Newcastle boss Benitez delighted with matchwinner Ayoze Perez

English Premier League Report: Leicester City v Newcastle United 12

Newcastle took a big step toward Premier League survival by winning 1-0 at Leicester on Friday, with Ayoze Perez scoring the first-half victor for Rafa Benitez's side.

Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game in the 32nd minute when he headed in from Matt Ritchie's cross.

The Magpies' forward Salomon Randon nearly lit up the match in the 15th minute with a fiercely struck free-kick from just over 25-yards out that crashed against the underside of the crossbar.

Set-piece specialist James Maddison wasted a free-kick from a good position in the 75th minute and Jamie Vardy fluffed his lines later still with a miss that summed up Leicester's lack of clinical edge.

"38 points should be enough and that means a lot". It was one of those nights where it didn't quite come off for us. Benitez's contract expires at the end of the season.

Leicester stayed in seventh place, tied on points with Wolverhampton Wanderers having played two games more. That's what happened in my second season here, we were relegated with a great team. His seven tackles were more than anyone else on the pitch recorded.

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Valverde fielded an nearly unrecognizable starting 11 on Saturday in a 0-0 draw at Huesca , the Spanish league's bottom team. Udinese remained four points above the bottom three.

Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their first goal with Miguel Almiron.

The last time Leicester won a Premier League game in which they trailed at half was in October 2015 against West Bromwich Albion.

- Leicester City completed 649 passes, their highest total in a Premier League game since 2003-04 (when Opta began recording this data); indeed, three of their four highest successful pass tallies in this time in the division have been recorded in their six fixtures under Brendan Rodgers.

They also looked the more threatening team every time they went forward, with Salomon Rondon the ideal target man as he allowed his teammates to work off him.

And Perez believes the result was the most important yet this season given that it has nearly certainly ensured another season of Premier League football on Tyneside. Only in 1994-95 (10) and 2001-02 (nine) have they lost more home Premier League games in a single season.

It has been a long campaign for Newcastle.

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