Looks like Newcastle have finally found their feet in the Championship.

Dwight Gayle’s goal was enough for the Magpies to see off Bristol City, as Rafa Benitez’s side moved up to seventh in the Championship table.

The long return trip (or short plane ride, as the squad opted for) will be all the more enjoyable for the fans, who watched their side come away with their second win in four days.

But what did the 1-0 win teach us? Here’s a few lessons:

Newcastle United Unveil New Signing Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle Is Settling Nicely

This guy is a born goal scorer.

The way he took his goal was exceptional, controlling Mohamed Diame’s perfectly weighted pass perfectly, before firing into the net to end an excellent counter attack.

He also smashed the post with a stunning curling shot from outside the area in the second half, and will be a handful for any defence in this league.


Mats Sels Isn’t Convincing

Since arriving in the summer, Sels hasn’t had as great a start as the likes of Gayle and co.

The Belgian keeper made a mistake in pre-season, and hasn’t looked as solid as the likes of Tim Krul or Rob Elliot since the season began.

He flapped at another couple of high balls today, and one error almost led to a Bristol equaliser, only for it to trickle just wide with the keeper nowhere.

It’ll be interesting to see where Tim Krul fits into Rafa’s plans when he returns in the near future, especially with seemingly no interest from other clubs for his services.

Credit: Sky Sports


Rafa Likes To Tinker

Benitez once went 99 games without ever naming the same starting XI in consecutive games while in charge of Liverpool, and it’s easy to believe that stat looking at this season so far.

Anita continued at right back, but Paul Dummett was dropped to the bench, with Ciaran Clark moving to left back in his absence.

Another defender who is good in the air against a physical Bristol side was a good call, as Newcastle secured their first clean sheet of the season.

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Counter Attacking Is Key Away From Home

Newcastle found the style they needed to against Bristol, after struggling against Fulham in their last away game.

They got the ball up the field quickly when they won it back, but resisted the urge to smack it into the channels for Gayle to chase.

It worked too, as the goal proved, with Diame finding the killer ball the team has been looking for to open the scoring.


Mitrovic’s Return Should Spice Things Up

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s suspension is now over, and he’ll come back into the mix for Tuesday’s game at home to Cheltenham in the new ‘EFL Cup’.

He’ll likely start, too, and will be looking to prove that he can be either an alternative or a partner for Gayle up front.

The big-man/little-man combination could be perfect for Newcastle, but the Serbian will have to be on top of his game from the off if he is to find a way into Benitez’s side, because Gayle looks untouchable at the minute.