Newcastle United soared to the top of the Championship after a hard-fought defeat of Barnsley at Oakwell. It was a night when Newcastle again looked to have the street smarts to win the second tier. United were frustrated by the high-tempo strategy of Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom in the first half as they struggled to make a breakthrough against the highly-motivated Tykes. But attacking the massed banks of Newcastle fans in the second half, they made an early breakthrough when Dwight Gayle prodded home from close range. And he made it 11 goals in nine games with a superb finish to put United two up and on course for the top of the Championship. It’s the first time the Magpies have hit the summit and they were indebted to Fulham’s second half comeback at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers were two down in the first half but hit back to draw level with Norwich, who slip into second on a really good night for the Magpies. But who was the driving force behind the Newcastle away win? And who starred as United moved to the top of the second tier? Click below to see Lee Ryder’s player ratings as United secure another victory on their travels.
Newcastle United player ratings
Karl DARLOW 7
Still had to make a couple of important punches clear despite Barnsley’s lack of shots.
Vurnon ANITA 6
Solid but unspectacular at right-back – but who cares on nights like this?
Jamaal LASCELLES 7
Had to tread carefully after first half yellow card and simply did what he had to.
Ciaran CLARK 7
A towering presence at both ends.
Paul DUMMETT 6
Not everything came off for him.
Matt RITCHIE 8
Walked off to a standing ovation after a razor sharp performance.
Jonjo SHELVEY 7