Newcastle United clinch third consecutive win by overcoming Stoke City

The Newcastle captain ensured that Rafa Benitez's absence from the Liberty Stadium was not keenly felt

But he kept a low profile on his return as rejuvenated Toon made it three straight wins thanks to skipper Jamaal Lascelles after starting the season with a trio of defeats in league and cup.

It was the former Chelsea winger's first Premier League goal and Newcastle would have been out of sight had ex-Stoke striker Joselu not spurned a hat-trick of chances before Xherdan Shaqiri levelled on 57 minutes.

However, the Magpies beat the Hammers 3-0 before the worldwide break in the north east before recording a 1-0 victory against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium last time out.

"Hopefully the fans are enjoying and the team can carry on winning".

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France and Australia remain favourites to advance to the final, but neither takes a lead having shared the spoils in the opening round of singles matches.

However brief their stay may be, the locals among a crowd of 51,795 left St James' Park in jubilant mood after witnessing a third successive league win and perhaps dreaming, albeit fancifully, of the days when the club once mixed it with Europe's aristocrats.

Jamaal Lascelles was the hero once again for the Magpies by scoring the victor 68 minutes in after goals from Christian Atsu and Xherdan Shaqiri had the game on a knife's edge.

"We have to keep working hard and we know what we have in the team and the squad. We had enough chances to manage the game better".

"That was the disappointment because at that point, we had got back into the game and I thought we were growing into our performance and we may well have got something out of the game".

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