Newcastle United recovered from two consecutive defeats to beat Leicester City 1-0 with an Ayoze Perez header on Friday and moved 10 points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Spaniard glanced the ball into the top right corner of the net from Matt Ritchie’s cross to put Newcastle ahead after 32 minutes despite Leicester having dominated possession.
“It was a good game against a good team,” said Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez. “We did very well. Our players worked so hard. This relationship between the players and fans means a lot to us. The players and fans tried to do their best.”
Leicester, looking to secure a European spot next season under new coach Brendan Rodgers, had striker Jamie Vardy back.
Vardy had scored six goals in the club’s five matches under Rodgers, who joined from Celtic, but apart from an early chance that was saved he had little impact on the game.
Salomon Rondon almost put the visitors ahead when he hit the bar with a free-kick from 30 metres but they did not have to wait long for Perez to strike and they held on for the win.
Leicester remain seventh on 47 points, while Newcastle moved up to 13th on 38 with their first away win since December.
“It’s difficult to break down a team like that,” said Rodgers. “It’s an area we will get better at. There wasn’t a lot in the game, our final pass just wasn’t there but we gave everything. We couldn’t break down their defence.”