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Toon raiders put Derby to the sword

TALK OF THE TOON: Yoan Gouffran wheels away in delight after notching for Newcastle

NEWCASTLE UNITED moved to second in the Championship table as goals from Yoan Gouffran and DeAndre Yedlin sealed a 2-0 away victory against Derby.

After a cagey opening at the iPro Stadium, Rafael Benitez’s side took the lead in the 20th minute courtesy of a sublime, crisp first-time volley from Frenchman Gouffran.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s corner picked out the winger beyond the back stick, teeing Gouffran up to arrow an effort past Rams goalkeeper Scott Carson and midfielder Johnny Russell standing on the line at the near post.

Derby boss Nigel Pearson handed debuts to the attacking trio of Matej Vydra, James Wilson and Ikechi Anya, but it was the latter who stood out the most, the former Watford winger Anya looking sharp out wide and delivering a handful of dangerous balls into the box.

The home side, though, found it hard to fashion clear-cut chances against the promotion-chasing Magpies and it was Scottish midfielder Craig Bryson who came the closest to equalising after the break as his testing effort from the edge of the box stung the palms of Matz Sels in the Newcastle net, the stopper electing for safety first as he palmed the ball away rather than catching.

Newcastle, who came into the game on the back of three straight league wins, put the game beyond doubt in injury time as Yedlin turned home a cut back from Ayoze Perez, following a Derby defensive lapse.

The result means the rejuvenated Tyneside club are living up to their billing as one of the favourites for promotion to the top flight, having won five consecutive games in all competitions and sitting on 12 points in second and a place below Huddersfield at the summit of the Championship table.

Derby, meanwhile, have only scored once and taken five points from their opening six Championship games – a Craig Forsyth header away at Preston accounting to their only win of the campaign so far.

Speaking after the game, Benitez said: “We had more control in the first half and scored the goal. “Everything was easier, when I say easier I mean we knew what we had to do.

“In the second half they were pushing and pushing. We needed a second goal to finish it and then to enjoy. It’s been a tough day against a tough team and the main thing for me has been to see us working as a team from the strikers to the keeper.

“And also the players who came on from the bench. That is, for me, the most important thing for the future.”

Pearson said: “Our application was good, we took the game to our opponents but, unfortunately for us, conceded a goal probably when we were causing them quite a few problems.

"I thought we were very positive with how we started the game and, really for the whole of the first half, we had some positive moments. We had looked the team most likely to go in front and so it was a difficult one for the players to deal with when they went behind.

"I cannot fault the application.”

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