Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Is Substance over Style, but Who Cares; WIN OVER TERRIERS SHOWS IT'S THE SIZE OF THE FIGHT IN THE DOG THAT COUNTS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It Is Substance over Style, but Who Cares; WIN OVER TERRIERS SHOWS IT'S THE SIZE OF THE FIGHT IN THE DOG THAT COUNTS

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHNGIBSON

NEWCASTLE'S under-pressure players have cancelled Christmas - but thankfully not abandoned hope.

A mixture of Santa Claus and Scrooge in chilly rain-lashed west Yorkshire was enough to bring festive cheer to Geordies who refuse to give up on this erratic team.

Salomon Rondon played Santa yet again with the decisive secondhalf goal while a Scrooge attitude in defence snuffed the life out of an increasingly doomed-looking Huddersfield.

The Terriers came to the table with the worst goals record in the top flight - only three scored at home in eight matches - while United had suffered the least away defeats (two) of any club outside of the top five.

Maybe that suggested a 0-0 draw. Certainly that one goal would be our lot if it came - just as it was twice last season when these two sides fought for survival.

So it turned out luckily in our favour. A victory which was absolutely essential was duly achieved and who cares if the rest of the country was not entertained to a rip-roaring display of the sweet science.

When you reside in a dungeon all you want is a glimpse of sunlight.

The win was doubly important because it not only gave United three invaluable points but kept the boot on the neck of an opponent which faces the increasing prospect of relegation.

Rondon produced the inspiration with the one bright move of a tepid match - Ayoze Perez swept the ball to Javier Manquillo, never a fan favourite, but his pass was sumptuous and Rondon buried with all the aggression of a heavyweight contender.

United were robbed of a second which would have made the run-in that much more comfortable when Perez was wrongly judged offside dinking over goalkeeper Jonas Lassi from a good Christian Atsu pass.

Yes, Huddersfield pounded United but there was no subtlety in their play, no element of surprise, and broad shoulders combined with big hearts blocked them out. …

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