Mar 11, 2017 20:12:00
The Magpies were left embarrassed at St James’ Park with a brace by 16-year-old defender Ryan Sessegnon which saw Bighton catch up with them
The Championship leaders have now lost more matches at home than they have away (three) this season. The defeat made sure Brighton and Hove Albion caught up with them on top of the table following their 3-0 win against Derby County on Friday. But the Magpies have a better goals difference.
The visitors raced into an early lead via Tom Cairney in the 15th minute before Sessegnon scored a second half brace, with Nigerian Sone Aluko assisting both times.
Making his 10th start of 24 appearances all season, Atsu then assisted Daryl Murphy to score to make the scoreline more respectable on 76 minutes.
Youngster Sessegnon had an opportunity to score a hat trick when he was brought down in injury time but his American team mate Tim Ream took it instead. He sent the effort wide.
With nine matches left this season, Rafa Benitez’z men need to maintain their focus if they would succeed in shaking off the challenge of Brighton for the title. They remain six points ahead of Huddersfield in third place as the race for promotion into the Premier League heats up.