Newcastle United’s bid to avoid an instant return to the Championship was massively boosted over the weekend thanks to their 3-0 win against Southampton and with other results going for them, and Magpies fans are loving one statistic in particular.
The Toon’s comprehensive win against fellow strugglers Saints and Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and West Ham United all losing, and Huddersfield and Swansea City drawing with each other, saw them jump up to 13th in the standings and five points clear of the relegation zone.
Stoke’s 2-0 defeat against Manchester City on Monday night saw their goal difference drop to minus 28 (the worst in the Premier League), while only the top eight teams in the standings have a better record than the Tyneide outfit’s minus 10 – which could be worth an extra point in the coming weeks – and the St James’ Park faithful can’t get enough of manager Rafa Benitez right now.
Newcastle supporters have been quick to have their say on goal difference via social media, and while one said “our GD could be worth an extra point come May”, another said “Rafa’s so-called negative tactics could be crucial”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
Stoke’s goal difference is already -28, the worst in the league. Our GD could be worth an extra point come May #NUFC
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) March 12, 2018
Yip so Rafas so called negative tactics could be crucial .
— David HUDDART (@DavidHUDDART1) March 12, 2018
we've got the best GD in bottom half which means we need 5 more points to stay up, who wouldn't take that
— john t graham (@toonjohnnyg) March 12, 2018
It is worth an extra point.
— Andreas Martins⚪️⚫️⚪️⚫️ (@amth0) March 12, 2018
9th best goal difference in the league. Not bad bearing in mind we’ve been hovering above the relegation zone since December!
— Nick Forster (@Forster_Nick95) March 12, 2018
We’ve got at least a 5 goal advantage on every team below us. The best goal difference in the bottom 11… that’s impressive.
— Lee Robson (@leerobson23) March 12, 2018
Why are people being so negative about it? It could come down to GD so why not be chuffed that we are ahead of our rivals at the moment.
— John Smith (@TheDissentor) March 13, 2018
Remember when Rafa got absolutely slaughtered for his tactics at home against Man City and we kept our goal difference down and now we have the best GD in the bottom 12! Yeah that! #NUFC
— JJ Fletcher (@JJFletcher7) March 12, 2018
We've got the best goal difference outside the top 8, Rafa effect, the guy is a genius man what he's doing with this squad #nufc
— The Looney Toon (@ToonArmy_4ever) March 12, 2018
I think rafa has been very astute, he was aware goal difference could have an effect on final 3 places at end of season, master stroke from someone who in his carreer has spent more games at the other end of the table yet he has vision to know what is what. amazing
— jimmy kelly (@xskye69x) March 12, 2018