Newcastle supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times and came under fire for booing Spaniard Perez. But did it do him good? He put in a shift on Saturday against Bournemouth.
Rafa Benitez’s men went into their encounter with Bournemouth off the back of narrowly beating Watford 1-0 in their previous league clash, in turn registering their first win of the campaign. And the Magpies made it back-to-back league successes on Saturday as a brace from Salomon Rondon inspired the North East giants to a 2-1 win at St James’ Park, with Jefferson Lerma’s effort for the Cherries just before half time not enough to spark a comeback.
As such, there have been many thrilled Newcastle fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are heaping praise on striker Rondon for his two goals at the weekend, his first two for the Magpies in the Premier League.
It was the 25-year-old who proved to be the hero last week in netting the winner against Javi Gracia’s Hornets, and while he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet this time round, his overall efforts both offensively and indeed defensively played a vital part in Newcastle’s success.
The forward, who signed from Tenerife back in 2014, had 42 touches of the ball over the course of the 90 minutes, while he also finished with the best pass success of any Newcastle player who started the match, completing 23 of his 27 passes to finish with a pass success rate of 85%.
And with three of those key passes in the final third, level with Ki Sung-Yeung as the most from a Newcastle player in the match, Perez was certainly seeking an influence in the final third of the pitch, just like he did against Watford last time out.
But it was also his exploits defensively in helping the Magpies protect their slender lead which deserve mention, what with the 25-year-old winning two of his four aerial duels during the encounter, and indeed completing more tackles than any other Newcastle player (four).
And with three clearances and a couple of interceptions, the Spaniard read the game very well to help Benitez’s side keep out the Cherries in the second half – he has often split opinion among Newcastle fans during his time at St James’ Park, but there’s little doubting how good he was on Saturday.
And while Rondon will unsurprisingly earn the plaudits for netting twice at the weekend, the display of £45,000-a-week Perez (as per Spotrac) means he was Newcastle’s unsung hero in victory over Bournemouth.