NEWCASTLE, Dec 10 — Leicester City stretched their unbeaten away run in the Premier League to six games after an 86th-minute own goal by Ayoze Perez gave them a 3-2 win at Newcastle United in a pulsating clash yesterday.
The result lifted Leicester to eighth on 23 points from 16 games after their fourth successive win over Newcastle in the top flight and left the Magpies 16th on 15 points, only two above the bottom three.
It also piled the pressure on manager Rafa Benitez, who rued perpetual defensive errors and lack of confidence after the Foxes spoiled Newcastle’s 125th anniversary in front of a packed St James’s Park.
“These kind of mistakes, you cannot make in the Premier League and we are doing it week in, week out,” the Spaniard told the BBC.
“We have seen two or three situations with the same kind of goals. It is sometimes a lack of experience.
“The way we concede, for confidence, it is difficult but we have to keep going. We have to improve the things we are not doing well at the moment.”
His Leicester counterpart Claude Puel was delighted.
“It was a difficult game and not our best game because we were up and down,” the Frenchman told BT Sport.
“The first half was good but the beginning of the second half was difficult. We scored a terrific second goal and came back after we conceded again with a fantastic spirit.”
Newcastle, who have now taken only one point from their last seven games, grabbed an early lead through Spanish forward Joselu before goals from Riyad Mahrez and Demarai Gray turned the action-packed contest on its head.
Mahrez equalised with a fine strike from 25 metres and Gray drilled a deflected shot into the top corner from inside the penalty area on the hour after he was superbly teed up by winger Marc Albrighton.
Selfless work from striker Jamie Vardy, who was looking for his 50th Premier League goal, allowed Mahrez to thrive as he racked up his fourth goal along with three assists in the last seven league games.
Dwight Gayle levelled against the run of play in the 73rd minute before the visitors forced the final twist in the 86th when Perez poked a clearance past his own goalkeeper Karl Darlow as he tried to thwart substitute Shinji Okazaki from scoring. — Reuters