty Stadium on August 25, 2015© Getty Images


2.22pmThere is of course a huge match taking place elsewhere in the Premier League today that will have big implications for Newcastle. Sunderland lead Norwich City 2-0 at Carrow Road in the day's early kickoff, meaning Newcastle need to win this afternoon to stay within touching distance of their rivals. A draw from that one probably would have been the best result, but United have at least avoided the threat of being left nine points adrift of safety.

2.24pmRegardless of the result in that match at Carrow Road, Newcastle know the importance of getting the job done this afternoon. Just a handful of games now remain in the Premier League, and the likelihood is that the Toon Army will be making trips to Brentford and Rotherham next season rather than Old Trafford and the Emirates Stadium. Just four points taken from the last 30 on offer says all you need to know about the Magpies' current form.

2.26pmBringing Benitez to the club was one major coup, but the Spaniard's appointment has yet to have the desired effect. One point from a possible 12, coming in a well-earned draw at home to Sunderland, is all Newcastle have to show since the ex-Real Madrid boss took charge. Last weekend's 3-1 reverse at the hands of Southampton, including one of the worst first-half displays you are likely to see, was surely the nadir of Benitez's tenure.

2.28pmUnited also lost 3-2 to Norwich prior to that - a major setback that put a nail in the famous club's relegation coffin. It almost felt as though relegation had been accepted by many of the players at St Mary's last weekend, which could explain why Benitez has decided to overhaul half of his starting outfield side this afternoon. This next week really will make things a little more clearer, though, as United face Swansea and Manchester City in back-to-back home games.

2.30pmThe Magpies also face Liverpool (a), Palace (h), Villa (a) and Spurs (h) in the end-of-season run-in; a rather mixed bag of fixtures that will determine whether Premier League football or Championship football is played at this footballing cathedral next year. There has been talk this week that Benitez could stay in charge even if the club drop down to the second tier for the second time in seven seasons, but that is highly unlikely with the Spaniard on a number of sides' radars.

2.32pmDID YOU KNOW? Newcastle United's current tally of 25 points from 32 games is their worst ever in the Premier League era, surpassing the previous low of 30 points in 2008-09 when they last faced the drop. The Magpies have lost just one of their last five games on home soil, though, which bodes well with back-to-back home games to come over the next few days.

2.34pmThe 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion here on February 6 was actually United's last three-point haul, with six of their seven games since then ending in defeat. Furthermore, they have shipped three or more goals in 10 of their league games this term - a tally only matched by a dire Aston Villa side who will surely see their relegation fate confirmed in the coming hours.

2.36pmUnited have certainly not been helped by the loss of both Tim Krul and replacement Rob Elliot to injury in that regard, but there is one chilling stat that suggests it does not really matter who Benitez has available to him. The Magpies have incredibly failed to win a match in the month of April for the last three seasons now, losing the last 11 in a row. Defeat this afternoon, you feel, and the Magpies can surely begin preparing for life in the Championship.

2.38pmThe full-time whistle has just sounded at Carrow Road, where Sunderland have picked up a vital 3-0 win over Norwich City. That will be a bitter pill for the Toon Army faithful to swallow, but it does mean the gap on safety can be cut by three points with a win on home soil this afternoon. The Black Cats climb up to 30 points for the season, while 17th-place Norwich are on 31 - six ahead of United who have two games in hand.

2.40pmRafael Benitez has taken just one point from a possible 12 on offer since being appointed as Newcastle United manager, but the Spaniard can take his side to within three points of safety with a victory over Swansea City this afternoon. That is because Norwich have suffered a heavy defeat to fellow strugglers Sunderland this afternoon, meaning the relegation dogfight will likely go right down to the wire.

Rafael 'show me the money' Benitez gestures during the Premier League game between Newcastle United and Sunderland on March 20, 2016© Getty Images


2.42pmPlenty of focus on Newcastle this afternoon, then, but what about visitors Swansea City? Well their relegation fears have completely evaporated in recent weeks, with last week's impressive - and very rare - win over Chelsea essentially sealing another season of top-flight football in South Wales. It has been far from a stellar campaign, but one that will end on a high following the news of an impending American-led takeover.

2.44pmGuidolin deserves credit for improving the Swans' fortunes since taking charge, helping to ease those fears over a drop down to the Championship and instead guiding his side into contention for a top-half finish. The Welsh outfit are currently 13th in the table, just four points off the top 10 and now 13 clear of the bottom three. Four wins in the last six is to thank for that, with some renewed confidence in the side over the past month.

2.46pmThis upturn in fortunes all started with the successive wins over Norwich and Arsenal a month ago, culminating in that 1-0 triumph over Chelsea seven days ago that was arguably the Swans' best all-round performance of the season. City have a tough run-in to see out the campaign, but the margin on the bottom three is now surely too much to be dragged into a relegation battle over the closing weeks of the term.

2.48pmSwansea have won only one of their last five away games, however, losing two and drawing two of those recent fixtures. It is also now just one clean sheet in 16 on their travels, which suggests that the backline still needs further tightening during the summer. Keeping hold of Ashley Williams will be key, with the club captain being linked with a move away from the club once again in recent weeks.

2.50pmIt is worth pointing out that Swansea were actually below Newcastle when Guidolin officially took charge of the club on January 24. Since then the Magpies have continued to stall while the Swans have pulled away in some style over the last four weeks or so. They are now 13 clear of the drop and there is talk of the Italian head coach remaining in charge next term - as originally planned - despite Brendan Rodgers potentially being available in the summer.

2.52pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Swansea are unbeaten in their last four league visits to St James' Park, winning on their last three trips here. The Swans have also won six of the last seven overall, drawing the other match in that run. The reverse meeting finished 2-0 to City back in August, with Gomis and Ayew the men on the scoresheet in either half.

2.54pmWith kickoff now a little over five minutes away, let us check out some of the pre-match thoughts from both camps heading into this Premier League showdown.

Rafael Benitez: "What I can see is a group of players training really well, trying to do what we want to do and I don't see any fear. I know that they are really upset and disappointed because of the last result against Southampton and the way we played in the first half, so hopefully they will show the fans what the fans are expecting from them - fight until the end, give everything - and that has to be the key for us for the next games."

Francesco Guidolin: "The priority was the table and I know we played well sometimes and sometimes not well, but we still had results. The perfect situation is to play well and win but you cannot do it every time. In the future, for these five games at least, I hope to see my team play well. We must still be focused, but we can also play with spirit and I think it's possible."


2.56pmSo Benitez still confident of survival, then, although the Spaniard knows that far more fighting spirit needs to be shown this afternoon compared to what was witnessed at St Mary's seven days ago. The Magpies are running out of time to claw their way to safety, with this essentially a must-win game if they are to reduce the gap on Sunderland and Norwich City above them in the table.

2.58pmBoth sets of players are now out on the field of play, with kickoff just a matter of moments away. What a huge occasion this is for the Magpies; one which they simply must win in order to gain some much-needed momentum at this critical stage of the campaign.



1 minKICKOFF! We are underway at St James' Park, where Swansea have made a fairly confident start to the match by getting at their opponents early on. No pressure on the visitors, really, so we could see a few of their attacking stars play with a little freedom today.

3 minMontero, back in the starting lineup in recent games, wins his side a corner inside the first few minutes. It was rather wasted, in truth, but the ball did eventually fall to Cork who hammered it high into the stands from the edge of the box.

5 minNewcastle in control of the game now, knocking it around at the back perhaps in an attempt to just settle themselves a little. It was a bright start for the Swans, but they have been made to sit back a little more in recent minutes.

7 minFabianski plucks Townsend's cross out of the air in an assured manner, denying Cisse his first meaningful touch of the contest. A decent spell for Newcastle, this, but one which they have so far not really made the most of in an attacking sense.

9 minCisse decides to take on a shot from 25 yards out, hitting the ball a good few metres over the crossbar. No denying that the Magpies are now the side on top, but a sloppy pass at the back almost led to Sigurdsson being played through.

11 minSAVE! A cross from the right looked to be dipping under Fabianski's bar if not for a crucial grasping save from the Polish keeper. The ball was only cleared as far as Townsend, who cut inside in trademark style and blasted a decent shot on target for Fabianski to save. Leroy Fer was also booked for a challenge in the build-up to that attack.

13 minFabianski actually clattered into the post when making that initial save, leading to a short stoppage in play. Cork the latest to receive some treatment which is really halting the flow of the game. Benitez will be the happier of the two managers so far - much better from his side already.

15 minSissoko does not boast the finest goalscoring record, so it came as no real surprise to see his shot from range fly high over the bar. Newcastle certainly not scared to take on shots, perhaps looking to catch Fabianski off guard a little.

17 minSwansea still unable to really find any flow in the opening quarter of this match, playing very much like a side marooned in mid-table. Atmosphere is not great inside St James' Park this afternoon, it must be said, but home supporters were certainly pleased to see Townsend get a shot on goal a little earlier.

19 minFollowing on from that last point, City are still struggling to find any rhythm in attack - another stray pass from Cork in the attacking third bringing their latest move to an abrupt halt. United really need to make the most of their opponents' sluggish start.

21 minYELLOW CARD! Colback loses possession which allows Montero to burst down the left flank. The winger gets past one man before knocking the ball around Mbemba and being hauled down by his opponent. Referee Lee Mason left with little choice but to go into his pocket.

23 minGylfi Sigurdsson has been in inspired form since the turn of the year, but he has just provided a contender - and likely winner - of worst free-kick of the season. Twenty-five yards out, the Icelandic international lost his footing and picked out Row Z.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scores the equaliser during the Premier League game between Bournemouth and Swansea City on March 12, 2016© Getty Images


25 minNot seen a great deal of action over the past 10 minutes or so, but it is Newcastle who have had the better of things on the whole. Still just the one shot on target so far, being provided by Andros Townsend around 10 minutes in at St James' Park.

27 minUnited just stepping things up a little more over the past couple of minutes in search of an opener. A corner is won on the left after Ayew did well to block a cross destined for the danger area, but it sailed right through the box.

29 minSo a promising enough opening 30 minutes for the hosts, although Benitez will be hoping that Fabianski has more to do over the remaining two thirds of the contest. Not seen anything from the Welsh outfit so far, but they will surely only get better.

31 minJust a reminder that Sunderland beat Norwich 3-0 earlier today at Carrow Road, meaning Newcastle can close the gap on the Canaries to just three point with a win here. No sign of a breakthrough at the moment, though, in what has been a disappointing match thus far.

33 minCHANCE! The first real chance of the match falls Newcastle's way. Lascelles picked out Cisse down the flank with a straightforward pass, which the striker flicked perfectly into the path of Colback. The returning midfielder was through on goal, albeit at a tight angle, only to pick out Fabianski with his shot.

35 minSwansea get in behind their opponents for the first time today as the ball is poked through for Paloschi. The January signing decided to pull the ball back across goal, rather than taking on the shot from a tight angle, and it was deflected into the hands of Darlow. Game has come to life at long last!

37 minMontero gets in behind this time, but Mbemba does superbly to get a touch to the ball at the expense of a corner. Had to get that recovering challenge spot on, which he did successfully. City asking real questions of their opponents now.

39 minSHOT! Townsend gets in his second shot of the match, rather dragging his attempt from around 30 yards out which Fabianski easily got down to collect. Not enough power or direction to get the better of the Swans' No.1 from that range.

40 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE UNITED 1-0 SWANSEA CITY (JAMAAL LASCELLES)

41 minNewcastle United have made the breakthrough at St James' Park, via young defender Lascelles. The central defender did superbly to get on the end of a corner into the box, simply slipping past marker Sigurdsson and just about powering the ball past Fabianski who perhaps could have done better to keep it out.

43 minFabianski will be unhappy not to have kept that Lascelles header out, as the Swans' set-piece woes continue into these closing weeks of the season. Neither side truly deserves to be ahead at this stage, but credit to the Magpies for making the most of their big chance.

45 minNewcastle have done well to thwart their opponents since going ahead, simply seeing out the remaining minutes until the interval. Two more minutes left before the teams head back down the tunnel at the end of a first half that has improved as it has gone on.

45+2 minWijnaldum is clipped by Fernandez right on the edge of the box, but referee Lee Mason clearly did not see it and angers home supporters by not awarding a set-piece. Just a few seconds remaining of the opening 45 minutes.

45+3 minHALF TIME: NEWCASTLE UNITED 1-0 SWANSEA CITY

3.48pmSo Newcastle take a slender lead into the interval thanks to Lascelles' crucial opener around five minutes before the break. It has been far from a classic so far, in truth, but the game has certainly had its moments - the best of which arrived when the young defender powered his header past Fabianski.

3.51pmFabianski was called into action 11 minutes in to keep out Townsend's long-range drive in a fairly routine manner, having clawed a shot-cross of his goal-line just moments beforehand. The visitors really struggled to find their attacking groove, and they were nearly behind when Townsend against took on a shot from distance which was once more kept out by Fabianski.

3.54pmThe only other real chance of the half also fell the Magpies' way, as Lascelles played the ball up the flank for Cisse who in turn flicked the ball into the path of Colback. The midfielder was through on goal but failed to get the better of Fabianski, but the opener did arrive shortly after to give United a crucial lead.

3.57pmBENCH WATCH!

NEWCASTLE UNITED SUBS: Woodman, De Jong, Shelvey, Obertan, Aarons, Perez, Mitrovic

SWANSEA CITY SUBS: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Amat, Britton, Routledge, Barrow, Gomis


4.00pmThe second half at St James' Park is just a couple of minutes away now. Newcastle currently lead 1-0 thanks to Jamaal Lascelles' header shortly before the interval.

Jack Colback and Gylfi Sigurdsson during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City on April 16, 2016© Getty Images


46 minRESTART! Swansea get proceedings back underway in the North East, aiming to overturn this one-goal deficit. Guidolin no doubt had a few stern words to say at the interval - the first-half showing from his side simply was not good enough.

48 minA decent cross into the box is met by Angel Rangel, who simply ghosted in at the back post to power a shot narrowly wide. Newcastle caught sleeping a little in the early stages of this second half, and could well have been pegged back there.

50 minFernandez a little fortunate to avoid seeing a yellow card when clumsily bringing down Townsend on the right. It was well swung in by the Englishman; one of those which required just the smallest of touches to take it past Fabianski, but it did not arrive.

52 minTownsend looking lively already in this second period, doing well down his flank before pulling the ball back for Colback. The ex-Sunderland man got under his strike, however, sending it high into the stands. Some more shooting practice required.

54 minCisse clean through on goal, only for the offside flag to be raised on the far side. United doing well to restrict their opponents, but will a one-goal margin be enough to see them over the line?

56 minCLOSE! Guidolin appears to be readying a couple of players to come on. His side were nearly on level terms a few moments ago, as Ayew's shot is brilliantly blocked away by Mbemba. A second cross comes in which Paloschi heads wide from his first attempt of the match.

58 minSWANSEA CITY SUB! Barrow is introduced in place of Fer with a little over half an hour remaining at St James' Park. The Swans enjoying their best spell of the match pretty much, with two half-chances prior to this sub.

60 minAll gone very quiet again in the North East, which will suit Newcastle more so than their opponents for obvious reasons. Just 30 minutes left for United to see out now, but Swansea were inches from levelling through that Paloschi header.

62 minSHOT! Townsend is really up for it today, looking to pull off the most audacious of goals. His first touch to take down Wijnaldum's cross was good, but his back-heeled flick - not quite on target - was less impressive. Just short of 49,000 spectators inside St James' Park today, incidentally.

64 minNEWCASTLE UNITED SUB! Jonjo Shelvey has entered the fray, coming on for Tiote 26 minutes from time against his former side. The central midfielder needs to roll his sleeves up here in an attempt to get his current side back on top.

66 minUnited struggling to win back possession at the moment, with Swansea in the ascendency. The visitors not really troubling their opponents all that much, though, and were forced all the way back to their goalkeeper when pressed by the Magpies.

68 minCity still pretty much dominating things in terms of possession, but they have created so few chances this afternoon. One goal may not be enough for the Magpies at this rate, although they will not be too nervous just yet.

70 minCLOSE! Glorious chance for Swansea, but it falls to the wrong man. A headed clearance fell into the path of Ashley Williams inside the box, only for the central defender to blast it inches wide of the target. May have even grazed the post on its way through.

72 minSWANSEA CITY SUB! Ayew has been replaced by Gomis for the Swans. Newcastle just having to hold on a little bit at the moment, struggling to really find their rhythm over the past 15 minutes or so.

74 minNEWCASTLE UNITED SUB! Ayoze Perez has replaced Wijnaldum for the hosts, meaning a fresh pair of legs up top. It has been three months since he last found the net - what home supporters would give for just one more this afternoon! Anita is booked for his sloppy tackle.

Rafael Benitez during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Swansea City on April 16, 2016© Getty Images


76 minCHANCE! Another big, big chance for Swansea goes begging. Montero is slotted through on goal with only Darlow to beat, but he fails to even find the target when firing wide of the target. United desperately holding on all of a sudden.

78 minCHANCE! Superb work from Barrow down the right, taking on his man and laying it off perfectly for Gomis. The substitute's first touch only strengthened his hopes of finding the net, but he somehow scooped his shot over the bar. Yet another chance goes begging for the Swans.

80 minNEWCASTLE UNITED SUB! Aleksandar Mitrovic is the latest attacking player brought on by Benitez, replacing Cisse late on. Three in three for him, but can he finally give the hosts some breathing space with another? This is his time to shine.

82 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE UNITED 2-0 SWANSEA CITY (MOUSSA SISSOKO)

83 minNewcastle put together their first attack in what feels like an eternity, leading to a corner which is turned home by Sissoko. The Magpies got very lucky, as a couple of ricochets saw the ball fall nicely for the midfielder to smash home from five yards out. What a relief for home supporters!

85 minSWANSEA CITY SUB! Just a case of seeing the job through for Newcastle now. Routledge has been introduced for the disappointing Paloschi for these closing stages, but surely it's game over for the visitors who need two goals in five minutes.

87 minRafael Benitez's name is being chanted by every section - bar the away end - of St James' Park. What a massive, massive win this will be for the hosts. Newcastle are the side looking more likely to bag the game's third goal, in fact.

89 minGOAL! NEWCASTLE UNITED 3-0 SWANSEA CITY (ANDROS TOWNSEND)

90 minWell that seals it! Swansea have completely collapsed, conceding for a third time at St James' Park. Mitrovic created it with his strength; slipping in Townsend who did the rest by picking out the bottom corner when left one-on-one with Fabianski.

90+2 minWhat an afternoon this has been for Newcastle, who are now within three points of Norwich. Just two minutes of added time to come here, with United now focusing on keeping a clean sheet. Mitrovic failed to add a fourth when played through.

90+4 minFULL TIME: NEWCASTLE UNITED 3-0 SWANSEA CITY

4.56pmSo there we have it - Newcastle United pick up three valuable points to close in on safety in the Premier League. They have one game in hand over Norwich City in 17th, who are now just three points ahead. Andros Townsend, Moussa Sissoko and Jamaal Lascelles proved to be the heroes, setting the Magpies up for what should be a thrilling end to the season.

4.58pmWell that concludes our live text coverage of events at St James' Park, but be sure to stick around for reaction aplenty from across the Premier League on another massive afternoon in the English top flight.

Angelo Ogbonna Obinza of West Ham United competes for the ball against Jonjo Shelvey and Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United at St James' Park on January 16, 2016
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